I wrote about last month, may have been the cause of leakage inside, which damaged some of the tenants' belongings. Neighborhood chatter mentioned something about mold, I can't confirm that, but it would make sense considering the building's history and owner Gemma Belton's continuous lack of decent maintenance.
If the residents wanted to stay and fight, they would have had the law behind them. DC has some very tenant friendly laws, and a quick check of DCRA's PIVS fails to show occupancy records or BBL records, which make me wonder if this house is a legal rental. If the house is not a legal rental because it lacked the right permits, they could have stayed and maybe used the rent money on repairs instead of paying an unresponsive landlady. The Office of the Tenant Advocate is supposed to help, but I gather moving was a better option than fighting Gemma.
I really wish one of two things would happen. I wish she'd hand over to operations to a professional property management company or if she is already using one (I doubt), maybe a management service that actually provides the tenant some service. The other option would be to sell it. This is an awesome block with some really wonderful neighbors and the location is great. The house is a gut job and if a buyer does a half decent renovation, 1628 could be a lovely home for someone.