LISC DC Celebrates with Pleasant Park Cooperative


Mrs. Yates, a resident of Pleasant Park for 50 years, celebrated her 90th birthday last month at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Pleasant Park Cooperative. Because of the collaboration between LISC DC, Mi Casa, the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and other partners, Mrs. Yates will be able to stay in her home and remain connected to a community that she has called home for half a century.

Mrs. Yates is emblematic of why we do what we do – work with community partners to preserve affordability for lower income households throughout the District of Columbia. The preservation and stewardship of affordable housing is a priority for LISC DC as we seek to address the high cost of housing faced by lower income households and to create healthy and sustainable places of choice and opportunity.

The Pleasant Park Cooperative, located in the Deanwood neighborhood of northeast Washington, DC, purchased their 60 unit building seven years ago through the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), which gives tenants valuable protections, including the right to buy their building, when a landlord wishes to sell, demolish or discontinue housing.

Over the years The Pleasant Park Cooperative worked hard to maintain their building and to help their members remain in their homes. Once the renovations are complete, the quality of life will be improved for Mrs. Yates and her neighbors.

We are so proud of the cooperative and being able to wish Mrs. Yates a “Happy Birthday” during the ceremony put the icing on the cake to an already celebratory moment. Working with cooperatives allows LISC DC to be on the forefront of assisting those most in need of preserving their affordable housing.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, the cooperative’s President, Brenda Jordan, expressed gratitude to all of the partners for the assistance received during their process of becoming a tenant association and the support they have had throughout the time that led up to the start of the renovations.

DHCD’s Director, Polly Donaldson, noted that the Pleasant Park Cooperative is the type of investment that Mayor Bowser’s Administration will continue to make across the city.  She mentioned the patience and perseverance that is required to work towards preserving affordability.

Ramon Jacobson, LISC DC’s Senior Program Officer, believed in the cooperative’s vision from the very beginning of the process and was instrumental in LISC supporting this project.  LISC provided an earnest money deposit, a construction loan and a project investment totaling $750,000. “We have to recognize that without LISC, we wouldn’t get projects to move,” said Fernando Lemos of Mi Casa.