all we need now is people in the windows
You may have noticed all the work being done on the interior of Anacostia Gateway recently: walls are up, cubicles are in, and bright accent walls are painted. Even though their entrance is coming six months later than originally planned, the Department of Housing and Community Development will finally move into their space next weekend, and will be open for business on the morning of February 2.
What does this mean for Anacostia? I see the move as a net good (minus the "wish it were something more street-enlivening" fact that the Housing Service Center is going into the corner retail spot on the ground floor). It means hundreds of new people coming into the neighborhood each day, many of whom will be on the streets at lunchtime looking for a good spot to eat. It means a few who will see Anacostia for the first time, and talk about it in a different way when explaining the move to their friends and family. It means a real anchor to the Anacostia Gateway intersection of Good Hope and MLK, adding rootedness to one of our neighborhood's most prominent corners.
It also means that this agency will be working out its mission in an area that could use some of its help. The DHCD's stated mission is:
to create and preserve opportunities for affordable housing and economic development and to revitalize underserved communities in the District of Columbia...photos by DG-rad
...by providing gap financing; increasing first-time homeownership opportunities; providing funding to rehabilitate single-family and multi-family homes; supporting communities through neighborhood based activities; providing funding for homelessness prevention; addressing vacant and abandoned properties; and overseeing the administration of rental housing laws.