Arlington, VA (May 16, 2011) Students and their families, supporters and staff celebrated the opening of a newly renovated community center at Berkeley Apartments, an affordable housing community owned by AHC Inc. The renovation transformed a storage area into a lighter, brighter and more colorful classroom, doubling the community center’s available space. The project was funded by a $196,000 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development appropriation sponsored by Representative Jim Moran (D-VA).
“AHC plays an important role in the community, providing vital affordable housing to working families in Arlington,” said Representative Jim Moran. “The newly-renovated Berkley Apartments community center is a warm and inviting environment that will provide a home to some very deserving families.”
The renovation added fabric sound boards that not only reduce noise, but also provide colorful bulletin boards; four big windows to brighten the basement-level classroom; a water fountain, new bookshelves; a full kitchen with dishwasher, stove and refrigerator; new tables and chairs; and cubbies for the children’s backpacks. “The new space is so welcoming and already making a huge difference,” said Jennifer Endo, AHC’s Resident Services Director. “We can be more versatile with the programs we offer adults, provide a better studying environment for the teens, and offer a wider variety of activities to the children in our after-school program.”
The Berkeley, with 137 affordable apartments, is one of AHC’s six properties in Arlington with a community center that provides educational services to help the low- and moderate-income residents and their families build important life skills. The Berkeley’s classroom space will be used for after-school programs during the day and teen tutoring or adult education classes in the evening. Arlington County’s Community Outreach Program, which provides services for adults at the Berkeley and the surrounding community, also has an office in the community center.
Other project partners include Cunningham and Quill Architects and Fincor Construction.
AHC Inc, based in Arlington, VA, has been developing and preserving affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region since 1975 and has developed 37 properties with more than 4,400 affordable apartments. In addition, AHC provides homeownership services and offers onsite educational services to improve the quality of residents’ lives.