If you tuned in to the PBS show This Old House in February or March, you would have seen Washington DC’s own Mi Casa featured as they restored a 130 year old deteriorated rowhouse in Shaw to its former grandeur.
DC LISC has long partnered with Mi Casa, granting funds and providing financing for home renovation projects since 1992.
The show first approached Mi Casa after hearing of their rehabilitation work from an architect familiar with Mi Casa’s work. According to Elin Zurbrigg, Mi Casa’s deputy director, “They were attracted to the historic urban setting, the neighborhood dynamics of Shaw and to Mi Casa’s mission and development team.”
Initially though, after seeing the dilapidated condition of the row-house, they were skeptical that restoration was even possible. The house had experienced severe water and fire damage and virtually no features were salvageable. But this was nothing new for Mi Casa – they are accustomed to this level of gut rehabilitation as most of the
properties they develop require extensive renovation.
When asked about the experience Zurbrigg explains “it was strange having our everyday renovation work became the backdrop for a national TV show and having television crews and cameras follow you around as you worked – but the people with the show brought an expertise that was helpful and helped attract specialists that likely wouldn’t have participated otherwise.”
For Mi Casa, one of the most gratifying outcomes has been the response from people and organizations throughout the country. “Some commending us for our work and others asking how they can create a similar model in their jurisdiction – it has been inspiring that our project would motivate people to action.”
The final show aired on April 1, but you can visit www.thisoldhouse.com for all of the details. While we are always happy to have the spotlight shine on the great work of our partners, we are equally pleased that the house has been sold to a lower income family of six who are first time homebuyers from Washington DC. They plan to move in to their beautifully restored 3 bedroom 2 bath home in the spring!