Before he died in 2009, Abe Pollin had one last real estate venture he was eager to see through to the end — the Linda Joy and Kenneth Jay Pollin Memorial Community Development, a mixed-income, nonprofit apartment and townhouse complex in Ward 7 of Northeast Washington.
Now three years after his death, Pollin’s affordable housing development named after two of his children who died in childhood is nearing completion. Metrotowns at Parkside features 83 three-bedroom townhouses that can be purchased for as little as a $500 down payment. Prices start in the mid-$200,000.
The properties, 15 of which are already under contract, are income-restricted and available to buyers earning 40 to 100 percent of the area median income. A single person can’t earn more than $75,000 annually; families, depending on their size, can earn slightly more.
Tawnya Brown, sales manager at Metrotowns, has made a special effort to target specific groups of potential buyers in the District — police officers, firefighters, teachers and health care workers.
“I’m looking for everybody who works for D.C. [government],” Tawnya Brown said. “That’s the main part of it, to make sure D.C. employees get the opportunity and chance to purchase.”
For those potential buyers who aren’t sure they can afford a home, Brown says that Metrotowns has two dedicated lenders who will work with them on their financing.
“There’s a lot of money for D.C. employees that they don’t even know about,” she said.
In addition to the many D.C. programs — Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), Employer Assisted Housing Program (EAHP) and Negotiated Employee Affordable Home Purchase Program (NEAHP) — available to government workers, Metrotowns has its own grant program. Depending on family size and income, some grants can be as much as $190,000, and do not have to be repaid if the buyer remains in the home for 10 years.
Although a special effort has been made to attract D.C. government employees, anyone can purchase the homes, as long as they meet the income requirements.
The units have a variety of floor plans; they all have Energy Star appliances and windows, granite countertops and hardwood floors. Some are brick, while others have cement siding. Four of the units are being made handicapped accessible with elevators. The first residents are expected to move in later this year.
Pollin, who made his fortune in real estate, was concerned about the lack of affordable housing in the city. Even in his final days, it was uppermost on his mind.
“I’ve had people come into the sales office crying,” said Brown, “saying ‘Oh, Abe is still doing it. He was so great to the community.’ ”
To learn more about Metrotowns at Parkside, call 202-695-7232 or go to the Web site, www.MetrotownsDC.com. The sales office is at 810 Barnes St. NE.