Faces of AHC
Building Affordable Housing Through Community Partnerships
AHC Inc. is honored to welcome Dr. Leonard L. Hamlin, Sr. into its Housing Hall of Fame. “We are proud to present this award to Dr. Hamlin in recognition of his dedicated service to residents of the Nauck Community and his leadership and advocacy to preserve and expand affordable housing for low-income families in Arlington County,” said AHC President and CEO, Walter D. Webdale.
AHC Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing developer based in Arlington, VA, established its Housing Hall of Fame 15 years ago to honor individuals for their vision, dedication and advocacy on behalf of affordable housing. The award was presented as part of AHC Inc.’s 40th Anniversary celebration.
Dr. Leonard L. Hamlin, Sr. has been pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Arlington since 1996 and has been actively involved in preserving and developing affordable housing throughout his ministry. Under Dr. Hamlin’s leadership, the Macedonia Baptist Church partnered with AHC Inc. to build the Macedonia, 36 affordable apartments across the street from the church. The partnership has been a wonderful success.
The Macedonia church community has worked hard to develop a long-term strategy to meet residents’ needs and build a stable, strong neighborhood. Having ample affordable housing – both for senior citizens and young people – became a key part of the planning process.
In 2009, the church partnered with AHC to build the Macedonian, 36 affordable apartments.
Along with partnering with AHC, Dr. Hamlin also helped found the Bonder & Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation in 1999 to provide economic opportunities and job training for residents. Today, AHC is pleased to partner with the group to provide programs and services for residents at both the Macedonian and nearby Shelton Apartments.
In 2013, Dr. Hamlin was selected to chair the Arlington County Working Group on Affordable Housing. In that capacity, he led the county-wide effort to involve neighborhoods and residents in the planning process. Under his wise and patient stewardship, Arlington County passed a 25-year Affordable Housing Master Plan last year.
“We all know how important a home is to a family and how much it affects the stability and growth of children and so many other aspects of our lives and community,” said Dr. Hamlin. “Although it is very difficult to produce the amount of housing that is needed, I am glad Arlington is addressing the challenge and has elevated housing to a priority.”
Other Housing Hall of Fame honorees include: Patricia McGrady, decades-long affordable housing activist and volunteer; Rick Nelson, former Director of Montgomery County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs; J. Walter Tejada, former Arlington County Board member; and Harkins Builders, long-time AHC business partner and supporter.
Photo: AHC Inc. celebrates 2016 Housing Hall of Fame honorees. Front row, left to right: Dr. Leonard L. Hamlin, Sr.; Patricia McGrady; J. Walter Tejada; and Rick Nelson. Back row, left to right: Walter D. Webdale, AHC Inc. President and CEO; Mike Ebrahimi, Harkins Builders; Dick Lombardo, Harkins Builders; Mike Mallow, Harkins Builders; Gary Garofalo, Harkins Builders; and Justin Oliver, AHC Inc. Board Chair.