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AHC Partners with Church to Create Affordable Housing in Alexandria, VA

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(November 5, 2015 – Arlington, VA) - AHC Inc., a leading developer of affordable and mixed-income housing in the mid-Atlantic region, closed yesterday on the $8.5 million purchase of a three-acre site in the City of Alexandria’s Beauregard neighborhood.

The new development, St. James Plaza, will transform property owned by the St. James United Methodist Church and the Bi-District Office of the Northern Virginia Methodist Church into 93 affordable apartments adjacent to market-rate homes.

AHC will construct a 93-unit affordable rental building on a portion of the land and sell the balance of the site to a third party developer that will construct market-rate housing. The affordable rental apartments will be a mix of efficiencies, one-, two- and three-bedroom units at rents ranging from 40% to 60% of the Area Median Income.  The church has moved its place of worship to an adjacent property, and the office building is moving to a new location in the area as well.

“AHC has a track record of creating land for housing in innovative ways,” said AHC President and CEO Walter D. Webdale. “Combining forces with an established community organization like St. James to carve out a viable parcel of land – particularly in a neighborhood like Beauregard that is losing so many affordable places to live – is a great opportunity.”

The new affordable units will be a welcome addition to Alexandria’s Beauregard neighborhood, which has lost a large number of low- and moderate-income apartments to new development over the last few years.

“The City is glad to be collaborating with nonprofit partners, like AHC, to develop 93 new units of affordable housing,” said Helen McIlvaine, acting director of the City’s Office of Housing.  “The St. James Plaza project will provide an important housing resource, including deeply subsidized units, for residents of the adjacent Beauregard area who may be impacted by future redevelopment.  This project successfully implements strategies proposed in the 2012 Beauregard Plan and the 2013 Housing Master Plan.”

The property, 5000 and 5001 Echols Avenue, is located in Alexandria’s west end adjacent to the neighborhoods included in the Beauregard Small Area Plan. The site sits across the street from the Northern Virginia Community College Alexandria Center and is within a quarter mile of the bustling Mark Center. Local schools, retail amenities and Inova Hospital are all within a two-mile radius.

The affordable building will include underground parking, a fitness center, and a community room for residents. AHC is also hoping to include space to provide early childhood services to children living in both the affordable building and the surrounding community.

The high-quality building will include Energy Star-certified kitchen appliances, high-efficiency, individually controlled HVAC systems, carpeted floors, and ceramic tile.

The land purchase is financed with a senior loan from NeighborWorks Capital and a subordinate loan from the City of Alexandria. The affordable housing development received an award of 9% competitive Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) in June 2015.

Construction is expected to begin in fall 2016.

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Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region that provides quality homes and education programs for low- and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 6,500 apartment units in 50 properties in Virginia and Maryland. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 2,000 children, teens, adults and seniors each year through onsite education programs and activities.

 

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AHC Inc. Elects New Board Members

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Arlington, VA (October 25, 2015) – AHC Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing developer based in Arlington, VA, elected new Board members at its recent Annual Meeting.

Jacqueline Coachman and Tom Klanderman have been elected for three-year terms. Robert Bushkoff and Scott Ritter have been re-elected for additional three-year terms.

Jacqueline Coachman was born and raised in Arlington and returned to the community in 1997.  Her family has lived in the Nauck community since shortly after the Civil War.  She is currently a program specialist for Youth Services with the City of Alexandria.   She has been a teacher, a tutor, and an advocate for the school curriculum at both Arlington and Alexandria Public Schools.  She has served as the neighborhood historian for Nauck, is a member of the Nauck Civic Association, and also a member of the Macedonia Baptist Church.

Tom Klanderman has been a resident of the Washington area since 1992 and an Arlingtonian since 2012. Mr. Klanderman is a partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, specializing in commercial real estate. He is also a Board member and Chair of the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). He is a member of the Leadership Arlington Class of 2011.

Robert Bushkoff has been a resident of Arlington since 1980 and is a real estate developer with the Dittmar Company in Vienna, VA. He is the past co-chair of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Economic and Government Affairs Committee; a member of the Arlington Economic Development Commission; a member of the Leadership Arlington Class of 2007; and a past president of the Arlington Host Lions Club.

