Fort Henry Redevelopment Responds to Neighborhood Needs

 

AHC Inc. has started the process of redeveloping Fort Henry Gardens, an aging garden-style apartment community with 82 two- and three-bedroom apartments in Arlington, VA. The current Fort Henry Gardens was built in the 1960s and is in need of an update. 

The proposed plan includes 26 three-bedroom apartments and 149 two-bedroom units for families and 120 one-bedroom apartments and 5 studios to serve individuals and couples. Altogether, the new Fort Henry Gardens could add an additional 200 new affordable apartments in response to the pressing need for more affordable living options in the County.

“We’re excited about redeveloping Fort Henry Gardens because it’s an aging property and this is an opportunity to provide new, energy efficient homes to hardworking families and individuals who need affordable, quality places to live in Arlington,” said Walter D. Webdale, AHC President and CEO.  “The redevelopment is also giving us the opportunity to provide homes to a wider variety of individuals, including more one bedroom apartments for seniors, which the community mentioned as a real need.”

After input from the community, AHC has added a number of features designed to benefit to neighborhood and our residents. Some of the ways AHC responded to community requests include:

  • Designating the proposed 48-unit building on Lincoln St. to be a senior building after we learned from community members of this need and long-time desire.
  • Almost doubling the size of our on-site community center in response to the need expressed from our AHC Green Valley residents. We currently have a robust Resident Services program at Fort Henry in a fairly small community center. The new space will give our students more room for indoor learning activities and also provide an opportunity to explore additional ways to build community.
  • Committing a healthy portion of our site to outdoor gathering and recreational uses in response to this request from the Civic Association.
  • Designing for solar panels in response to the County’s desire for renewable energy.

Other project highlights include:

  • Improved accessibility – apartments will be fully accessible with elevators, ADA bathrooms, and designed to meet universal design standards.
  • New fitness center.
  • Two playgrounds
  • Energy efficient appliances.

Another goal for the property is to create an inviting mix of outdoor spaces that will encourage a cohesive sense of community. Some areas will be small and intimate, while others will allow for larger gatherings. Additionally, there will be three areas on the site that are open lawns bordered by tall shade trees. Two will include play equipment for children of pre-school to elementary school age. These play areas are meant to complement the existing recreational field at Drew Elementary School.

AHC submitted the initial site plan application to the planning and zoning department in May 2020. In August, we received comments and made adjustments. The next step is the Site Plan Review Process, which we anticipate will last through this Fall. The County Board could provide zoning approval by January 2021. If all goes forward, we could begin construction in Spring 2022. Full occupancy could occur in Spring 2024.

We will continue to meet with the Green Valley Civic Association and other neighbors throughout the process. Our last meeting with our residents was virtual, unfortunately, but we offered two sessions – one in English and one in Spanish. We also provided Amharic translation for anyone who requested it.

 

Safety Net Nonprofits Provide School Supplies to Students In Need

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Safety Net Nonprofits Provide School Supplies to Students In Need

(Arlington, VA – August 2, 2020) – AHC Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing developer based in Arlington, VA, is proud to announce our participation in the “Buy a Neighbor School Supplies” program, a new community partnership to provide school supplies and resources to students in need in Arlington, VA.

“AHC is delighted to partner with our fellow Arlington safety net nonprofits to help our residents start school with the supplies they need to succeed,” said Susan Davidson, AHC’s Resident Services Director. “Our Resident Services program has a long history of  providing our students with back-to-school supplies. This year, as families struggle even more due to financial strains and complications of virtual learning caused by the pandemic, we are grateful to work with the community to address this immense challenge together.”

The collaborative initiative includes Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN); Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH); AHC Inc.; Bonder & Amanda Johnson Community Development Corp; Bridges to Independence; Edu-Futuro; OAR of Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church; and Volunteer Arlington.

Neighbors can support children and families for as little as $10. All donations will be combined to provide gift cards, allowing families to purchase their own school supplies, health and safety supplies, and any additional resources they need for at-home or distance learning for the 2020-2021 school year.

