D.C. Mayor Marion Barry and housing director Robert L. Moore yesterday announced approval of the sale of 65 housing units by developer H.R. Crawford to the District of Columbia Development Corp., but with major changes from the original proposal.
Under the plan approved by Barry and Moore, the 33 single-family homes included in the project will be sold to moderate-income families. Under the original plan, all 65 units were to be rented to families who received federal rent subsidies.
Also under the original plan, Edgewood Management Corp., the company Crawford serves as an executive officer, was tentatively designated as the manager of the projec, meaning that it could have received more than $1,700 a month in fees. But Moore said yesterday that Edgewood would not manage the 32 rental apartments. The D.C. Development Corp. will manage the properties itself, he said.
The sale of the homes from Crawford to the development corporation, a nonprofit entity that acts as a sort of "extended arm" of the city government in rehabilitating houses, was delayed in late January by Moore after published reports about the sale and prospective profit for Crawford.
Last year, Crawford and former D.C. Mayor Walter Washington made the much-publicized announcement that Crawford had bought the dilapidated homes and was going to receive a $1.2 million, low-interest loan from the city to fix them up, and federal rent subsidies so they coudl be rented to the poor.
The announcement hailed as a unique partnership joining the public and private sectors, was made just before Crawford ran unsuccessfully for an at-large City Council seat.
But Crawford, a former federal assistant housing secretary, decided to sell the homes for $1.4 million to the D.C. corporation after he encountered problems trying to complete the project. Real estate records show he paid just under $1 million for the properties, most of which are located in Shaw.
Crawford told a reporter in January that by selling the homes to the development corporation, he could make $150,000 on the sale, but he declined to provide details about his expenses.
After reports about the sale surfaced, however, Mayor Barry asked Moore to investigate before granting the city's approval. Under the sale, the development corporation was supposed to receive both the federal rent subsidies and the rehabilitation loan from the city and was allocated to Crawford last year.
Moore said yesterday that Crawford provided certified documents showing that he paid $985,500 for the 41 buildings, and that his expenses totaled $307,136.76. Moore said Crawford's profit on the sale is $107,363.24, or an average of about $1,650 a unit. Crawford held onto the homes an average of 16.4 months, he said.
"We think that is a reasonable profit in today's market," Moore said. He added that D.C. Development Corp. president Joseph Jackson has indicated his support for the changed project. Jackson and Crawford could not be reached for comment yesteday.
Under the plan approved by Moore and Barry, 33 of the 65 housing units will be sold for $42,000 each, with priority given 10 families displaced by public action, Moore said. Each family will receive loans of up to $11,000 in down payment assistance.
If any family sells the home within 10 yearts, it will be required to pay back to the city 80 percent of the diffierence between the purchase price and the selling price, Moore said. "It's to keep people from speculating," he explained. The other 32 housing units will be rented, as originally planned.