“I have been part of a transformation. Right before my eyes, I saw a neighborhood in transition with many feeling forced out become a place where everyone who wants to can remain.”
Ronnie Jamison, a resident of Worthington Woods Apartments, MHP’s first acquisition in the District of Columbia, says he isn’t sure where Worthington Woods residents would be if MHP had not acquired the property.
Ronnie is Vice President of the Worthington Woods Tenant Organization. A retired meat cutter, he has lived the Southeast area of DC for over two decades and at Worthington Woods for the past several years.
“Since I’ve been around a long time, I’ve seen a lot of the changes happening in other parts of the city and in neighborhoods nearby,” Ronnie says. “Most times, when we hear the word ‘development,’ folks like me get scared because this usually means that we’re going to get pushed out.” He adds, “It is especially frightening for a senior on a fixed income.”
Ronnie says he was excited to join forces with MHP as the new owner of the property. The acquisition process prompted the formation of a residents association, which is actively involved in planning to bring updates and upgrades to Worthington Woods.
“We began to advocate as a group bringing developers, city services, businesses, and neighbors together to create solutions,” Ronnie notes.
Residents were reassured by MHP’s 30+ years of affordable housing experience. “Rather than come in with their plan, they listened first to what we wanted in order to learn about our vision for the neighborhood,” Ronnie says, proudly adding, “I have been part of a transformation. Right before my eyes, I saw a neighborhood in transition with many feeling forced out become a place where everyone who wants to, can remain.”
He points to resident involvement as a crucial factor. “We gained a sense of empowerment, an empowerment that our children have watched and has taught them to work hard to create the change they desire in life.” Among the anticipated changes at Worthington Woods is a new community center. “We wanted places where children, teens as well as us seniors, could gather.”
Ronnie remains actively involved in the residents’ association, providing a voice for residents as Worthington Woods moves into a new era with more amenities and services for residents, including installation of solar panels to save on utility costs and development of on-site outreach and enrichment programs, a first at Worthington Woods.