On the first night she spent in her new apartment, no feeling of uneasiness came to Tieawana Barber.

"You know when you first move in, you feel kind of funny, you don't sleep well?" she said.

But at Eden House Apartments, an eight-story, 51-unit building in Northwest Washington, Barber has slept well since the very first night. Perhaps that makes sense: She had just left a tiny one-bedroom apartment on 13th Street and was moving to a bigger and better place for her and her family. "I knew this was the place I wanted to be," she said.

Eden House Apartments offers affordable units conveniently located in downtown Washington, near grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants and plenty of public transportation. Several units are designed for people with disabilities, offering larger halls and bathrooms and easier access. Several Victorian-style row houses that adjoin the main apartment building also were converted into Eden House apartments and have attractive old-style features such as bay windows, high ceilings and independent entrances with stoops facing N Street NW.

Eden House's units are also ample. The den in Barber's apartment is big enough to serve as a bedroom for Barber's 14-year-old son, Antonio, accommodating his bed, a desk and an entertainment center for the boy's TV set and video games.

And the Barbers take advantage of yet one more convenience of Eden House: Two-year-old Taylor, Barber's granddaughter, attends the day-care center next to the building. With space for 52 children, the day-care facility reserves 25 slots for Eden House children, said Craig Channell, director of operations for the William C. Smith Co.

To live in Eden House, a single person applying for a one-bedroom apartment must make from $29,000 to $33,060 a year. Two people in a two-bedroom must make from $37,000 to $37,800; a family of three in a two-bedroom can make $42,480.

William C. Smith, a real estate investment trust based in the District, has managed Eden House since March. The three-year-old building will undergo minor improvements, such as carpet cleaning and painting, within the next couple of months, Channell said.

The fact that Eden House was a new building caught the attention of Dennis McBride, one of the first residents in early 1997. McBride moved from an apartment on Massachusetts Avenue and 13th Street NW to avoid a rent increase of about 20 percent, but now his favorite aspect of Eden House is the view. From his balcony on the eighth floor, he can see much of downtown Washington. The splendid sight of the Washington Monument, also available from the roof deck, is especially prized on the Fourth of July for the prime view of the fireworks.

Location was the biggest draw for Amy Judge, who moved to her two-bedroom unit less than two months ago when she and her roommate graduated from American University. "We really wanted to live in the city, and neither of us had a car," Judge said.

She likes the fact that the neighborhood has character: There always are people around, and places stay open late. Moreover, the building is within walking distance of her haunts in Adams-Morgan and Dupont Circle.

But for resident manager Sheila Glenn, who has lived at Eden House since the building opened, location and affordable prices aren't all that go into the property's success. As someone who has helped residents beyond business hours and beyond her job description, Glenn said Eden House is above all a family-oriented building "where everybody cares."

Juanita Hart, also one of Eden House's first tenants, found out the truth of Glenn's statement in November, when her husband, Chester, died. The family had just come back from the service when a neighbor knocked on the door. There was a table in the multipurpose room "filled with everything you could think of," Hart said, prepared by three neighbors who had been cooking all night. "That was beautiful," Hart recalled. "And I didn't even know half of the people's names."

In fact, no one has to go far to see examples of community at Eden House. The building is part of a larger social initiative, N Street Village, founded almost 20 years ago by Luther Place Memorial Church, the Lutheran church across the street.

And next door to Eden House is Bethany Women's Center, also part of the N Street Village initiative, which offers programs and meals for homeless women. It's where Tieawana Barber, trying to give back to her community, has volunteered twice a week since she first moved to Eden House--and since she found she could sleep in peace.


1301 14th St. NW

Washington, D.C. 20005


* Application fee: $25 each applicant

* Security deposit: From $300 up to one month's rent, refundable

* Lease term: One year

* Utilities: Water and sewer included

* Amenities: 24-hour maintenance service; on-site day-care center; multipurpose room; roof deck

* Parking: Limited free indoor parking

* Pet policy: No pets allowed


1BR/1BA 9 608 to 895 $685 to $713

2 BR/1BA 31 836 to 1,053 $907

2 BR/1 BA/DEN 2 1,200 $907

3BR/2BA 9 1,073 to 1,299 $996 to $1,040