The Conway Center is a $90 million development by So Other’s Might Eat (SOME), an interfaith, community-based nonprofit organization that exists to help the poor and homeless of our nation’s capital. SOME meets the immediate daily needs of the people they serve with food, clothing, health care and housing. SOME helps break the cycle of homelessness by offering services, such as affordable housing, job training, addiction treatment, and counseling.
The District of Columbia ranks among the nation’s most thriving and vibrant cities; however, prosperity and growth have not reached every neighborhood, nor has it benefited all residents. The Conway Center is located in the heart of Ward 7 (east of Anacostia River) which is considered the poorest Ward in the District of Columbia with a median income of $36,280 in a one-mile radius with 43,000 people, of which 95% are African American.
To increase the supply of affordable rental housing in the District, SOME developed 202 units of affordable housing as part of this mixed-use project.
The Conway Center sits on over 58,000 square feet of land. The podium levels include its Center for Employment Training, its administrative offices, and the Unity Heath Medical clinic. The tower levels provide affordable, rental apartments to 30 families, plus a one-bedroom Night Monitor unit, and 151 single adults. The single adult units are split between 79 efficiency units and 72 Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units. These are in addition to 20 non-income producing units. The efficiency units have a private bathroom and small kitchenette and are fully furnished for the residents. The SRO units have a shared bathroom between every two residents, a private sink, and are fully furnished for the residents. The SRO units share a common lounge and kitchen on each floor.
At the entry level of each of the residential towers, staff offices and a community room are provided in order to offer educational and socialization activities for the residents. There is also a laundry room and computer access for residents. At least 15% of the units are fully handicap accessible. In addition, the building is designed to achieve LEED Silver standards.
The Conway Center represents a unique example of a public-private partnership which included HUD financing, LIHTC, New Market Tax Credits, Tax-Exempt bonds, Grants, District of Columbia loans and private donations, including a generous gift from the namesake of the project.
Location: Washington, DC
Developer: So Others Might Eat, Inc.
Owner: Benning Residential LLC
Partners: Northmarq Capital; Bozzuto Construction; Citi Community Capital; City First Bank of DC; DC Department of Housing and Community Development; DC Housing Authority; DC Housing Enterprises; DC Housing Finance Agency; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Eisen and Rome; Healthy Futures Fund; Morgan Stanley; The Kresge Foundation; National Equity Fund; Ballard Spahr