Mayor Bowser to join the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, INC. and Dantes Partners to celebrate the preservation of affordable housing as part of a $17 million renovation to Phyllis Wheatley YWCA building. Innovative, sustainable public-private partnership will PRESERVE 84 affordable living quarters while keeping current residents in place AND EXPANDING SERVICES WASHINGTON (November 6, 2015) — The Phyllis Wheatley Young Women Christian’s Association (“Phyllis Wheatley YWCA”) and Dantes Partners will celebrate the renovation of the historic Phyllis Wheatley YWCA Building with a wallbreaking ceremony with Mayor Muriel Bowser.

The $17M project, to be completed Fall 2016, will create 84 affordable units for the building’s current population of low-income and vulnerable women. The innovative project is designed to ensure the building’s current residents can remain in their homes and not be displaced. All lease compliant residents will have the opportunity to live in the renovated building. Rental rates will remain affordable, and the building’s current residents will not see their rents increase.

“The Phyllis Wheatley building is the only YWCA in the District of Columbia that provides permanent and affordable supportive housing catering to women,” said Patricia Plummer, Board President of the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA. “We’re proud to collaborate with Dantes Partners to ensure we continue our mission to provide critical services to a highly underserved population in a beautiful facility for decades to come.”

The renovated building will feature solar panels and upgraded energy and water fixtures to help the property run more efficiently and save more than $5,800 annually. The lowered utility and operating expenses will minimize the need to pass on costs to the residents in the form of rental increases. In addition, amenities will include updated laundry facilities, green outdoor space, and more common areas. “The renovation of the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA presents a unique opportunity to both preserve affordable housing and revitalize an historic building in the rapidly developing Shaw neighborhood,” said Buwa Binitie, Managing Principal, Dantes Partners.

This project is the result of partnership between federal and local agencies and the private sector. The renovation received resources and funding from the DC Housing Authority, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, DC Department of Housing and Community Development, DC Department of Energy and Environment (through Property Assessed Clean Energy [PACE] financing), DC Department of Human Services, and DC Department of Behavioral Health. The DC Sustainable Energy Utility has also committed funds to the project. Additional financial partners include Wells Fargo as the equity investor and construction lender, Amalgamated Bank as the DC PACE lender, and the Corporation for Supportive Housing as the predevelopment lender.

Other team members and consultants include Miner Feinstein Architects, Hamel Builders, Compass Design and Development, Urban Ingenuity, and ThinkBox Group. After construction completion, N Street Village, one of the largest providers of services for homeless and low income individuals in the District, will provide 24-hour, on-site case management and services at the renovated facility to help residents meet their health, wellness, and employment goals.


About the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA

For 95 years, the Phyllis Wheatley Young Women’s Christian Association, Inc. has provided safe housing to working women in the District of Columbia. Founded in 1905 as the Colored Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), the organization affiliated with the National YWCA in 19181 and worked tirelessly to provide services for African-American women migrants moving northward. Construction of the 9th and Rhode Island Avenue facility, funded by the War Work Council, was completed in 1920. In 1923, the Colored YWCA was incorporated as the Phyllis Wheatley Young Women’s Christian Association, Inc. Due to changing demographics, the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA remains committed to self-sufficiency and delivering upon its mission to prevent homeless among women in the District of Columbia.

About Dantes Partners

Founded in 2006, Dantes Partners is a District-based real estate development company whose mission is to facilitate and enhance local economic development by designing innovative funding solutions for community-based real estate initiatives. To date, Dantes Partners' efforts have led to the development and preservation of over 1,000 residences and over $310M of public and private financing secured. For more information, visit 1 Ended affiliation in the 1960’s.

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