Washington, D.C. Winter 2019: Affordable Housing Preservation Fund | Equitable Development Initiative | Entrepreneurs of Color | Meet Our Team

This year, we have deepened our commitment to our D.C. communities to support their efforts to build power and achieve equity and prosperity. As we end this year and look to create even greater impact in the coming year, our efforts remain focused on improving housing, community development, and entrepreneurship for District and area residents so that everyone, no matter where they live, can succeed.

Working with District Residents to Preserve Affordable Housing

In the face of dwindling affordable housing options, working with community members across Washington, D.C. to preserve affordable housing is augmenting the power of our neighbors while expanding opportunities for building wealth. As a D.C. Affordable Housing Preservation Fund (AHPF) manager for the mayor, we have helped District residents maintain the housing that they have often lived in for years.

A unique aspect of the Fund is its use of the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). The Act gives residents of for-sale, multifamily, residential properties the right of first refusal to buy their properties, allowing them to work with mission-driven developers to purchase their buildings. This helps keep rents affordable and prevents residents from being displaced in the face of rapid gentrification in mixed-income neighborhoods.

A great example of this is 1101 Euclid. The building was originally constructed in the 1900s; over the past several years, the neighborhood has experienced a rapid loss of affordable housing, and the building has fallen into disrepair. Through our AHPF, Capital Impact provided a $3.2 million loan, helping the tenants work with black-owned developer Banneker Ventures to acquire their building and make critical repairs while maintaining affordability for up to 78 residents.

Another is a building on Champlain St. in Adams Morgan in Ward 1, which has provided extremely low-rent housing to individuals and families for years. The neighborhood has experienced considerable gentrification and increased home prices, putting this vital resource at risk. When the building came up for sale, Capital Impact provided a $6.5 million loan and worked with MED Developers to acquire the building so that tenants who want to remain in their homes and community can do so. Without that affordability, these community members would not be able to afford to stay. The loan will allow the developer to make critical repairs to the building while maintaining deep affordability of the building rents.

Located in Congress Heights, Worthington Woods is preserving 394 units of affordable housing for more than 900 renters. It is also near shops, groceries, and three bus lines. The Worthington Woods Tenant Association assigned their TOPA rights to the Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP) in exchange for a commitment to preserve the property as affordable, make improvements, and avoid tenant displacement. Capital Impact provided MHP with a $6.1 million loan as part of a $40 million New Markets Tax Credit transaction to purchase the property.

► Learn More about Our Affordable Housing Financing in D.C.

Expanding Opportunity for Real Estate Developers of Color in the Washington Metro Area

Exciting news! We recently launched the first cohort of our Equitable Development Initiative (EDI) in the Washington Metropolitan area. Modeled after our successful program launched in Detroit in 2017, EDI helps local minority real estate developerswho represent the region’s diversitytake a leadership role in shaping the development landscape within the local context. As with EDI-Detroit, we recognized that developers of color in the D.C. area have fewer opportunities to participate in the region’s booming real estate market. Through the two-year program, 35 participants will receive broad-based training, including project budgeting, real estate finance, project and contractor management, legal services, and community engagement.

► Find Out More about Our Mentorship Program

► Meet Some of Our EDI-Detroit Participants

A New Fund for Entrepreneurs of Color in the DMV

Alongside supporting real estate developers of color, we joined JPMorgan Chase to announce the expansion of the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund (EOCF) in the Washington, D.C. area. The Fund will support local minority entrepreneurs from northern Virginia to Baltimore to drive minority business growth through access to capital and technical assistance. With Capital Impact working as fund manager, the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif), and the Harbor Bank of Maryland will provide low-cost capital with business advisory services, including networking support and business coaching to minority small business owners in the region.

JPMorgan Chase is seeding the loan fund with a commitment of $3.65 million, alongside a $2 million commitment from Capital Impact Partners and a $1 million investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, for a total of $6.65 million. This effort builds on existing Entrepreneurs of Color Funds in Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, and the South Bronx.

► Visit the EOCF Website

Meet Our Local Team

Seth Whetzel, Business Development Officer, DMV & NYC

Seth joined Capital Impact Partners in September 2019 to support Capital Impact’s lending activities in its core East Coast markets (D.C. and New York City metro regions). Prior to joining Capital Impact Partners, Seth spent more than three years with Building Hope, a CDFI focused on charter public school facility financing and real estate development nationwide. There, Seth served as Senior Underwriter and NYC Market Manager. Prior to that, Seth was the Director of New School Growth for Seton Education Partners’ Brilla Public Charter Schools. Seth holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame as well as an MBA from George Mason University.

Did you know?

Seth is a five-time marathon finisher, although his mileage has dropped considerably since becoming a father of three!

Favorite things to see and do in the DMV?

Anything outdoors! I love hiking with my wife, kids, and dog – whether that be in Shenandoah National Park, the Billy Goat Trail along the Potomac River, or any of the number of trails in Fairfax County. As a former American History teacher, I never tire of D.C.’s museums and monuments; as a baseball fan, I’m always up for catching an O’s or Nats game; and as a native Marylander, the Eastern Shore and Ocean City hold a special place in my heart.

Kayla Baker, D.C. Initiatives Manager

Kayla Baker joined Capital Impact Partners in August 2019 and manages all programmatic initiatives within the Washington, D.C. area. Prior to joining Capital Impact Partners, Kayla spent eight years in the asset building industry. She started her career as a portfolio manager, supervising and trading more than $3 billion in client assets. Kayla then transitioned to Executive Strategist at Hope Enterprise Corporation, which is focused on providing financial products and services to economically distressed and traditionally marginalized communities. Following her time at Hope, Kayla worked at George Mason University, supporting skills-based career pathways for nontraditional college students. Kayla holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College and a Master of Business Administration from Cornell University. In her spare time, Kayla enjoys reading, traveling, biking, and mentoring.

Did you know?

Kayla loves to play games and wants to challenge you to play Two Truths and a Lie. Here’s one:

  • Kayla used to work with the circus.
  • Kayla was a used car saleswoman.
  • Kayla has a polar bear miniatures collection.

Favorite things to see and do in the DMV?

Hanging out with her partner, Molly. Trying new (and old) restaurants and bars. Visiting libraries. Jumping in her ride and exploring all parts of the DMV. Going to concerts, festivals, plays, museums, and walking tours. (P.S. The answer to Kayla’s trivia question is…she never worked in the circus!)