Sheridan Station: A Work in Progress

Posted by Green Jobs - On January 28, 2010 (EST)

This is a blog written by Kerry L. Smyser, Redevelopment Project Manager for DCHA, Office of Planning & Development.

In March 2008 the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) was notified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that its application for a HOPE VI grant to revitalize the former public housing site, Sheridan Terrace (renamed Sheridan Station), located in Washington DC’s Ward 8 community, was  accepted.

At the time of its application, DCHA stated the project would meet all of the Enterprise Green Community standards and would seek, if feasible, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. DCHA also committed to construct 344 units of which 229 will be affordable (rental and homeownership).  As the project began seeking financing commitments, the credit market changed drastically and cast doubt on our ability to complete the project as originally intended – an energy efficient and green housing community.  It was at this time that HUD announced a competitive process for constructing energy efficient and green sustainable projects.  DCHA was confident that Sheridan Station was such a project and submitted an application.  In September 2009 HUD awarded a $5.8 million grant for Sheridan Station Phase I (104 unit multi-family building and 10 single-family rental units).

DCHA is working with the community to establish a Community Benefits and Labor Agreement.  The goal of all parties involved is to secure careers in construction, not just a job on this project, for former residents of Sheridan Terrace as well as residents of Ward 8.  Currently, DCHA is working with the Brick & Allied Crafts Local Union 1 to provide weatherization and green training at their international training center in Bowie, MD.

Through its Community and Supportive Services Program (CSSP) provider, Wheeler Creek, DCHA works closely with the District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES).  The DOES provides job training, resume building and placement services for residents.  DCHA is committed to providing 75 Section 3 positions in the HOPE VI application and expects to meet the goal. 

Under the current system for hiring District residents at Sheridan Station, the developer notifies DCHA and Wheeler Creek a position is available.  Wheeler Creek then contacts qualified former residents of Sheridan Station, (those qualified by previous job experience or training); if there are no qualified former residents then Wheeler Creek will look for qualified applicants in other HOPE VI projects.  If Wheeler Creek can not find a qualified applicant, DCHA will then look through its pool of qualified residents and make a referral; if no referral is made from the DCHA pool the sub-contractor can then reach out to DOES.

Phase I of Sheridan Station is scheduled to break ground in April 2010.  It is expected that all positions required by sub-contractors will be identified by the end of February 2010 and we can then begin to work with Wheeler Creek and the community to hire former residents and residents of Ward 8 to work on the project.  

In subsequent blogs, we will hear from staff at the District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) and receive periodic updates on the efforts to “green” Sheridan Station and the interaction between the housing authority and employment services as they work together to recruit, train and place residents in good, sustainable jobs.

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Modified On : January 28, 2010
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