Community members can donate on the Volunteer Arlington website until August 23.

For more information and to donate, visit the Volunteer Arlington website at https://bit.ly/buyaneighborschoolsupplies

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About AHC

Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing that provides qualtiy homes and education programs for low- and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 7,500 apartment units in 50+ properties in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 3,000 children, teens, adults and seniors each year through onsite education and social service programs and activities. For more information, visit www.ahcinc.org 

Media Contact

Celia Slater, AHC Inc.
571-228-5948
celia.slater@ahcinc.org

 

AHC Waives Evictions and Late Fees Through 2020

Rental Relief Program Update for AHC Residents

Dear AHC Residents,

I hope you and your loved ones are well.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we at AHC Management understand that many residents are experiencing difficult financial situations. To help, we are extending our current rental relief programs in order to provide you with more flexibility on rental payments for the rest of 2020.

For all residents who are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19, AHC Management has suspended all late fees and evictions until December 31, 2020. In addition, AHC Management will make sure that there will be NO RENT INCREASES for all residents through January 1, 2021.

 Our top priority is to help you and your family stay in your home during this challenging time. This is why we have been working with many local agencies to provide additional resources for all AHC residents to help reduce the risk of eviction for anyone living in our communities.

Here’s how we can help:

  • Contact us: Our Resident Services team has been working hard to provide our residents with emergency assistance. Please contact our director, Susan Davidson, at susan.davidson@ahcinc.org  or 703-486-0626 x 1112 for more information on how we can help you.
  • Payment Plan: We have created special payment plans to help spread out payments on rent balances for up to a year. If you have an outstanding balance on your rent and would like to use an extended payment plan, please contact the management office for more information.

We hope these measures and resources will help you and your family during this difficult time. However, it is important to note that we cannot waive or forgive your rent balance, so we encourage you to continue paying your rent on time as much as possible.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 703-271-8400 or email ahcm@ahcmgmt.com.

As we navigate this unprecedented situation, we remain committed to YOU – our residents. AHC Management is more than a company – we are a family, and we care about the wellbeing of our community.

Stay safe and healthy,

Michael Werner
Senior Vice President, AHC Management, LLC

 

 

 

AHC Inc., Capital One and Comcast Team Up to Bridge the Internet Divide for Low-Income Families Living in Affordable Housing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AHC Inc., Capital One and Comcast Team Up to Bridge the Internet Divide for Low-Income Families Living in Affordable Housing 

 New Pilot Program Provides Internet Access and Chromebooks to AHC Inc. Residents

(Arlington, VA – July 22, 2020) – AHC Inc., a nonprofit organization that develops and operates affordable apartments in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region, today announced a new partnership with Capital One and Comcast to provide free, high-speed internet access to low-income families who live in affordable housing communities.

The initiative leverages Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which offers low-cost internet service at $9.95 per month, to eligible low-income households. Thanks to a grant from Capital One, households that qualify for Internet Essentials will receive free internet service for 14 months from the date of signup – giving students and families much-needed access to online learning and other resources. To ensure families have the tools they need to maximize the service, Capital One also is donating new Chromebooks to participating residents.

The pilot, called the Capital One Digital Access (CODA) program, kicked off this week at St. James Plaza, an AHC Inc. property with 93 affordable apartments in Alexandria, VA.

“This program is a lifesaver for our residents who are impacted by the digital divide,” said Walter D. Webdale, AHC Inc. President and CEO. “We are deeply grateful to Capital One and Comcast for creating this partnership to help our families, students and senior citizens access the technology they need to stay connected to their jobs, schools, healthcare providers and loved ones. Internet access has become an integral part of our world today – and the pandemic has highlighted the need for collaborative solutions to address the digital divide and bring affordable high-speed internet to all.”

