Anthony A. Williams

Best Practice Recognition
The City of Washington, DC, and Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae and Washington, DC, Mayor Anthony Williams announced HouseWashington in April of 1999. Similar to HouseHouston and HouseSt. Louis, HouseWashington is designed to increase home ownership and rental housing opportunities for 8,000 families in Washington, DC, through a $1 billion, 4-year investment strategy. The success of HouseWashington will rest on the cooperative work of Fannie Mae’s D.C. Partnership office. Established in 1994, the Partnership Office has worked with the City of Washington to identify key partners and projects in underserved neighborhoods that have the potential for being transformed into vibrant places to live, work and play. Following are three examples of HouseWashington projects underway in the city:

  • Montana Terrace, a troubled public housing project, is being completely redeveloped in a partnership that involves the District’s Public Housing Authority, the District Government, and Fannie Mae. Of 155 public housing units, 38 will be converted to 28 ‘for sale’ condominiums. A waiting list of more than 80 current and former public housing residents (as well as others at Section 8 income levels) are being pre-qualified for the opportunity to purchase one of these homes, which will be ready for occupancy in April. Fannie Mae’s $450,000 loan to the project facilitated job training and credit and homeownership counseling for many purchasers. A fiber optic infrastructure, installed by the residents, is in place and will provide Internet access, telemedicine, distance learning, and other services.

  • Woodridge Place is the first moderately priced detached single-family development in the District in over 30 years. It is built on a six-acre site that served as a buffer between Montana Terrace and solidly middle-income townhouses. Fannie Mae sparked interest in the Woodridge development that resulted in Phase One and Two commencing at 70% and 100% pre-sold respectively. Base prices in Phase One ranged from $145,000 and $170,000 while Phase 2 prices ranged from $170-$210,000. These units range in size from 1900-2100 sq. ft. and feature brick fronts, garages, and Smart Wiring. The District subordinated its ownership interest in the site to construction/development financing provided by Fannie Mae ($500,000) and a local bank ($1,200,000). It also provided a portion of the site development costs.

  • LeDroit Park is an undertaking of Howard University, Fannie Mae and several other financial partners. Phase One of the development included creation of 42 homeownership opportunities for Howard University employees earning between $30,000-60,000 a year. Howard University donated 28 boarded up homes and 17 vacant lots to the initiative. Fannie Mae provided home ownership training and credit assessments for all interested purchasers and arranged the predevelopment and construction financing. Fannie Mae also helped the University create its Employer Assisted Housing Program, which grants up to $7,500 in closing cost assistance. The District’s Housing Finance Agency set aside $5 million in 5.95% mortgage funds for this project. Bell Atlantic wired the homes for Internet access and other high-tech services. All units are sold and 12 have closed, with completion projected for Spring 2000.

The LeDroit Park, Woodridge Place, and Montana Terrace initiatives are witness to the power of partnerships involving neighborhood, city and national organizations.  

For more information, please contact:

Phillip J. Weber, Senior Vice President
Regional Management and Housing Partnerships
Fannie Mae
3900 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Telephone: (202) 752-2256
Fax: (202) 752-2829

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

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