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Douglass Community Land Trust Names Executive Director

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Washington DC, Aug. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Douglass Community Land Trust (DCLT) Advisory Committee, Building Bridges Across Rivers (BBAR), and City First Enterprises (City First) are pleased to announce the appointment of Ginger Rumph as founding executive director of the DCLT. The DCLT is a community-based initiative to establish a large-scale land trust in Southeast, Washington, D.C. with the intent to preserve and increase affordable housing and prevent displacement. Ms. Rumph joins the DCLT from her role as vice president and chief operating officer with the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED), a membership association of 140 organizations dedicated to creating a racially and economically just District of Columbia through the creation and preservation affordable housing and community economic development. 

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Rumph brings to the role more than 25 years' experience working with a wide range of institutions and individuals working for affordable housing and equitable community development. As vice president and COO of CNHED, she engaged in all facets of the organization's policy, advocacy, and capacity building activities, in addition to leading fundraising and communications and providing operational oversight and support. Prior to CNHED, she worked for Enterprise Community Partners in Columbia, MD, as director of knowledge building. She also held leadership positions in two community development corporation coalitions, worked as an affordable housing real estate developer, and served in the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development. She holds a Master of Public Administration, Nonprofit Management and a Master of Social Work, Community Organizing, from the University of Pittsburgh. Rumph is also a former Peace Corps volunteer. 

"I have been fortunate to work for and with some of the most effective, front-line organizations in social change and economic progress," Rumph said. "Now I am privileged to lead this inaugural effort, and work in concert with residents to realize their vision of a land trust to preserve affordable housing, expand homeownership opportunities, and help ensure a meaningful role for local stakeholders in future planning." 

"Standing up a community land trust was an idea that really resonated with me because it's an opportunity to create housing that is truly affordable for this community," said Sheldon Clark, Ward 8 resident and member of the Advisory Committee. "Ginger has demonstrated that she has the knowledge and expertise to lead this effort and we look forward to working with her." 

Establishment of the DCLT is a key pillar of the 11th Street Bridge Park's Equitable Development Plan (EDP) affordable housing strategy. Led by the 11th Street Bridge Park, a project of the Ward 8-based nonprofit BBAR, the EDP incorporated extensive community outreach – more than 1,000 stakeholder meetings – and consultations, anchored by design development and impact. Among its recommendations, the EDP calls for a nonprofit, community-based land trust with a mission to provide permanent affordability by owning land and leasing it for homeownership and rental at reduced cost. This model is increasingly recognized in urban centers as a tool to sustain affordability and combat displacement, particularly among populations of color that have been negatively impacted by market rate forces. The DCLT will work to preserve, protect and increase the inventory of sustainable, affordable housing options for D.C. residents, and help solidify a vital foothold for individuals and families for whom housing instability represents a hurdle to economic opportunity, education, and physical and mental health. 

"Affordable housing, job opportunities and wealth creation are critical to maintaining the neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River," said Scott Kratz, vice president of BBAR. "The Douglass Community Land Trust will assist in permanently preserving housing affordability for nearby residents and enable them to reside and thrive in place to enjoy increased community resources. The land trust is one of several community driven affordable housing strategies that include a Ward 8 home buyer's club and monthly tenant rights workshops. We are thrilled to have Ginger lead the Douglass Community Land Trust." 

"City First believes that social and racial equity are rooted in economic equity, and we are proud of our involvement in this initiative since the Equitable Development Plan was originally announced at City First's Community Development Conference in Ward 8," said Mark Kaufman, President of CFE. "We look forward to leveraging Ginger's expertise as we work to establish the land trust as an impactful, community-based tool to preserve much needed affordable housing in D.C." 

As DC's housing costs rapidly increase, and the window for affordable housing protection and preservation closes, the DCLT aims to benefit current residents who are economically vulnerable in a predominately African-American community. The impact of nearly unchecked housing development has been felt in areas like U Street and Shaw, and today residents east of the Anacostia River face this same risk. But residents are not just concerned about displacement and adverse economic impacts; they are equally concerned about the associated loss of community and control – both rooted in and heightened by the racial inequity they have and continue to live with. Thus, over the last 18 months, BBAR and City First have worked collaboratively with the Advisory Committee made up of a majority of Ward 8 residents to lay the foundation for the DCLT. Ms. Rumph will be employed by City First during the preparation to establish the DCLT as an independent organization. 

About the Douglass Community Land Trust 

The creation of the Douglass Community Land Trust and Advisory Committee stem from the 11th Street Bridge Park's Equitable Development Plan – an effort to ensure that the new civic space is a driver of inclusive development. The DCLT initiative is working to establish a land trust in Southeast, Washington, D.C., in order to preserve and increase affordable housing and prevent displacement, particularly for residents living at low- and middle-area median income (AMI) east of the Anacostia River. The DCLT Advisory Committee is comprised of Ward 8 community members and affordable housing specialists. 

Ward 8 residents hold the majority to ensure incorporation of residents' voices and perspectives. Foundational support for this initiative was provided by Citi Community Development. 

About Building Bridges Across the River 

Building Bridges Across the River (BBAR) is a Ward 8 non-profit that is partnering with the District government to build the 11th Street Bridge Park—the District's first elevated public park located on the piers of the old 11th Street Bridge spanning the Anacostia River. The Bridge Park will be a new venue for healthy recreation, environmental education and the arts. In 2015, the Bridge Park staff worked with community stakeholders to create an Equitable Development Plan. In addition to the CLT housing recommendation, the Ward 8 Home Buyers Club and Tenants Rights Workshops are all efforts to assist long term residents. The 11th Street Bridge Park's equity-first approach towards community development has positioned it as a groundbreaking project for the nation's capital. 

About City First 

City First is an impact driven community development finance provider comprised of a nationally chartered commercial CDFI bank (City First Bank), a nonprofit Impact Loan Fund (City First Enterprises), and two other nonprofits (City First Homes and City First Foundation), all operating as a unified organization with a focused vision and strategy to serve people in low- to moderate-income communities. Since its founding, City First has channeled more than $1.2B in mission focused lending toward affordable housing, community facilities, and small businesses, where they are needed most. With nonprofit ownership and a bank that is certified as a B Corporation, City First is committed to a triple bottom line impact focused on lending to effect economic, social, and environmental justice and is headquartered in Washington, DC on the historic U Street corridor.

 

 

 

Kathryn Harper
City First Enterprises
202-745-4487
kathryn@cfenterprises.org

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