Housing in Ivy City includes a wide range of options in terms of safety.
There is the newly redeveloped Hecht Warehouse, which is a mixed-use development area and includes high-end apartments.
There are also residential townhouses and homes that have been rebuilt or redeveloped by residents. Also, Habitat for Humanity has a few redevelopment projects in the neighborhood as well. The organization is helping to enhance housing options for residents in the area, through volunteers and monetary contributions.
However, there are still several unsafe or unhealthy living options in Ivy City. These include houses, townhouses, and other buildings with broken or boarded-up windows. It is unknown if these buildings have current tenants or if they are simply vacant. Vacant buildings, both in an industrial and residential setting are not helpful in ensuring safe and secure living for neighborhood residents. The vacant or boarded up properties should not be looked at as lost causes. Instead these areas can be viewed as future redevelopment opportunities. As mentioned previously, Habitat for Humanity is already active in the neighborhood, helping to redevelop safe and affordable housing options for residents. These buildings can also be redeveloped through other programs and in other ways.
Traffic congestion and pollution
The area surrounding the Hecht Warehouse is one of the pockets within Ivy City that has already seen redevelopment. Within this area in the neighborhood, developers have sought to decrease traffic congestion and pollution through including a bike share area. Traffic in the surrounding areas doesn’t seem to be very bad during the times I visited the neighborhood, with the exception of the major road – New York Avenue. However, traffic could be an issue in the future as this neighborhood continues to be developed (businesses continue to attract internal and external customers, and residents become more active in the area). It is nice to see that in the redevelopment plans, it appears as though developers are trying to lay the foundation to mitigate some of these risks now, with the availability of bicycle sharing programs.
Access to public transportation - The Ivy City neighborhood does not have a metro station in close proximity. However, the neighborhood does have access to the metro bus. Washington DC is currently in plans for streetcars throughout the city. Perhaps, with additional development within Ward 5 and Ivy City in general, a business case could be made to the city to allow for a streetcar stop to be added in the area.