Frederick Douglass Apartments' Cool Makeover

Frederick Douglass Apartments has a 44-year history of providing affordable housing to people in the District. Now, they are saving energy with the help of the DCSEU.

Frederick Douglass Apartments has a 44-year history of providing affordable housing to people in the District. Located in the heart of Anacostia’s Historic District, the community houses 150 families and offers a community garden and a playground. It is operated by Edgewood Management Corporation, one of the first affordable property management companies on the East Coast. Their mission is straightforward: Helping people improve their lives and maintaining high-quality and serviceenriched affordable homes.

The DCSEU’s shares these goals for services to District residents—to create brighter economic and environmental futures by reducing the energy burden on low-income communities. These objectives have become even more important in light of a recent report by the government-backed mortgage lender Freddie Mac, which demonstrates that the number of apartments considered affordable for very low-income families has fallen by 60 percent since 2010. 5 As part of a renovation and energy efficiency upgrade, the DCSEU worked closely with the site managers of Frederick Douglass Apartments to deliver substantial energy cost savings and enhance the community’s livability and sustainability. 

The DCSEU designed three phases for the project, upgrading the heat pumps to improve in-unit comfort with efficient heating and cooling. The project will result in annual energy cost savings of roughly $45,000 and prevent the annual carbon emissions of 338 metric tons, the amount emitted by 72 passenger cars in one year of driving.

“The Frederick Douglass (Garden) Apartments were in need of replacing the HVAC units. We were approached by the DCSEU Community Outreach Manager Ted Diggs, who presented the options and reasons to collaborate with the DCSEU. The owners and upper management agreed to the project. We are excited that all residents have a new energy-efficient HVAC systems,” said Cartise Hall, Community Manager at Frederick Douglass Apartments.

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affordable housing, cooling, heating, success story

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