Pledging “new hope and a fresh start for veterans in Washington, D.C.,” U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro took part in the groundbreaking this morning for the District’s first permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans, a day before Veterans Day.
The John and Jill Ker Conway Residence at 1005 North Capitol St. NE is expected to be completed in December 2015, in time to help meet the city and federal pledges to end veteran homelessness by the end of next year. The distinctive design from Sorg Architects will feature four multi-story blocks stacked at oblique angles, comprising 14 floors. The building’s 124 apartments will include 60 units of permanent supportive housing for veterans; the remainder will be restricted to low-income tenants, with 17 reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of area median income.
In a city in which the symbolism of being mere blocks from the Capitol is never lost, the symbolism of being mere blocks from the Capitol was not lost on this morning’s speakers, either. Laura Zeilinger, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, invoked last week’s elections for new representatives to serve in the Capitol, visible down North Capitol Street, to argue that while Democrats and Republicans might disagree on many things these days, “ensuring that veterans have a safe and stable place to call home is not one of them.”