Meeting to Discuss Potential Half Street Community Land Trust

Community Discusses Desires for Site at 1101 Half St. SW

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1101 Half St. SW is currently the site of DC FEMS Engine Co. 7. Image: Google Street View

There is currently an effort in Southwest to have the DC Fire Emergency Services (DCFEMS) property at 1101 Half St. SW designated as part of the Douglas Community Land Trust. Advocates say this would give the community more control over the future use of that District parcel.

Westminster United Presbyterian Church (400 I St. SW) is hosting a hybrid (in person and on zoom) forum on Thursday night August 12 at 7 p.m. to hear from the leadership of the Douglas Community Land Trust.

The Douglass Community Land Trust (Douglass CLT) is a nonprofit membership organization centered around racial and economic equity created to prevent displacement of current and future residents, create community-held assets, and build assets for individuals and families, while making sure that decision-making resides within the community.

A community land trust (CLT) is a nonprofit organization governed by a board of community members, including residents and public representatives, that address the need for affordable spaces while ensuring that the affordable units governed by the land trust will be maintained at an affordable price.

CLTs can develop housing – rental or ownership- and commercial spaces to serve local businesses, nonprofits, or arts and cultural spaces and even agriculture projects. In preserving any of these types of properties, the CLT obtains ownership of the land and separate ownership of the land from the buildings atop the land.

Douglass CLT initiated one District project earlier this year. On June 9, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) John Falcicchio announced a partnership in April with Douglass Community Land Trust (Douglass CLT), a redevelop the former Langston and Slater Schools into Lebanon Village at Langston-Slater (33-45 P St. NW), a 55-unit community of townhouses and apartments. Douglass CLT says there are 219 permanently affordable homes currently in the trust.

In March, 2021, the city issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an architectural and engineering firm firm to provide professional design services for a new Engine Company 7 and DCFEMS Headquarters to be located on the site at 1101-1103 Half Street, SW.

Designating the the property at 1101 Half St. SW for Douglass CLT would require the relocation of that project. The site has also been previously proposed as a possible location for the “build-first” units required as part of the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) Greenleaf Gardens (203 N St. SW) Redevelopment Plan.

You’re invited to offer your views and to hear from the from the leadership of the Douglas Community Land Trust at the forum on Thursday night August 12 at 7 p.m. Attend in person at Westminster (401 I St. SW), or join the Zoom meeting (info below)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85469566091?pwd=eGVXc05zNTBxN2w1V29yRjN2aytRQT09

Meeting ID: 854 6956 6091

Passcode: 142063

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Meeting ID: 854 6956 6091