Monday, September 29, 2014

ARI: Collaborations with Dept. of Housing and Community Development

ARI was founded through a collaboration between the University of the District of Columbia and the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Homestead Preservation Program. The Homestead Preservation Program is now the Property Acquisition Disposition Division (PADD) and Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program (SFRRP). DHCD has been ARI’s primary client for the past twenty plus years. This collaboration provides comprehensive architectural services allowing for the reclamation of the city’s vacant, boarded and run down housing, rehabilitating them for low- and middle- income residents, thus giving them the opportunity to become homeowners. Since its inception in 1987, ARI has provided architectural services on the renovation and rehabilitation of more than 606 homes and apartments at a cost of more than S90 million, positively impacting thousands of District residents in all eights wards of D.C.

PADD acquires and disposes of vacant and abandoned property and has three main functions:
  • Encourage property owners to rehabilitate and/or occupy their vacant residential property.
  • Acquire vacant, abandoned and deteriorated properties through negotiated friendly sale, eminent domain, donation or tax sale foreclosure when owners are unwilling or unable to maintain their properties.
  • Dispose of properties in the PADD inventory by selling the properties to individuals or developers to be rehabilitated into high quality affordable and market-rate single-family and/or multifamily housing in District neighborhoods. 
Project Description: PADD Vacant lot development. ARI Services Provided: Field inspection, code and zoning analysis, site plan development. (Above)
The goals of PADD are to offer excellent construction, design and architecture to mixed-income development units, comparable to market rates while maximizing long-term affordability across income levels. PADD also seeks to offer vocational training, job creation for District residents, and opportunities for Certified Business Enterprises. 20 percent of new units must be affordable to households with income levels below 80 percent the Washington median, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Affordable family units must be available, and not concentrated in any one section of the project. Other goals include community outreach as the site must integrate with and enhance the surrounding neighborhood and the use of green materials, as deemed by the Green Building Act of 2006. Residential participants in PADD receive training in the program.

A recent PADD project for which ARI provided construction monitoring services is the First LEED Platinum certified residential house (located in Northwest DC).  According to ARI, the three-story row house with a basement makes a remarkable attempt to meet and exceed all the sustainable building standards and technologies available today. As per the USGBC LEED for Homes guidelines, credit is given to residences that are planned with more bedrooms within the same area. This home was creatively planned with 6 habitable bedrooms between the main home and the basement apartment unit. The project uses an integrated design approach with several key professionals involved from the conceptual stages of the project. The whole project was conceptualized, designed and developed for construction documents using BIM technologies that produced a well, coordinated and integrated design.  

The DC Department of Housing and Community Development also offers the Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program to assist eligible single family homeowners in bringing their homes up to current D.C. Housing Code standards. The Single Family Rehabilitation Program has two main functions:
  • Assist eligible single family homeowners with essential repair.
  • Provide eligible single family homeowners with handicap accessibility improvements.

DHCD’s Single-family Rehabilitation Program (SFRRP) provides loans and grants with a possible maximum usage of up to $75,000 worth of upgrade home repairs to minimum building property standards. The funds assist households with financing home repairs that will address DC building code violations, and threats to health and safety. The program also assists with roof repairs or replacement (up to $15,000), and installation or retrofitting of accessible plumbing fixtures and handicap accessibility (up to $30,000). 

ARI functions as the program architect for the Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program. ARI performs site and field inspections, completes the scope of work necessary to address code deficiencies, prepares any necessary construction documents and obtains building permits.

For more information on ARI's work with the PADD or SFRRP programs, contact Prof. Clarence Pearson. Photos of some of the amazing transformations follow. 

Project Description: Replace existing rear two story addition. ARI Services Provided: Site inspection, field measurements, code and zoning analysis, construction documents and permitting. (Below)

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