Residents are thrilled to have the stability of the 14-month program and deeply appreciate the brand new Chromebooks that make the experience complete. “This program is going to be a big help – I’m so happy,” said Jeaneth Romero, who lives at St. James Plaza with her seven-year-old son, Diego. “I was worried about my son going back to school because he only had my cell phone to use. The laptop will make it a lot easier for him to do schoolwork and so many other things online.”

Capital One created CODA to help bridge the digital divide for individuals and families who live in affordable housing communities financed by Capital One. The program, which provides a mix of free internet access, Chromebooks or tablets, and digital education, is currently being piloted in 11 properties across the country. St. James Plaza is one of the first to get underway.

“Without digital access, trying to find a job, complete training programs, do homework, apply for services or benefits or take advantage of telehealth services is incredibly difficult,” said Jamillah Lamb, a Director on Capital One’s Community Finance team spearheading the efforts. “And we know that a lack of access means that low-income families are being disproportionately left behind in the new economy. CODA is intended to be one important component to closing the digital divide and providing a more level playing field.”

Since 2011, Internet Essentials has connected millions of low-income families to the internet. The program, which offers low-cost, high-speed internet service, also provides multiple options to access free digital skills training in print, online and in person. In addition, customers have the option to purchase a low-cost internet-ready computer.

“We are excited to partner with AHC Inc. to help bridge the digital divide in Virginia by ensuring that children and families at St. James Plaza can connect to the internet through our Internet Essentials program,” said Kevin Broadhurst, Comcast Vice President of Government Affairs. “For almost a decade, Comcast has made a significant impact on the digital divide by helping to level the playing field for families in need so they can benefit from all the internet has to offer. In keeping with our commitment, we recently extended our 60-day offer of free internet service to all eligible, new Internet Essentials customers through the end of the year.”

To date, more than 30 St. James Plaza families have registered for the pilot program and more sign-ups are underway. A family can qualify for Internet Essentials from Comcast if:

  • They are eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance including Arlington County’s Committed Affordable Unit (CAF), Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, VA Assistance and TANF.
  • They live in an area where Comcast’s internet service is available.
  • They haven’t subscribed to Comcast’s internet service in the last 90 days. However, families who are currently Internet Essentials customers or have recently subscribed also are eligible to receive APS-sponsored financial assistance through this jointly funded grant program.

If a family was not previously approved for Internet Essentials by Comcast, they should apply again. Eligibility requirements have been expanded in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Due to the coronavirus emergency, households with outstanding debt owed to Comcast may be eligible for Internet Essentials. This qualification is being waived if applicants are approved by Dec. 31, 2020.

Photo: Jeaneth Panero and her son, Diego, can now access the internet thanks to a new partnership among AHC Inc., Capital One, and Comcast designed to bridge the digital divide.

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About AHC

Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing that provides quality homes and education programs for low- and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 7,500 apartment units in 50+ properties in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 3,000 children, teens, adults and seniors each year through on-site education and social service programs and activities. For more information, visit www.ahcinc.org.

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., had $269.7 billion in deposits and $396.9 billion in total assets as of March 31, 2020. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A., has branches located primarily in New York, Louisiana, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index.

About Comcast

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe’s leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

Media Contacts:

Celia Slater, AHC Inc.
571-228-5948
celia.slater@ahcinc.org

Carl Gaines, Capital One
carl.gaines@capitalone.com

Kristie Fox, Comcast
267-858-6373
kristie_fox@comcast.com

AHC’s Class of 2020 Tops $1 Million in Scholarships and Aid

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AHC Inc. Celebrates 31 High School Graduates – All the First-Generation in Their Families to Go to College

Contact:
Celia Slater, Communications Director, AHC Inc., 571-228-5948 or celia.slater@ahcinc.org

(June 30, 2020 – Arlington, VA) Celebrating graduation may have looked a little different this year, but we could not be any prouder of the students from our College and Career Readiness (CCR) program who graduated from high school in 2020. All 31 of the amazing young people who participated in the program this year are off to college in the fall. In total, they were accepted into 135 schools and received an estimated $1.24 million in scholarships and aid.

