The D.C. metro area routinely tops both the list for the highest median household income and the list for the worst rates of displacement of working-class and poor people. All of these trends have disproportionately harmed Black native Washingtonians, many immigrant diasporas, and queer and trans people of color.
So in June 2021, we launched an awesome experiment: could neighbors replace investors and developers to create a limited-equity housing cooperative and mutual aid hub?
Two years later, we did it. We mobilized as organizers from the Ward 1 DC Mutual Aid Network, a grassroots, community-led effort to take care of our neighbors. Neighbors and tenants came together to build a community-led economic structure and facilitate wealth redistribution within our networks to protect a small apartment building from being sold to a luxury redeveloper.
We the Ward 1 community members resisted displacement and successfully bought an apartment building in the Howard University neighborhood to transform it into a visionary community space: an affordable housing cooperative and a hub for mutual aid among neighbors.
Now, we’re a limited equity housing cooperative that preserves affordability in perpetuity while enabling self-determination by tenants and creating a new space for mutual aid organizing to continue to combat gentrification and systemic neglect in our communities.
As we build a space of abundant Black joy, with regular community meals and political education events, we would love support to help kick off our grand opening celebration.
Funded by Washington, DC (January 2024)