JBG Smith Launches Initiative to Increase Affordable Workforce Housing in Washington, DC Region

CHEVY CHASE, MD - JBG SMITH Properties, a leading owner and developer of high-quality, mixed-use properties in the Washington, DC market, and the Federal City Council, a non-profit comprising the area’s top business, professional, educational and civic leaders, announced the launch of the Washington Housing Initiative, a transformational market-driven approach to producing affordable housing in the Washington, DC region. The Initiative will preserve or build between 2,000 and 3,000 units of affordable workforce housing in the Washington, DC region over the next decade, delivering significant financial, social and environmental returns to investors, residents and the community.

The Washington Housing Initiative utilizes JBG SMITH’s scale as the largest developer, owner and operator of real estate in the Washington, DC region to leverage market forces and external investment capital to improve housing equity. JBG SMITH believes inclusive communities are key contributors to sustained economic growth and the vibrancy of the DC regional market. Leveraging this Initiative through the JBG SMITH platform will create additional scale and synergies in operations, as well as help strengthen the relationships between JBG SMITH and local jurisdictions throughout the region. We are excited to be at the forefront of such an innovative approach and in turn, deliver affordable and sustainable workforce housing to our region.

The Washington Housing Initiative intends to bring together capital from private and philanthropic sources to preserve or build affordable workforce housing in mixed-income communities. These efforts are aimed at increasing the availability of housing for working families and improving neighborhood services.

Two components comprise The Washington Housing Initiative:

The Washington Housing Conservancy, a new independently managed and governed non-profit created to acquire, develop, own and operate workforce housing in High-Impact Locations. High- Impact Locations are rapidly growing areas that are still affordable today but are expected to become less so over the next 5-10 years.

The Impact Pool, a vehicle managed by JBG SMITH and created to provide capital for the acquisition and development of affordable workforce housing in High-Impact Locations. Capital from the Impact Pool will bridge the gap between traditional mortgage financing and charitable contributions with mezzanine investments that provide sufficient investor returns coupled with long-term affordability and neighborhood services.

The Washington Housing Initiative is an innovative approach in response to the shortage of affordable workforce housing. It is focused on preserving and creating family housing where efforts can sustain affordability and support improvements in schools, services and retail amenities. The Initiative will partner with best-in-class providers to deliver neighborhood services, such as accessible and affordable childcare, ensuring communities are livable for working families. The Washington Housing Initiative will combine JBG SMITH’s capabilities and experience with external capital to invest at scale with speed, certainty, and efficiency. The Initiative expects to source external capital for the purposes of preserving or building between 2,000 and 3,000 units of affordable housing in metro Washington over the next decade.

“JBG SMITH is committed to working in tandem with the community, local businesses and area non-profits to answer the urgent call for increased affordable workforce housing. We look forward to utilizing our expertise, knowledge, and capital relationships to help respond to the critical need for affordable workforce housing in the DC region,” said JBG SMITH CEO, Matt Kelly. “It is our goal to deliver innovative, resident-focused affordable housing for working Washingtonians. This initiative takes advantage of our existing operations and scale to help address a critical need in the community. We are deeply committed to the success of this effort and to helping strengthen communities throughout our region by addressing this urgent and growing housing need.”

“By helping preserve housing affordability in rapidly changing communities, we hope to allow residents to benefit from neighborhood improvements instead of being displaced by them,” said Tony Williams, CEO of the Federal City Council. “Applying the market knowledge and expertise of the private sector to DC’s affordable housing will provide a tool to help those who serve our community, such as first responders, educators and service workers, remain in DC.”

JBG SMITH is also pleased to announce that AJ Jackson has joined our team as Executive Vice President, Social Impact Investments. AJ will lead JBG SMITH’s participation in the Washington Housing Initiative. Prior to joining JBG SMITH, AJ was a partner with EYA, LLC, a Washington, DC area urban infill development company. He led EYA’s participation in more than $1 billion of mixed-income development projects, and he has extensive experience in the creation of programs and policies supporting affordable and workforce housing.

“We are thrilled to have AJ join the JBG SMITH team and bring his extensive experience to the Washington Housing Initiative,” said Matt Kelly. “His background and passion for developing workforce housing solutions will be instrumental in launching and leading a successful program. As a reflection of JBG SMITH’s commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance factors, AJ will be focused exclusively on the Washington Housing Initiative to maximize the benefit of this program for our great city.”