“I’m going to be the first person in my family to go to college in the United States,” said Sosna Marshet “I’m looking forward to all the college experiences.” Sosna, like all of her CCR classmates this year, is among the first in her family to pursue a college education.

Sagar Sapkota echoed Sosna’s sentiments saying, “I’m really happy that I’m going to college because my parents have sacrificed a lot for me and my brothers.”

Throughout the school year, volunteer mentors work one-on-one with the students to study for standardized tests, apply for financial aid and scholarships, and write their college essays. Many of the students in our College and Career Readiness program have been with us since elementary school. And, that is by design. AHC offers after school and summer programming that grows with children, meets their needs at each stage from elementary school to senior year of high school, and helps them build stronger futures.

Students are already planning their next steps. Many are choosing practical majors like Information Technology, Business or Engineering. Others are committed to helping others by becoming teachers, social justice lawyers, doctors, nurses, and social workers. And several are exploring creative careers in journalism and architecture.

“We have such hardworking students in this program. It is so valuable to connect them with another caring and supportive adult who can help them navigate applying for college – especially since so many of them are first-generation college students,” said Milenka Coronel, AHC’s College and Career Readiness Manager. “Thanks to our volunteer mentors and supporters, these students are all taking that crucial next step. I’m so proud of our graduates; they are going to do such great things in college and beyond.”

You can hear from our graduates about their hopes for college in their own words in this video.

Meet the Graduates:

Congratulations again to the class of 2020!

  • Sachin Acharya (George Mason University)
  • Sebirya Ahmed (Lehigh University)
  • Natnael Aklilu (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Erika Amaya (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Melissa Barrera (NOVA)
  • Brandon Escobar-Campos (University of Virginia)
  • Carlos Cordova (Virginia Tech)
  • Sharon Corrales (George Mason University)
  • Michael Dorjsuren (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Jacqui Flakes (NOVA)
  • Alejandra Galdo-Hernandez (Marymount University)
  • Raquel Garcia (Virginia Tech)
  • Netsanet Gurmu (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Celeste Lazo-Villarroel (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Valeria Lopez (West Virginia University)
  • Sosna Marshet (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Najae McCoy (University of Delaware – Career and Life Studies Certificate)
  • Mohamed Mohamed (George Mason University)
  • Analy Morales (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Ochirbat Munkhchuluun (George Mason University)
  • Yasna Nasiree (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Jacqueline Ortiz (Old Dominion University)
  • Jamileth Picavia-Salazar (George Mason University)
  • Jennifer Rivera (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Sagar Sapkota (University of Virginia)
  • Michelle Soliz (Old Dominion University)
  • Sabiha Tajul (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Kimberlie Tellez (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Santiago Ulunque (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Brikiti Yohannes (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Mahvash Zahid (George Mason University)

Thank you to our 2019/2020 mentors for their dedication to our students!

  • Benjamin Bigelow, Jim Burridge, Terry Burridge, Tara Claeys, Milenka Coronel, Adrienne Eng, Ami Foster, Gregory Frey, Lindsey Guarni, Alex Hegji, Chelsea Jones, Maureen Keeney, Chris Kruckenberg, Catherine Latell, Marjorie Macieira, Zaynab Malik, Gail Markulin, Yehoshua Orozco, Alex Payne, Karissa Ruano, Maureen Strotland, Jeanne Sweeney, Ann Symonds, and Adrienne Wichard-Edds

Visit AHC’s Instagram at @AHC_Inc for individual portraits of our amazing students.

To learn more about volunteering with AHC, please email volunteer@ahcinc.org or visit https://www.ahcinc.org/get-involved/volunteers/.

About AHC Inc.

Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing that provides quality homes and education programs for low- and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 7,500 apartment units in 50+ properties in Virginia,  Maryland and Washington, DC. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 3,000 children, teens, adults and seniors each year through onsite education and social service programs and activities. For more information, visit www.ahcinc.org