1607 NJ Tagged by DCRA

1607 NJ DCRA
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

Well I’d like to thank Emil for spotting this on the rear of 1607 NJ Ave, NW, the house that may come crumbling down at any moment.
I’m a bit torn about this. I sort of feel badly because the family members have to deal with the death of a father and now this. But on the other hand, that alley isn’t that wide and even if this thing winds up crashing in the middle of the night it probably will take out the neighboring house, crush the fence across the alley and maybe send brick through the window of houses across the alley. Worse case scenario is that parts may come down on a kid running by.
What got me was the senior tax deduction for real estate, and normally I kind of like to wait several years after the person has died before complaining about it, but this house is a danger.
The best thing for everyone is for the family to get this through probate and sell it to some developer, who hopefully might fix this mess before it hurts someone.

Where would you put Grandma

I haven’t seen if the BACA blog put anything up about last night’s meeting but there was some lively discussion about Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church’s proposal that they are planning to bring before the Council about putting affordable senior housing in the MM Washington School building. And off topic but before I forget supposedly traffic is gonna be crazy around here next week.
OK, back on topic. Some things. MM Washington is not occupied and the church is somewhere in the Mount Vernon Sq. part of the neighborhood, which is why most of us have never heard of the church. Apparently it’s been there for 20 years. According to some historical record the building was previously an Italian Baptist Church. There were other representatives for the project who stated that their previous projects included Golden Rule Plaza, the one for old folks.
The negative voices at the gathering wondered about security, the homeless, and live in relatives. The developers mentioned there was a waiting list despite mentions from the assembly that they wouldn’t want to put their grandparents/parents in the facility. There were also questions about space and activities shared with the community. The peanut gallery seemed to want the developers to say that they would keep the homeless or actively discriminate against the S.O.M.E. homeless when the facility opened up the activity room for shared events. They can’t discriminate any more than anyone else who opens up an event for the public.
The developers mentioned different events or activities they hoped to have for residents. They made some mistakes in stating that there was a grocery store and pharmacy in walking distance. NY Ave is a road of death and that Safeway really isn’t in ‘safe’ walking distance. Oh, and the heroin corner is not a pharmacy. Also they mentioned that the residents would determine what activities they’d have for the activity room, so it may wind up being closed off and turned into an old folk gym.
Giovanni asked about end of life as the project is an independent living facility. Someone (I took no notes this is all in my head) asked about ‘grandchildren’ and other relatives that may want to live there with granny. Then there was the issue of parking. Apparently the SOME and mental health employees are competing with residents for parking.
Well if there is a waiting list I guess it doesn’t matter if I or you wouldn’t want your Nanna over there. It isn’t Riderwood* or South Florida (the retirement village of America). It does matter if it would be a good fit for the development of North Capitol and the residents of the Hanover section of the TC.

* This weekend I met a retired couple who live at Riderwood in Silver Spring and they just raved about it (good food, lots of clubs, and interesting residents) and made us almost want to sign up.

Death, taxes and a building that’s gonna fall

Originally uploaded by In Shaw

This is the alley side of 1607 New Jersey Avenue, NW. I’ve been told by one citizen living on this block that he’s fearful when walking by this building because it looks like it is going to topple over at any moment. It’s got missing bricks at the base on the alley. It bows out. Its got some pretty wicked looking cracks and I think that upper window is broken.
Well I took a look on the property tax database and 1607 is owned by Arvid W Broadus who is receiving the Senior Citizen Homestead Deduction. Mr. Broadus is dead. According to the Social Security Death Index he died last year 16 Jan 2009 (born 30 Sep 1919) and unfortunately he didn’t make it to his 90 birthday. Unfortunately for us, and anyone walking by this structure, it hasn’t turned over to the living.

ADDITION- Apparently people still read this blog, even journalists. It appears Channel 7 did a story on this house.

Do it for the old people

I swear there are certain promises and proposals that get hoisted up the flagpole that supposedly wave you through, “affordable housing”, “senior housing”, youth something or other. I gather you propose these things and certain rules no longer apply to you and thus you get away with all sorts of foolishness. Yesterday I wandered by a site that, according to the historic papers I had been going through (1985-1999), should have had housing and job training. That site has none of those things in 2008. I’ll have to look to find out what the heck happened or why things didn’t happen.
According to our friends in Mt. Vernon Square, someone is suggesting a boatload of foolishness under the flag of elderly housing. There are requests for zoning variances for 1238 and 1242 New Jersey Avenue. According to Si’s letter (seen here) the owner is suggesting that he going to building housing for the elderly, despite making the previous elderly tenant run for her life when 1242’s structure failed and collapsed. Take a read of Si’s letter, she’s a bit more clearer about this than I.

Addition: If you are here from the DC Blogs link a list of candidates is found in my comment here.

When Historic Districts Attack- Fair Housing

From the tissue strewn couch of InShaw:
I’m a bit ill this week so not much commentary on this, except to say this is an update on a Marc Fisher article I blogged about before. Mr. Fisher updates us, saying others have gotten involved with the elderly couple, such as HUD and some pro-bono lawyers, after reading his first article. So give “Human Dignity Also Needs to Be Preserved” a read.

When Historic Preservation Attacks!: Old people

As reported in the Washington Post.
On one side elderly people, aged 88 & 86.
On the other Historic District, age 19 years protecting house aged 74.
Does medicare cover preservation approved accessiblity options? And doesn’t the Americans with Disabilities Act trump historic preservation? As I understand it, residential buildings do not have to comply with ADA but what if the owners want it to be ADA accessible, can it trump historic preservation?