WASHINGTON — Some Southeast DC residents are calling on DC government to make things right after it was recommended they leave their homes more than two years ago.
Forty-six families, at 1262 Talbert St. SE, in Anacostia, have been out of their homes ever since a recommendation was made by a engineering company, retained by their homeowner association, that they leave the complex since it was sliding off its foundation.
On Wednesday, dozens of those residents gathered at the complex to demand DC government pay their mortgages, restore their credit, and extend their lease assistance.
“It’s unfair to be paying a mortgage in a place you can't even live in,” said homeowner Shannon Thomas.
The developer, Stanton View LLC, received subsidies from DC to build the development. At the time, District officials said inspections found nothing wrong.
However, since then, the developer has filed for bankruptcy and many of the complex’s residents, who bought their property through DC’s first-time homeowner program, have been forced to live in rental properties elsewhere in town.
"I want DC government to make us whole,” said homeowner Stephanie Navarrette. “They gave the permits, they say they did the inspection, or they didn't, and they weren't able to catch an issue as it was potentially happening."
Two years ago, DC put together a task force to forgive some residents of their loans and provide relocation expenses.
The DC Department of Housing and Community Development [DHCD] provided more details to WUSA9 regarding the aid package its proposed to members of the Talbert Homeowner Association Thursday.
The department said it will buy out or otherwise assume the first trust mortgage of each owner at the property and assume responsibility of the site to bring a resolution and fresh start to Grandview homeowners.
Furthermore, DHCD said it will provide Grandview homeowners the right of first purchase of any homeownership opportunities that result from the property's redevelopment, stabilize the property retaining wall, and perform other work on-site to determine the feasibility of any next steps.
"The District will provide comprehensive housing counseling support through one its Community Based Organization partners that specializes in homeownership programs in the District," the statement reads.
Finally, DHCD said it will forgive current Housing Production Trust Fund and Home Purchase Assistance Programs [HPAP] combined loans of approximately $6.4 million and reinstate HPAP to all homeowners, regardless of current income.
"Grandview owners will be able utilize HPAP for their next home purchase without having go through the initial steps of the program again," DHCD's statement reads. "Owners, regardless of otherwise being over income for the HPAP program will be able to receive a minimum of $70,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. Depending on an owner’s current level of income they may be able to take advantage of the increased HPAP amounts up to $202,000."
CORRECTION: Previous reporting on the Talbert Street development said the homes in question were "condemned." This is incorrect. Residents actually left the complex after a recommendation was made to do so by the engineering company retained by their homeowner association. WUSA9 regrets the error.