DAVIS X Jubilee Housing

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DAVIS X Jubilee Housing

Jan 11, 2022

A partnership built on serving the community.

DAVIS Construction and Jubilee Housing were founded just seven years apart—DAVIS in 1966, and Jubilee in 1973. Decades later, we’ve built a partnership together by aligning our goals with the shared mission of making our community a better place to live with opportunities for everyone. Jubilee’s work providing high quality affordable housing in the Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, and Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods has been critical in the fight for justice in the DC housing market, and they provide comprehensive assistance for those affected by poverty and displacement through supportive services, including food security and youth programs. Currently, they own and operate 10 apartment buildings—housing 600+ residents holistically—with another four buildings in their development pipeline that will add another 120+ units of affordable housing to these respective neighborhoods. Jubilee’s innovative mission is to provide Justice Housing ™—deeply affordable housing, in resource rich neighborhoods, with onsite and nearby wrap around services that enable families to thrive. DAVIS continues to be inspired by Jubilee’s work, and we’re proud to collaborate with them.

DAVIS employees and community members during 2002's Jubilee Work Day.

Jim Knight, President and CEO of Jubilee Housing, first crossed paths with DAVIS back in 1994 as a yearlong volunteer during Jubilee Work Day—an annual event where businesses, including DAVIS, and residents got together to paint, landscape, and otherwise improve Jubilee’s properties. “Occasionally a project would take longer than a day—one building needed 60 new apartment doors, but the building had settled, and each entryway ended up having different specs. Dennis Cotter brought a crew out to shave every single door to match each specific unit, and it signaled to the residents as well as myself, that DAVIS really cared about the people in their community,” Knight says. More than 20 years since that moment, the bond between DAVIS and Jubilee has only grown stronger. Our team members have provided materials and expertise to support Jubilee’s efforts throughout the years, and we’ve sponsored amazing fundraising and awareness events, including the Jubilee Justice Housing Celebration.

Jubilee’s work continues to be crucial as Washington, DC’s low-income residents struggle to find justice housing, which Jubilee defines as deeply affordable housing, in resource-rich places, with services onsite and within walking distance. The COVID-19 pandemic has made these issues even more prominent, and they have responded by coming up with new ways to help their community, holding health fairs, delivering food door-to-door, and pivoting to virtual after-school services. As part of their annual Back to School Store, Jubilee with support from DAVIS, provided families with brand-new backpacks filled with school supplies essential for academic success—everything from paper to pencils, rulers, and highlighters. In 2021, due to the growing needs of community members due to Covid-19, Jubilee hosted the Store as a two-day event, supporting over 80 students from kindergarten through college. Gifts in 2021, included graphing calculators that can be expensive for any family and gift cards to college students to help with needed dorm room essentials.

Between the four buildings under development right now, and new acquisitions for next year, we’ll practically double our capacity. Any new property we can bring into the portfolio is an opportunity to keep families in justice housing.

Jim Knight, President and CEO, Jubilee Housing

Finding time to celebrate during the holidays.

In addition to new properties, Jubilee held multiple events in celebration of the season. The annual Elf Store, which allows children of Jubilee Housing to buy gifts for their families at “kid prices,” was held December 18, 2021 in person for the first time in since 2019. “Steps were taken to ensure all program participants, residents, and staff felt safe.  The event was complete with a visit from Santa, hot chocolate, and everything that these families have been missing,” says Chris Bulbulia, Director of Development on Jubilee’s Institutional Advancement team. In addition to the Elf Store, Jubilee continued the giving spirit of the holidays through the Wish List program, where residents signed up to receive important household essentials, from food to cleaning products to clothes. The impacts of reduced wages and employment, disrupted supply chains, and more, the Wish List provided extra help for anyone in need through the end of the year. Bulbulia encourages anyone who wants to support Jubilee’s mission to get involved and spread the word. “We are constantly thinking of innovative ways to support the community, and what we need is the financial support and awareness to keep our progress going.”

The connection between DAVIS and Jubilee goes back decades, and Knight attributes that close bond to the long-term commitment from leadership on both sides. “I give Dennis Cotter and Jim Davis a lot of credit for this relationship. To have ownership take a personal stake in our work has been key, and DAVIS has been amazing in helping us build support for our work,” Knight says. We look forward to continuing to work with Jubilee as they take on new challenges in the fight for justice housing in our community.

To read about Dennis Cotter's experience with Jubilee, click here!