Construction has finally begun on the Monsenor Romero Apartments on Mount Pleasant Street. Next Fall, former tenants of the Deauville can return to new and improved homes after the devastating 2008 fire. Plus, there’ll be at least 16 new affordable rental apartments for those who qualify.
“Right now we’re in the demoltiion phase,” says Rob Richardson of the National Housing Trust, the developer managing the project. He estimates that construction will take about 15 months.
The Monsenor Romero Apartments will include 63 affordable units. There will be 17 studios, 21 one-bedrooms, 21 two- bedroom and four three- bedrooms. Richardson estimates that as many as 47 households of former tenants will return and is excited about opportunities to house new tenants too. “We’ll start taking applications from next June,” he says.
To qualify, prospective tenants must make 60% or less of DC’s median income. So for a single person, the annual income cut off will be $45,000. For a family of four the cut off will be around $64,380. “We’ve really gotten great community support for this project. It’s clear that maintaining affordable housing and economic diversity is important to Mount Pleasant neighbors.”
Richardson has been working with tenants displaced by the fire to bring the project to fruition. He's been struck by the strong sense of connection they have to Mount Pleasant and proud to be part of the team that's bringing them home.
"It’s pretty incredible that we have former tenants who are living six to a one bedroom apartment with three adults working and that’s still not enough to afford to live in decent housing. So in a city where hard work is not enough, you have to create affordable housing for everyday people. We have waiters and waitresses, hotel staff, cooks, nurses, construction
workers, hard working people who were displaced by the Deauville fire. Mount Pleasant is their home even if they’ve had to move away for the past five years. We are so proud to be carving out a space in a great historic neighborhood for them to live so they return to where all their friends and memories are rooted."
Go here to learn more about the project.