AHC and Montgomery County Work Together to Provide Homes for the Formerly Homeless

Gateway-Commons

Along with developing affordable rental communities, AHC Inc. also works with local communities on initiatives that help provide housing for people struggling with severely challenging issues – homelessness, abuse, or disabilities.  These activities include providing permanent supportive housing units at many of our communities in Arlington and including ADA-accessible apartments when constructing or redeveloping a community.

Recently, AHC worked with Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) and its affiliate affordable housing developer Coalition Homes (CH) to respond to the growing need for homes for individuals transitioning out of homelessness.

The partnership had its roots in a 2009 transaction that enabled AHC, in conjunction with Montgomery County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs, to purchase six, two-bedroom condominium units in Gateway Commons in Clarksburg, MD. The acquisition preserved the town house units as moderately priced rentals for households earning up to 55% of the area median income.

Earlier this year, MCCH obtained a significant number of housing subsidy vouchers and needed to expand its rental housing portfolio to accommodate the additional households. The organization reached out to AHC to see if they could work out an agreement to purchase the six town house apartments, and with strong support from Montgomery County, an agreement was reached that enabled CH to acquire the homes at a modest price, while also allowing AHC to recoup its investment. A win-win partnership for all.


Photo caption:  AHC Inc. partnered with Montgomery County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs, to preserve six, two-bedroom condominium units as affordable homes in Gateway Commons in Clarksburg, MD. 

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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 7,000 apartment units in 52 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.

 

Three Generations Living in Alexandria Neighborhood

AHC Faces

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Affordable Housing Helps Family Maintain Neighborhood Roots

Rosa Byrd has lived in Alexandria’s Lynhaven neighborhood for more than 50 years. Many of her family live nearby, including her 25-year-old granddaughter, Chanel Yancey, who recently moved into AHC’s Jackson Crossing apartment community. “I like the convenient location and it’s nice to be close to family,” says Chanel, who works for the Alexandria City Public Schools.

Chanel’s mother, Patricia Yancey, grew up in the neighborhood and attended the nearby Cora Kelly Elementary School. Today, she lives a few blocks from her mother, Rosa, and commutes to work with her daughter.  “I love that. I see her every day,” says Patricia. “If she had to live somewhere else, it would have changed the dynamics of our family.”

Rosa believes Jackson Crossing provides much-needed housing options in the neighborhood. “I have a lot of friends who have had to relocate out of Alexandria,” she says. “Their hearts are here, but they have to live outside the community because of the cost of living. This is a great way to help people stay in the city because it’s gotten so expensive. I’m grateful my granddaughter is living here. She was looking for a place where she could live on her own.”

Along with deep roots in Lynhaven, both Rosa and Patricia have served in a wide variety of local leadership roles, including the PTA, civic association and election board. “I honestly believe no matter where you live, you should be part of the community,” says Rosa. In 2012, the mother/daughter team was honored by the Senior Services of Alexandria for their legacy of service. That legacy continues through the third generation; Chanel also serves as an election official like her mother and grandmother.

Rosa’s long-time community involvement has been widely recognized. In 2013, she was named a Living Legend of Alexandria, and Alexandria News honored her as Alexandrian of the Year in 2014.

Rosa, who retired after 30 years with the Alexandria City Public School System, and her husband, Jack, who worked with the Metro Bus System for nearly 40 years, thoroughly enjoy living so close to family in Lynhaven. Together, they have six siblings who live within several blocks. Over the years, more than 20 children in the family have attended Cora Kelly School.

“My family is the crown jewel of my life,” says Byrd. “One of my blessings is that when they grew up, they wanted to come back to live in Alexandria.”

Photo: Three generations of the Byrd family live in Alexandria’s Lynhaven neighborhood. From left to right: Patricia Yancey, Rosa Byrd and Chanel Yancey. 

