NHPF & TOPA: A Mutually Advantageous Partnership

Washington, DC is unique among American cities in offering its residents an effective vehicle to gain more control over their housing via TOPA. However, many jurisdictions, under pressure from residents and tenant advocacy organizations, are currently considering laws similar to TOPA in order to combat displacement of longtime residents. With its long and successful history of positive engagement with tenants’ associations under TOPA, The NHP Foundation (NHPF) has the experience and know-how to make TOPA transactions work for residents, developers, and the District. In addition, NHPF’s drive to invest according to the latest standards of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principals makes TOPA transactions in the District an opportunity for both residents and developer. The NHP Foundation’s TOPA Properties NHPF’s involvement with TOPA began in 2015 with the purchase of Parkchester Apartments, a valuable source of affordable housing in Southeast DC. The acquisition and subsequent rehabilitation of Parkchester Apartments was the first of seven properties that NHPF in partnership with various tenants’ associations and invested residents of these communities, has preserved for generations of future District residents. Following the success of Parkchester, two additional properties, Benning Heights Apartments and Woodmont Crossing Apartments, were similarly purchased through TOPA and renovated to residents’ specifications. Currently, NHPF is involved in the renovation of two additional properties purchased through TOPA: Takoma Place Apartments and Anacostia Gardens Apartments. Lastly, NHPF acquired two other valuable affordable housing communities via TOPA, Columbia Heights Village Apartments and Ridgecrest Village Apartments. Initial planning and outreach with the tenants’ associations at these communities has begun in order to determine exactly what rehabilitation and improvements will best benefit residents. In total, 1,301 units have been preserved as affordable housing owing to the unique partnerships created when tenants’ associations exercised their rights and selected NHPF as their trusted developer partner. “TOPA is such a valuable vehicle for both developers and residents who want to retain control over their homes. Affordable, quality rental apartments which may have turned into market-rate, luxury units can instead be preserved for low and middle class residents of the District, who are then actively involved in decisions which improve their quality of life through the rehabilitation process,” says Mansur Abdul- Malik, Vice President, NHPF, and a key figure in several TOPA transactions. To better demonstrate the complexities of how NHPF manages a TOPA transaction, we are narrowing our focus to a single property that best demonstrates the process in a step-by-step approach—from project inception to purchase to rehabilitation—in order to show how these important partnerships benefit all parties involved. Case Study: Woodmont Crossing Woodmont Crossing Apartments, a 176-unit garden-style apartment complex in Southeast Washington, DC, was approaching the end of its initial Low Income Housing Tax Credit (“LIHTC”) compliance period at the beginning of 2017. Woodmont Crossing’s LIHTC status made the community an attractive property for redevelopment, ensuring the preservation of affordable housing in the area. The Woodmont Crossing United Tenants Association asserted their rights under TOPA and began a competitive selection process to determine which developer would best suit the needs of the community. Four initial bids were narrowed down to two, with NHPF eventually selected in May 2017 to become the new owner of the property and to begin a comprehensive renovation. TOPA regulations required the Woodmont Crossing United Tenants Association to post a $1.2 million deposit to preserve their right of first purchase, which NHPF provided as a show of commitment to


Powered by