New Communities Initiative

Catalyzed in 2005, New Communities Initiative is a District government program designed to revitalize severely distressed subsidized housing and redevelop communities with concentrated poverty, high crime, and economic segregation. The initiative’s four guiding principles include one-for-one replacement to ensure that there is no loss of affordable housing; the opportunity for residents to return/stay in the community; mixed-income housing; and “build first,” which calls for the development of new housing to begin before existing distressed housing is demolished.  The initiative also has a human capital component, through which the District partners with service providers to offer health and wellness, employment, education, financial literacy, parenting, and other services to New Communities residents, and proposes the creation of community amenities including new schools, recreation centers, and retail.  To date, the redevelopment has been supported by $66 million in public investment, which has leveraged over $240 million of private funding, and has resulted in the demolition of 250 units and the construction of 1,070 units.

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