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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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DC tentatively sets August move-in date for Aston residents

File Photo by Erika Filter | Staff Photographer
The Aston’s entrance on New Hampshire Avenue.

Unhoused residents will move into a former GW residence hall in August, District government officials said Monday.

Anthony Newman, the D.C. Department of Human Services’ deputy administrator, said at a meeting that officials have begun construction on The Aston, slating residents’ move-in date for the week of August 12 or 19. Rachel Pierre, the administrator for DHS’ Family Services Administration, said at a meeting last month that the agency had not received any guidance to stop progress on The Aston in light of the pending litigation seeking to block its conversion.

Newman said Friendship Place, a D.C.-based housing provider for people experiencing homelessness, will oversee The Aston’s conversion. The Monday meeting was hosted by the Community Advisory Team, a group of local and district-wide governing officials and neighborhood association members that will supervise the conversion of The Aston into a homeless shelter.

“We were delighted to be selected to run The Aston,” said Jean-Michel Giraud, the president and CEO of Friendship Place.

Friendship Place also oversees Valley Place, a short-term housing facility in Anacostia that transitions chronically unhoused people into housing within 90 days of their intake. The group also supervises The Brooks, a short-term family housing facility in Ward 3.

Robert Saunders, a building manager with the D.C. Department of General Services, said DGS selected Capital Construction to complete plumbing work in The Aston, but that he does not yet know how long the project will take. He said officials have completed their demolition of the carpet but have not yet replaced the flooring.

Saunders said DGS has begun repairing some heat pumps in The Aston’s units. He said they plan to continue patching the roof unless they see “major leaks,” after which they will replace the roof. He said it would be difficult to begin an expensive project like a roof replacement in the middle of a fiscal year, so DGS will introduce plans between 2025 and 2028 to address any roof leaks.

DGS conducted an asset condition assessment of The Aston in July which found the roof “needs immediate replacement.”

“We will have to plan for ‘25, ‘26, ‘27, up until ‘28 so we have the money to do that,” Saunders said.

Mayor Muriel Bowser allocated a total of $13 million in her proposed Fiscal Year 2025 budget for The Aston and a similar shelter downtown, $6.5 million of which will go toward The Aston, according to Linn Groft, the legislative director for Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto.

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About the Contributors
Rory Quealy, News Editor
Rory Quealy is a sophomore majoring in journalism and mass communications from La Grange, Illinois. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2024-2025 news editors. She was previously the assistant news editor for the Health and Research beat and a research assistant.
Erika Filter, News Editor
Erika Filter is a senior majoring in international affairs from Carson City, Nevada. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2023-2024 news editors and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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