Washington DC LISC broke new ground this year by investing in our first Grandfamily Housing development. The “God is in Control at 1256 Cooperatives” located in the Trinidad neighborhood has been purchased by the tenants and will be rehabilitated as a Grandfamily Housing cooperative for four families. LISC provided a $71,000 predevelopment loan and a $5,000 interest write-down grant.
The Cooperative consists of lifelong Washingtonians, each of whom is a grandparent raising their grandchildren.
In 2004, their negligent landlord put the building up for sale. Andrea Banks, the secretary of the Coop recalls the fear of being displaced, “We didn’t have anyplace else to go that was affordable. We were up against a wall.” But these residents were determined to make this property their permanent home. One resident, Al Wiley, summed it by saying “I was born in D.C. I don’t want to be pushed out of D.C.”
Through the dogged perseverance of the Coop, led by their president, they secured financing from the Dept of Housing and Community Development to purchase their property. After initiating the purchase, they began working with New Columbia Community Land Trust, an experienced nonprofit housing developer.
`I never thought I’d own- especially with the way real estate prices are,” says Andrea Banks, “This is such a blessing to be able to stay in the City where I was born- a real blessing.”