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Affordable Green Housing Community Opens In Southeast D.C.

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By Elliott Francis

In the District, a coalition of developers, community activists and financial institutions are partnering to create the regions first affordable, green housing.

Wheeler Terrace, located in D.C.'s in Ward 8, was one of the city's most notorious crime hotspots.

Galinda Joyner has lived here for 17 years.

"We lived in buildings that were run down. Every year you had about eight kids getting shot--maybe three, or four of em' died," says Joyner.

Two years ago, a group led by the Community Preservation Development Corporation stepped in with a plan to clean up the neighborhood, and renovate the 116 unit complex. The idea was to retain Section 8 affordability, and create healthy living spaces for residents living in apartments as environmentally hazardous as the crime which threatened the area.

David Bowers is vice president of Enterprise Community Partners.

"Low income residents and people of color are disproportionately impacted with asthma and other respiratory ailments. Building to these standards will reduce the amount of time children will spend in emergency rooms, and increase their number of symptom free days," says Bowers.

Developers expect to obtain LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

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