Scott Ritter has been an Arlington resident since 1994. Mr. Ritter is the managing director of United Bank in Vienna, VA. He is a member of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association; the Arlington Chamber of Commerce; the Leadership Arlington Class of 2001; the Donaldson Run Civic Association; and a member and youth instructor at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. Mr. Ritter is currently the president of AHC’s Board.

 C.C. Jenkins, one of AHC’s long-time Board members, moved off the Board after nine years of leadership commitment and support.

Photo caption: Jacqueline Coachman and Scott Ritter are among the Board members elected at AHC’s Annual Meeting. Robert Bushkoff and Tom Klanderman were also elected.

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Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region that provides quality homes and education programs for low- and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 6,500 apartment units in 50 properties in Virginia and Maryland. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 2,000 children, teens, adults and seniors each year through onsite education programs and activities.

 

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AHC Partners With Community to Open Little Free Library

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(October 27, 2015) – Arlington’s newest Little Free Library opened today at 1723 North Veitch Street. The new mini library, which offers free books to share from a free-standing wooden box, is the result of a collaboration between a community member and a local nonprofit affordable housing organization, AHC Inc.

“Colonial Village West has been a great neighbor. I thought a Little Free Library would be a great way to continue to build our community while supporting literacy and love of books,” explains Lynn Borton, the library’s steward and founder. “We are hoping to engage students attending Key, Arlington Science Focus School, as well as middle and high schoolers, Lyon Village residents, families living in AHC’s Colonial Village West apartments and the many passersby on our busy street. It’s already brought wonderful connectivity – everyone is taking part. The school crossing guard has been handing out fliers and stickers and someone put some donated books in the library even before we opened!”

The neighborhood-sponsored, curbside libraries encourage community members to “take a book, return a book.” Contributions can be any kind of book — from children’s books to cookbooks to novels.

“We are delighted to partner with Lynn Borton to share the joy of reading,” said Jennifer Endo, AHC’s Director of Resident Services. “Literacy is one of the top goals of our education program and we love the idea of encouraging community members to find a book and then leave another one for someone else to enjoy.”

Little Free Libraries started in 2009 in Wisconsin when Todd Bol built a small model of a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. Today, there are more than 32,000 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world, bringing curbside literacy home and sharing more than one million books annually.

In the last several years, at least 20 Little Free Libraries have popped up around Arlington. Although many have been installed by individuals in their front yards, several have also been created as Girl Scout projects or school-based programs.

For more information on starting your own Little Free Library, contact the Arlington Public Library, which provides kits, instructions and registration materials.

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Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region that provides quality homes and education programs for low- and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 6,500 apartment units in 50 properties in Virginia and Maryland. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 2,000 children, teens, adults and seniors each year through onsite education programs and activities.

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AHC Inc. Presents $2.5 Million Loan Repayment to Arlington County

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(September 10, 2015 – Arlington, VA) – AHC Inc., a not-for-profit affordable housing developer, yesterday presented Arlington County with a $2.5 million loan repayment – one of the organization’s largest lump sum payments.  Since the 1980s, Arlington County’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) has loaned funds to developers like AHC to help acquire, build or rehabilitate numerous affordable apartment communities for low- and moderate-income Arlington residents.

Arlington’s loan fund has helped AHC develop more than 3,000 affordable apartments for Arlington residents. AHC repays the County each year from its affordable properties. To date, AHC has repaid more than $38 million to Arlington County, including interest.

“AHC is proud to have partnered with Arlington County for nearly three decades. The County’s revolving loan fund (Affordable Housing Investment Fund) has been a critical factor in helping us bring to fruition thousands of affordable homes for hard working Arlington families,” said AHC President and CEO Walter D. Webdale. “For every dollar we borrow from Arlington County, we are able to leverage $3 in private funds, which is a huge help in today’s competitive marketplace.”

“Arlington’s long-time commitment to affordable housing is one of the things that makes our community so vibrant today,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “One of the tools that has worked well over the years is our Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF). Made up of local and federal dollars – only 25 cents of every dollar we loan is Arlington taxpayer generated – the revolving fund is also supported by loan repayments and other developer contributions, which keeps the fund viable.”

AHC’s $2.5 million repayment is the result of a complex strategy begun earlier this year to consolidate ownership of Fort Henry Gardens, a garden-style property with 82 apartments (65 two-bedroom and 17 three-bedroom apartments).

