In partnership with tenant associations and its development partners, Somerset Development Company has redeveloped and preserved the affordability of seven properties in the District of Columbia, four in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, two in Ward 4, and one in Southeast Washington, DC. We are also developing a senior affordable complex in Baltimore, MD.
As part of the renovation program, Somerset has built community centers equipped with computer labs, playgrounds, and space for community activities. Somerset’s goal is to bring community service programming onto each property to address the social, cultural, and educational needs of the residents and to empower residents in the decision-making process. To that end, Somerset has partnered with tenant associations and resident councils, assisted in the creation of non-profit organizations for fund-raising, and established Tenant Service Funds to ensure the provision of on-going tenant services. Resident services programs have been an essential ingredient in stabilizing our properties and making them great places to live. By focusing on improving academic achievement for youth, by providing job skills for those capable of entering the job market, by improving the quality of life for those who are retired or disabled, and by providing social service referrals to those in need. We have made enormous gains in reaching our goals:
To create a healthier and more sustainable community
To empower residents by involving them in the decision making
To encourage successful tenancies
To create a platform of opportunity and stability in their community
To improve building operations
Somerset has partnered with Transitional Housing Corporation (THC) and its affiliate THC Affordable Housing to provide 34 units of permanent supportive housing at Webster Gardens and Fort View for formerly homeless families who had successfully graduated from transitional housing programs. THC provides a rich program of services to all residents to assure successful tenancies. Webster Gardens and Fort View Apartments were re-developed as workforce housing with a total of 114 units and the incorporation of permanent supportive housing there represents an important precedent for the success of permanent support housing.
Somerset Development is a founding member of the Resident Services Working Group under CNHED. The working group is made up of affordable housing developers and community-based organizations providing resident services at on-site community centers to low income families living in affordable housing. The Resident Services Working Group provides support and information sharing, training, and a platform for research, advocacy, and outcomes management and evaluation.
Somerset has built strong partnership with other like-minded developers, nonprofits, and service-providing agencies in order to create a robust set of programming for residents living on our properties. Our partnerships include:
Capital Area Food Bank
DC Central Kitchen (DCCK)
Dance Institute of Washington (DIW)
DC Public Schools
Children’s National Medical Center
Byte Back Inc.
Fresh Farm Markets
The Financial Literacy Foundation
DC Public Libraries
Latin American Youth Center (LAYC)
UDC/CCDC Workforce Development
Transitional Housing Corporation, Inc.
National Housing Trust/Enterprises
Housing Counseling Services (HCS)
We Are Family
At our properties we seek to educate and empower the community through the following programs: