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WASHINGTON, DC-District Mayor Anthony Williams and other city officials will gather today in the U Street corridor of the city to celebrate breaking ground on Clifton Terrace, a redevelopment of a parcel at 13th and Clifton Streets NW, which will result in the building of 76 condominiums and 152 rental apartments. This project is just the latest in an initiative launched by Mayor Williams to substantially increase affordable multifamily housing across all neighborhoods of the city.

Back in the spring, Mayor Williams announced plans to protect existing affordable housing. A bigger piece of that plan is to convert vacant and dilapidated buildings into new housing, and promote new housing for people of all incomes throughout all parts of the city. Given the high-density and development of most parts of the city, much of the housing constructed is multifamily projects, primarily town homes and condominiums.

While this initiative has been in the works for months, it got pushed aside as the city responded to the significant economic fallout from the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and New York’s World Trade Center on September 11. The attacks shut down Ronald Reagan National Airport for almost a month and brought tourism and lodging revenue almost to a halt in Washington. However, just a week before the attacks, the District said it sold the Mather Building to local condo developer PN Hoffman for $2 million. The 78,400-sf downtown property had been vacant since 1990. PN Hoffman will invest $14.1 million to redevelop the historic building into 40 condos, 12 of which will be designated affordable housing. The affordable units will be sold for $111, 000 to $165,000. The remaining units will be sold for $200,000 to $1 million.

Goals similar to the Mather Building are in place for the Clifton Terrace project. In a statement, the District said the rental apartments at Clifton Terrace will be available to families at or below 60% of HUD area median income and some condominiums are reserved for families with incomes up to 80% of HUD area median incomes. Also, several condos will also be reserved for families with incomes up to 115% of the HUD number. The District Housing Finance Agency is working together with Bank of America to finance the project. DCHFA has underwritten more than $74 million in tax-exempt and taxable bonds and tax credits to finance 1,476 affordable housing units in fiscal 2001.

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