On June 25, 2016, we celebrated the opening of the 5741 Colorado Avenue NW Cooperative’s newly renovated building. Located in the Brightwood-16th Street Heights neighborhood, the 5741 Colorado Avenue NW Cooperative is home to residents that vehemently sought to preserve their 28 unit building and its infrastructure, while maintaining its affordability. The ribbon cutting was attended by nonprofit partners, community leaders, and government officials and was a celebration of the residents’ steadfastness, tenacity and perseverance.
After years of living in decrepit conditions and fighting to get their basic needs met, the 5741 Colorado Avenue residents collectively decided they were going to take control of their home. They utilized the District’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, (TOPA) to form a Tenant Association lead by their former President, the late Verna Collins. The Tenant Association partnered with Mi Casa, CityFirst Bank, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and LISC DC to aid in the acquisition of their home.
Despite the hardships they faced, and the uphill battle that was fought to ascertain the support and funds necessary, the residents remained tenacious and worked cohesively as a family to achieve their ultimate goal. LISC DC provided two loans – $55,000 for the earnest money deposit, and $379,000 for acquisition of the property. With our support, the residents were successful in preventing their building from being sold to a third party.