On November 5th, we joined key community development stakeholders, thought leaders, nonprofit partners, and friends at the City First Community Development Finance Conference.
The focus of the day-long summit was equitable economic development East of the River. We discussed the challenges and opportunities related to housing, workforce development, and small business enterprises that are impacting DC’s neighborhoods in Wards 7 & 8.
A highlight of the conference was the panel discussion on the 11th Street Bridge Park Equitable Development Task Force, during which Bridge Park’s finalized Equitable Development Plan was publicly released.
For the past year, Bridge Park’s Equitable Development Task Force has held meetings with community members and stakeholders, government officials, business owners and policy experts.
Together, we identified actionable recommendations that the Bridge Park and its partners can take in three areas – Workforce Development, Small Business Enterprise, and Housing.
The goal of the Equitable Development Plan is to ensure that the park is a driver of inclusive development – development that provides opportunities for all residents regardless of income and demography.
As noted in the plan, pursuing equitable economic development means that the 11th Street Bridge Park is not only committed to working collaboratively, but also to changing the narrative of how development typically takes place.
The Task Force has already achieved some early affordable housing wins:
- Bridge Park will devote $10,000 per unit in down payment assistance for 3 affordable townhomes being developed near Bridge Park by LISC’s long-time partner Manna. See Housing Strategy #2, Recommendation #1 on page 13.
- Bridge Park will fund a new chapter of Manna’s Home Buyers Club (HBC) to be located within the Bridge Park Impact Area. Over the past 29 years, Manna’s HBC has prepared many low- and moderate- income households to become homeowners in the District. See Housing Strategy #2, Recommendation #2 on page 13.
LISC DC is proud to have provided intensive technical assistance to Bridge Park throughout this effort, assisting in the development and program management of the task force and plan, as well as providing data analysis and mapping along the way.
As the implementation phase begins – the exciting part! – we will continue to play an integral role in Bridge Park’s equitable development work. Look out for more updates on the status of the park and the accomplishments of the 11th Street Bridge Park Equitable Development Task Force team in the near future!