WASHINGTON (WDVM) — A 129-unit affordable housing apartment building for seniors is coming to D.C.’s Takoma neighborhood. The D.C. Housing Finance Agency’s Interim Executive Director Christopher Donald says the project was in the works for about three years.

The $41.7 million dollar development will be two blocks from the Takoma Metro station. It will also house a business center, fitness center, and on-site programming. D.C.’s Housing Up will provide “Tenant Education, Health and Wellness, Education and Employment, and Community Building.”

Donald says most of the city’s affordable housing is in Wards 7 and 8 with fewer amenities. “The wards that are west of the river have more amenities and more access to transportation and highly ranked schools,” he said. “So it’s important when we get the opportunity to build affordable housing in all communities, all wards, west of the city.”

“Having access to ready transportation for seniors so they can be involved in social activities, so they can access their medical professionals, really is transformative for their lives,” said Donald. “It reduces a large burden so they can afford to be without personal transportation like cars, it reduces any money that they may pay for Ubers and taxis and other things.”

This is all part of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plan to increase affordable housing options in all of the District’s wards. Donald says the city has been focused on using its CARES Act funding to “stabilize its portfolio of 30,000 units and almost 200 different properties.” The DCHFA spent much of that funding during the last two weeks of December to provide rent relief for residents in need.

For Donald, this project is a little more personal than usual. He went to college with the project’s sponsor, Jair Lynch, president and CEO of Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners.

“To see him be the ‘hometown’s developer’: someone who is of color, someone who has been committed to the city for the last three decades, someone who is committed to doing beautiful things for the people of this city is really encouraging given the events of the last day or so,” he said. “As we watch what’s going on in the official D.C., I’m really proud of what’s going on in the District of Columbia.”

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