One Home at a Time Affordable Housing Model
One of our strategies for disrupting gentrification and providing affordable housing is inspired by the work of two United Methodist Churches in DC. Inspired by the development of the “Gerard House” model by David and Barbara Kennedy, with the support of Capitol Hill UMC, and the work of McKendree-Simms-Brookland UMC which has acquired and housed families in three separate properties, we seek to purchase good quality, reasonably priced houses and pay for the mortgage and maintenance through housing families with Section 8 vouchers.
Permanent supportive housing families qualify for housing vouchers which pay market rate rents. The role of vouchers to pay market rate rents is a critically important component of our initial strategy. There may be additional houses purchased for other missional initiatives – such as intentional living communities, or units made available to the working poor who do not qualify for vouchers, etc. – that pay rent at same rate as vouchers would, but without using vouchers.
Such families are also qualified to receive supportive services provided by the D.C. government—such as case management, employment and health services, child care support, and other services. Furthermore, local churches and InspireDC offer additional support for the families living in AHC housing.
As the Affordable Housing Coalition grows, we are able to expand this model to include multi-unit buildings.