Tenants at a Glover Park apartment complex went to settlement yesterday on the purchase of their 63-unit project, becoming the latest in a small but growing movement by D.C. apartment dwellers to turn their homes into tenant-operated cooperatives.
"It was an incredible struggle," said Beecher Low-Rise Tenants Association spokesman Sue-Anne Dropkin. "We were just sitting here saying that it is beyond belief that we won."
The complex consists of six buildings located at 41st and Beecher Streets NW. Tenants are purchasing the property for slightly over $1 million, with financing from Perpetual Federal Savings and Loan. The tenants also will get a $760,000 rehabiltiation loan from the city's department of housing and community development, Dropkin said.
She said the rehabilitation fund will be used to do such things as install new kitchens, install water-saving devices and heat pumps, insulate the buildings, and provide repairs to the plumbing and electrical systems.
In addition, federal subsidy assistance will be provided for the occupants of 26 units, Dropkin said.
Yesterday's settlement was seen by tenants as a final, happy solution to the housing problems. Last Dec. 24, they had received notices from their landlord to vacate their apartments. But instead of moving, they began to negotiate to buy their complex.
In a press release, the tenants said they feel "that nonprofit ownership is an alternative to the 'brush fire' situation that has been consuming low-and moderate-cost rental housing in the District."