WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by officials on Friday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Kenilworth 166 project.

Construction began on phase one of the project that will revitalize the affordable housing complex, Kenilworth Courts. The project will create 166 new affordable units.

“Today, we are standing where a new multi-family building will be built. We’ll have the senior building, stacked flats, lower apartments and town homes,” said Brenda Donald, executive director, DCHA at the ceremony.

Residents of the current Kenilworth Courts who had to move for the construction have the right to return upon completion.

“Of the 166 units, 118 will be replacement homes for our Kenilworth residents, and 48 units will be affordable at 50 percent of the area median income,” said Donald.

The project is a part of the mayor’s mission to bring more affordable housing to the city. In 2019, The Bowser Administration invested $16.9 million from the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF) into the Kenilworth project.

“In my last budget, we invested $113 million to rehabilitate and replace public housing,” said Bowser.

The construction on Kenilworth Courts is a small piece to the larger puzzle of revitalizing the Ward 7 neighborhood.

“We’re going to have, for the first time in a very long time, a brand new hospital in Wards 7 and 8,” said Vincent Gray, councilmember and long-time resident of Ward 7. “We’re going to have three new grocery stores coming to Ward 7.”

Bowser says basic needs — such as accessible transportation, good schools, and grocery store options — are a top priority when it comes to providing Washingtonians the tools they need to thrive.

“This is an opportunity for safe and affordable housing, but it’s also a step to the next point in your life for yourself and your children,” said Bowser.

Learn more about the Kenilworth 166 project here.