AHC partnered with another organization to acquire and renovate the property in 1996 and 1997. AHC is now the 100% owner of the property after purchasing the ownership interests from our co-general partner and the tax credit investor limited partner earlier this year. Along with paying down the loans from Arlington County, the consolidation also enabled AHC to pay off a loan from Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) and set aside funds for needed capital improvements.

Fort Henry’s community center provides extensive Resident Services activities, including AHC’s After-School, Teen Tutoring and Summer Camp programs.

 Photo Caption: Not-for-profit affordable housing developer AHC Inc. presented Arlington County with a $2.5 million loan repayment. Arlington County loans funds through its Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) to developers like AHC to produce affordable housing. AHC repays Arlington County each year. To date, AHC has repaid Arlington County $38 million. From left to right: Arlington County Housing Division Finance and Budget Specialist Anne Venezia, AHC President and CEO Walter D. Webdale, County Board Chair Mary Hynes, Acting County Manager Mark Schwartz, County Board Vice Chair J. Walter Tejada, Housing Director David Cristeal and AHC Multifamily Division Director Alan Goldstein.

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Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region that provides quality homes and education programs for low- and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 6,500 apartment units in 50 properties in Virginia and Maryland. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 2,000 children, teens, adults and seniors each year through onsite education programs and activities.

 

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Honoring Volunteers of the Year

volunteer-of-the-year-honoreesAHC is deeply grateful to the volunteers who make such a difference to our students. This fall we celebrated our Volunteers of the Year and honored one individual (or group) from each of our primary groups of volunteers – After-School, Teen Tutoring and Student Volunteers.

“AHC is so fortunate to have hundreds of wonderful volunteers who work one-on-one with students who benefit greatly from their close attention and encouragement,” said Jennifer Endo, AHC’s Director of Resident Services. “Each of our Volunteers of the Year have gone above and beyond. Their commitment and enthusiasm is inspiring and has made such a difference to students’ overall success.”

AHC’s 2015 honorees are:

After-School Volunteer: Marilyn Jenkinson

Marilyn Jenkinson volunteered at Woodbury Park/Frederick community center and added a special spark to the curriculum by sharing her personal interests. An avid traveler, she brought students treasures from her trips like Florida oranges, and created her own lesson plan to teach students how to read maps. She developed a scavenger hunt and taught the students how to use rulers to find their schools and other local landmarks.  She thoroughly enjoyed the students’ enthusiasm and said she “wished every child in Arlington could have the opportunity to experience an after-school program like AHC’s.”

Student Volunteer: Talia Farrell-Rosen

Talia Farrell-Rosen, a high school senior, volunteered weekly at Gates of Ballston during the school year, helping with activities and homework. “Talia was consistently patient and understanding and has been a wonderful addition to our volunteering team,” said Lotus Chen, AHC Resident Services Manager. Talia also shared a distinctive skill with the students – dancing. As a competitive dancer, she taught the children about different types of dance, the types of shoes and costumes they wear, as well as stretches and dances. She also gave them the opportunity to free-dance to pop music, which they loved.

Teen Tutoring Volunteers: Team Estephani – Anne Blacksten, Jim and Terry Burridge and Carl Dohrman

Estephani Santander graduated from high school last spring with multiple scholarships and credits her “dream team” of tutors for much of her success. Estephani’s group of dedicated tutors includes Anne Blacksten, who has worked with Estephani since 6th grade; Jim and Terry Burridge, who tutored and mentored Estephani throughout her high school career; and Carl Dohrman, the math guru of the group. The tutors in “Team Estephani” worked together to build consistency and maximize their support for Estephani. “I think the students benefit a lot from so much one-on-one assistance from caring, high-quality tutors,” says Mr. Dohrman. The consistency helps to build relationships between volunteers and students, which can be key to making a difference in the student’s attitudes towards school.”

Photo caption: From left to right: Patti Sanner, AHC Reading Specialist; Talia Farrell-Rosen, volunteer; Terry Burridge, volunteer; Carl Dohrman, volunteer; Jim Burridge, volunteer; Becky Koons, AHC Resident Services Manager; Anne Blacksten, volunteer; Elizabeth Bonner, former AHC Resident Services Manager; and Marilyn Jenkinson, volunteer.