The Bonifant at Silver Spring, a newly constructed, 11-story, high-rise residential apartment building located next to the Silver Spring Library and a future Purple Line transit station, is 100 percent leased. The Bonifant is the first residential property built alongside a public-use facility in Montgomery County and is part of a new innovative effort to use County-owned land to increase the supply of housing affordable to lower-income residents. This land use approach is a new model for affordable housing and serves as a model for other mixed-income and mixed-use developments locally and around the nation.
The Bonifant project combined several innovative approaches: 1) creative land use and dedication to affordable housing; 2) co-location of residential space and public use facility; 3) transit-oriented development; and 4) a unique public-private partnership.
The leasing process opened in November 2015 and nearly 250 applications were received in the first week. In May 2016, residents started moving in. Of the 149 apartments, 15 are for seniors earning less than 30 percent of area median income (AMI), 43 for seniors at less than 50 percent AMI, 81 for seniors at less than 60 percent AMI, and 10 are at market rates with no income restrictions. Also, 50 percent of the Bonifant’s commercial space is leased, with letters of intent pending for the remaining space.
“The projected date that The Bonifant would be leased to capacity was April 2017,” said Robert A. Goldman, President, Montgomery Housing Partnership. “It was at capacity in December 2016. The Bonifant is definitely fulfilling a need for affordable housing in Montgomery County. Seniors aged 62 and older now have a great opportunity to blend city living with affordability.”
Bonifant residents at-a-glance:
- Ninety-five residents are from Silver Spring
- Twenty residents are from out-of-state
- Ninety-eight residents are from the Washington DC metropolitan area
- Most popular units were market rate, 30 percent of AMI, and two-bedroom units
- Average age of residents is 68
- Oldest resident is 94; youngest is 7
- Female residents 133; male 43
“Not only is The Bonifant a great example that shows that affordable housing can be modern, innovative, and attractive, and serve the greater community, but it also demonstrates how foresight, dedication, and planning by local governments combined with a committed and informed private sector and residency can create extraordinary change in a blighted suburban edge city,” said Clarence J. Snuggs, director of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs.