Perspectives

Wah Luck House Preserves Affordable Housing in DC

Bob SimpsonIn the heart of Washington, DC's Chinatown stands one of the last affordable housing properties in the neighborhood: The Wah Luck House. This 10-story, 153-unit building was built in 1982 and is home to many residents who emigrated from China. The units are offered to those who earn up to 60 percent of area median income.

Over the past few decades, many buildings in Chinatown have been purchased by developers and turned into market-rate units. The future of Wah Luck was unclear for a number of years. However, in 2014, the residents united to acquire the building under the DC Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, and in 2017 they partnered with the National Foundation for Affordable Housing Solutions to purchase the building. Fannie Mae® and Greystone provided $50 million of low-cost financing to keep Wah Luck House affordable.

In addition to being preserved as affordable housing, Wah Luck House is also undergoing a $9.5 million renovation project, including:

  • A doctor's clinic and a business center that will serve seniors who live in the building
  • A new roof
  • Updates to the lobby area
  • Updates to kitchens and bathrooms in the units 

Bringing hope and opportunity to hundreds of seniors is a team effort at Fannie Mae, and it's rewarding to see how this collaboration is making a positive impact on the residents of Wah Luck House. This story highlights our partnership with one of our Delegated Underwriting and Servicing (DUS®) lender partners, Greystone. Click here to watch a video that details our work with Wah Luck House.

Fulfilling our mission to support affordable housing is about providing more than just a place to eat and sleep for the people who live in the buildings we finance. Wah Luck House is a great example of our mission in action, and of our commitment to financing affordable housing sustainably now and for the long term.

Bob Simpson
Multifamily Vice President
Affordable and Green Financing

May 31, 2018