One of the most important community benefits coming from the development of the SW Waterfront – The Wharf – is a substantial amount of new affordable rental housing. As part of its Land Disposition Agreement with the District of Columbia, Hoffman-Madison Waterfront (HMW) agreed to provide 160,000 square feet of affordable housing for households earning 30% and 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) – half of the affordable housing for each income tier.  For 2012, the AMI for a family of four is $107,508, a number updated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on an annual basis (see chart below).

Eligible Incomes for Affordable Rental Housing at The Wharf – 2012 Data
  30% AMI 60% AMI
Family of 4 $32,252 $64,505
Family of 3 $29,027 $58,054
Family of 2 $25,802 $51,604
Family of 1 $22,577 $45,153

The rents will be set at a level to assure that the tenants pay no more than 30% of the income level for their particular AMI (30% or 60%) for housing costs.

In Phase 1 of the development, which is expected to break ground in the first quarter of 2013 for delivery in 2016, HMW will build three residential rental buildings that will include over 96,000 square feet of affordable rental housing.  In addition to the affordable units, the rental buildings will also include workforce and market rate units. The below chart shows the rental housing mix in Phase 1; the unit mix may change slightly but the total square footage for the affordable units will be no less than 96,000 gross square feet:

Parcel 2A

Parcel 2B

Parcel 4A

30% AMI




60% AMI




Total Affordable Units












The Community Benefits Coordinating Council and other Southwest organizations and residents have asked Hoffman-Madison Waterfront to give preferences to ANC6D residents.  Hoffman-Madison Waterfront has committed to doing so, to the extent permissible by law, and the CBCC will work out with them, starting in the fall after the PUD Stage 2 for Phase 1 is completed, how such preferences might work.

Those who would like to start planning for life in the new rental housing coming to The Wharf, are encouraged to contact Ruth Hamilton, CBCC,, or Elinor Bacon, HMW, who is leading the affordable housing program for The Wharf:, to get the most up-to-date information. Interested parties can also sign up on the HMW website,, to express your interest in such housing to the developer directly and find additional details on the project.  All the documents presented to the Zoning Commission, as well as other information related to the development, are posted there.

The CBCC is among the community groups that are active participants in The Wharf Development Advisory Group and its Community Benefits Committee and wants to hear from people interested in affordable or workforce homeownership opportunities, though the for sale affordable/workforce units won’t be constructed until Phase 2.

–By Ruth Hamilton, chair of the Near SE/SW Community Benefits Coordinating Council (CBCC)

3 thoughts on “Affordable Rental Housing at The Wharf Phase 1”

  1. i am looking for affordable housing or low income house help i an in a wheelchair and i get 971.oo per month help

  2. I am interested and I would like to start planning for affordable housing at the Wharf.

  3. I am retired, 83, a part-time freelance writer with limited income. I would like additional info on the wharf project affordable housing that sounds so promising.

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