The Mary House Housing Program

Washington DC has the highest per capita rate of homelessness in the country, with more than 15,000 people experiencing homelessness over the course of a typical year. The number of homeless families in DC increased by 103% between 2009 and 2017 and is continuing to grow. DC is the second least affordable housing jurisdiction in the country with a deficit of 27,737 affordable and available housing units for people who are extremely low income. There are currently 41,000 households on the wait list for the DC Housing Authority’s Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs and the wait time can be up to 20 years.

Mary House’s primary focus is its housing program. We serve up to 50 immigrant and refugee families by providing transitional housing for those in crisis. Over the course of 35 years, Mary House has provided housing to thousands of families. While we primarly serve Central American families, we have had the opportunity to serve families from at least 20 other countries across the world. We serve a diverse group of families, from single mothers to grandparents and grandchildren. What binds the program is that all families share the desire to become the strongest parents possible and to provide a safe and secure environment for their children.

Each family works with a Mary House family advocate towards achieving certain goals during their time with us. Whether its looking to secure stable employment, pursue an education or address medical issues, our families are provided with a network of support that is dedicated to ensuring their needs are met.

The Regina Maria Apartments

Twelve Family Oriented Affordable Apartments with Planned Opening in 2021

The greatest challenge Mary House and other housing providers currently face, including the District government (which had over 500 families in their shelter program last winter), is the lack of safe, permanent, and affordable housing for families. Mary House is now expanding to build affordable housing to address this need, creating the Regina Maria Apartments on land Mary House owns in the Brookland neighborhood of Northeast DC. Brookland has been a hotspot for development of new luxury apartments with over 1,000 units having been built or in the process of being built, with one bedrooms starting at $2,100 monthly. The need for shelter and transitional housing has never slowed down. Mary House hopes to continue the contributions it has made to providing housing for low-income families in the area.

Mary House is working with a project development team on plans and permits for the Regina Maria Apartments. The project will have six one unit apartments and six two bedroom apartments. The site will provide intergenerational permanent housing for single mothers, grandparents and larger families. Mary House hopes to break ground on the Regina Maria apartments this year so the project can be completed and families can move in by 2021.