Councilmember Pinto statement on the purchase of 1129 New Hampshire Ave NW for use as non-congregate bridge housing

Posted by
Z. Ades
July 6, 2023


Contact: Zoe Ades, Communications Director


Councilmember Brooke Pinto issued the following statement on DC government purchasing 1129 New Hampshire Ave NW for use as a non-congregate bridge housing location:  

“Today I withdrew my resolution delaying the approval of the Executive’s contract purchasing 1129 New Hampshire Ave NW. I was disappointed that a contract was submitted before community engagement was completed and moved this resolution to ensure community engagement could go forward appropriately before the Council took action on the resolution. I believe community engagement has to be full and robust.

Following the two community meetings ANC 2A held on the matter, ANC 2A passed a resolution in support of the project with additional requests for protections and information. I have heard from hundreds of residents, service providers, businesses, and interested stakeholders about this proposed project in the last several weeks, including many concerns about how the initially proposed site would run.

Having allowed time for thorough community input and in response to feedback from the community – both concerns and support – I believe the best path forward is for this project to proceed with key conditions included to ensure a more successful outcome. I continue to believe that the best model to help move individuals experiencing homeless into stable, dignified housing is through a bridge housing model of non-congregate settings.  

To ameliorate concerns, I worked with the Department of Human Services (DHS) to secure commitments to a number of conditions that I believe are vital to the success of this project. Pursuant to my requests on behalf of the community, I am pleased to share that DHS has committed to certain conditions for this site, including the following.  

  1. Security: Provide security inside the building 24/7/365 and security outside of the building subject to District law. Enforce a drug free policy.
  1. Capacity: Not use the site as a low-barrier shelter. All residents must be required to, and committed to, engage in case management and focus on stabilized longer-term housing. Limit initial capacity to 50 residents to ensure the successful implementation of the project and provision of services before potentially scaling up with additional community buy-in.
  1. Support Staff: Employ necessary case managers and service provides to be available on site seven days a week to deliver support services and mental health care to residents.  
  1. Changes in Use: Present any proposals for changes of the space to the ANC and Community Advisory Team prior to implementation.  
  1. Community Engagement: Establish a Community Advisory Team to ensure community engagement is an on-going process. The Community Advisory Team will consist of community, ANC, and Council representatives, as well as representatives of homeless services stakeholders and the Executive branch. The group will meet monthly before the site opens and afterwards to ensure consistent responsiveness and collaboration among stakeholders.  

With these conditions in place and commitment by the Executive for good faith continued negotiations and partnership with me and the community, I look forward to the successful implementation of this new bridge housing model. I will continue monitoring this project closely to ensure conditions are met and community engagement is solicited, heard, and addressed. Let’s demonstrate how we can come together as a community to get this right.”

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