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WASHINGTON, DC-Henson Ridge, a multifaceted 600-unit affordable housing community in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Southeast DC–has opened its doors to tenants now that its $100 million redevelopment endeavor has reached completion. The property replaces two former public housing developments known as the Frederick Douglass and Stanton Dwellings residences, which were originally developed as temporary lodgings for World War II-era workers, and accounted for 650 units. Financing for the endeavor originated from the leveraging of a $29.9 million HUD HOPE VI grant.

Situated at Alabama Avenue and Stanton Road, Henson Ridge is named for one-time owner of the 24-acre parcel, former slave Tobias Henson. Area low- to moderate-income residents seeking housing at Henson Ridge–which features 320 for-sale units in addition to the rental components–have a variety of options to choose from among the 280 rental properties, which include townhouses, 42 bungalows reserved for seniors and 28 stacked-flat apartments. The property also features an adult training facility, a new community center, open spaces and parks.

“By bringing people together who come from different walks of life and providing them a clean, safe and attractive place to live while also giving them the tools they need to succeed in life, we’re boosting the housing situation in Washington as well as the social fabric within our neighborhoods,” District of Columbia Housing Authority executive director Michael Kelly notes in a release. In facilitating the project, DCHA was joined by the DC Henson Ridge Community Supportive Services Program, the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development, the DC Housing Finance Agency, the local Department of Public Works, and a joint venture involving venture involving Mid City Urban and the Integral Group.

DCHA’s efforts do not stop with Henson Ridge. “Next on the horizon, we’re looking at the possibility of going after a HOPE VI application for East Gate, a former public housing site,” DCHA’s Zachary D. Smith shares with GlobeSt.com. “Another one of our goals is to assure there’s a respectable level of funding put into the FY 2004 appropriations for Hope VI. We would like to see more appropriations put into the program so that many cities can do what we’ve been able to do successfully here in Washington, DC.”

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