On January 26, Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP) offered a mini-tour of Gilbert Highlands, a 21-unit, affordable housing property at 8508 and 8510 Flower Avenue in the Long Branch section of Takoma Park.
This property is one of four rental properties MHP owns in the neighborhood. The Gilbert Highlands property is indicative of the role that a nonprofit housing developer can play in building community. MHP’s mission includes providing high-quality affordable housing, improving the quality of life of its residents, and building strong, vital neighborhoods.
The Gilbert Highlands property was built in 1953, and prior to being acquired by MHP, was plagued with maintenance and age issues including more than 300 housing code violations like persistent mold and unsafe electrical wiring. MHP acquired the property in 2007 by assignment from tenants exercising their right of first refusal when the property was offered for sale. During renovations in the fall of 2009, the property was gutted. This required all of the tenants to temporarily relocate to nearby MHP properties. All but two of the original tenants chose not to return to the building after renovations were completed.