Mission: Since 1973, Jubilee Housing has fulfilled its mission in the Adams Morgan area of Washington, DC of providing safe, affordable rental housing for people with low to very low-incomes. Jubilee Housing is more than “bricks and mortar” it is a context for people who are living in profound poverty to have the opportunity to rebuild their lives. It is a place where the basic human need for a home is met for those whose income levels have excluded them from most other housing options except living in a shelter, which is certainly not home in any life-giving way. The housing offered by Jubilee enables more than 850 individuals and families to maintain a home in a supportive and caring environment. In addition to providing stable, long-term housing, Jubilee Housing also offers services that encourage its resident’s self development, self sufficiency and active participation in all areas of residential, community and civic life. Staff counselors work daily with residents by offering long-term support, crisis intervention, community building and referrals to Jubilee’s sister service agencies.
Geographic areas served: Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV
Programs: The primary focus of Jubilee Housing is to maintain affordable rents for low to very-low income individuals and families living in the Adams Morgan area of the District of Columbia. In contrast to most new affordable housing projects, which target low- to middle-income households between 40-60 percent of Area Median Income, Jubilee Housing holds rent at levels that are affordable for people earning 25 percent of Area Median Income. The majority of its budget is used to maintain rent affordability by offsetting the difference between rental revenue and the total cost of operations. Were rents to be set at a level that would sustain the total cost of operations, it would mean increases of more than 75 percent per household, an action that would be tantamount to displacing the vast majority of households into the suburbs, or worse yet onto the streets.
Resident Programs & Services are also a hallmark of the Jubilee Housing mission. Services include pro-active rent counseling, drop-in case management, a variety of resident empowerment and community organizing initiatives and preferential referral access to a broad network of social services (described in more detail in the Partnership section of the proposal).
In addition to supportive long-term housing, a new transitional living program called the Jubilee Initiative, now offers residents a highly structured path to financial self-sufficiency in three years. Growing out of increased resident interest in home ownership, it employs a financial literacy curriculum to help residents establish a working budget, eliminate debt, and accumulate savings to prepare the way for market level housing options, including home ownership. Currently twenty-one families are participating in this innovative program.
Resident organizing initiatives form in response to concerns that residents raise about various issues facing community life at Jubilee Housing. For instance, in response to public safety issues that have risen at and around the Ritz building, residents requested a meeting with staff to address their concerns. The meeting evolved into regular monthly sessions with the residents of the building to discuss ways to promote a healthier living environment. The process has led to the emergence of a Safety Coalition among neighborhood agencies including the police department, the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services and others. With the help of the Enterprise Foundation, meetings are facilitated so that resident leaders are identified and encouraged to take ownership in the process of improving conditions of the housing community.
Many years ago, as we were saving for our down payment on a home, we put away regular chunks of cash with Jubilee Housing. When it came time to buy our own home, we asked for the money back and there it was - pronto! and twice blessed. It's a great place to save.
For 35 years, Jubilee Housing has made a big difference to the Adams-Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C. They are currently the only organization in an increasingly gentrified area that offers affordable housing and wrap-around services. They believe that the way out of poverty begins with a home, and work hard to create and preserve housing for economically stressed people. Well-managed.