Saving the Gates of Ballston

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AHC Milestones

Community Preserves 465 At-Risk Garden Apartments

In 2001, one of Arlington’s largest historic apartment communities, Gates of Ballston, went on the market. Real estate was booming and several commercial developers quickly bid on the property. With 465 garden apartments, the imminent loss of affordable housing would be a blow to the local community. Arlington’s older apartment communities were already under attack. During the previous two years, the County had lost 5,000 units of affordable housing.

Arlington County, AHC and a working group of concerned citizens quickly banded together to try to save the 17-acre property. Their efforts paid off. AHC, with the help of Arlington County, acquired the property in 2002.

Built between 1938 and 1941 as workforce housing for single men and small families, the Gates’ 43 buildings had never been renovated. AHC began a comprehensive revitalization of the property in 2005, carefully preserving the buildings’ historic attributes, including using authentic slate to replace the original roofs and adding new historically accurate windows. The renovation also included new kitchens, bathrooms, and heating/cooling systems. Seventy-two units were also converted into three-bedroom apartments to accommodate larger families. The historic renovation has been recognized by numerous organizations, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Today the property is full of families and lively community activities. In 2008, AHC celebrated the opening of a new, two-level, 10,000-square-foot community center. The center is a vibrant gathering space with numerous classrooms, meeting areas, and space for community partners, including Arlington County’s Community Outreach programs.

In 2015, the community center was renamed the Rinker Community Center at the Gates of Ballston to honor Charlie and Lora Rinker, long-time community activists who fought to preserve Arlington’s affordable housing, including Gates of Ballston years earlier.

Photo: AHC’s purchase of the Gates of Ballston preserved one of Arlington’s largest garden-style apartment communities. 

AHC Inc., City Officials and Partners Celebrate 78 New Affordable Apartments in Alexandria

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April 18, 2016 – City of Alexandria officials, project partners and residents joined AHC Inc. to celebrate the official grand opening of Jackson Crossing, a new affordable apartment building in Alexandria, VA on Saturday, April 16.

Developed by AHC Inc., a regional affordable housing developer based in Arlington, VA, the rental community is home to 78 families with incomes at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (approximately $65,000 annually for a four-person household).

“Jackson Crossing is AHC’s first affordable apartment community in Alexandria,” said Walter D. Webdale, AHC President and CEO. “With 40 years of experience developing affordable housing in the region, AHC is delighted to partner with Alexandria and is looking forward to opening at least two more projects in the City in the next few years.”

Jackson Crossing has 14 one-bedrooms, 51 two-bedrooms, and 13 three-bedroom apartments.  Five of the apartments are ADA accessible. The apartment community includes a 750-square-foot community room where programs and services are offered for residents, underground parking and a 700-square-foot roof terrace. The building includes many green features, is EarthCraft certified, and provides 25% higher energy efficiency than typical standards.

The property’s location, across the street from Potomac Yard and steps away from DASH, Metroway/bus rapid transit and Metro options, adds to the desirability of the apartments. Market-rate condominiums and town homes are across the street and the Capitol dome is visible in the distance.

“The City values its partnership with AHC and is very pleased to be celebrating the addition of 78 new affordable homes at Jackson Crossing in such an amenity-rich area,” said City of Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg.

More than 500 people were on a waiting list when the apartments opened. Today’s residents are a diverse group of people from all walks of life, including senior citizens, veterans, a former teacher’s aide, a bus driver, flight attendants and families with children of all ages.

The Alexandria City Council approved the affordable housing project in 2013. The city loaned $2.5 million to AHC and also transferred a city-owned parcel of land to AHC for the project. Six adjacent parcels assembled by AHC make up the rest of the site.

Jackson Crossing was designed by Bonstra|Haresign Architects and built by Harkins Builders Inc.  It was financed by loans from Capital One Bank, the City of Alexandria, Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), NeighborWorks America, AHC Inc., and 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity from Hudson Housing Capital issued by the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA).

Photo caption:  City of Alexandria officials, including Mayor Allison Silberberg and City Council members, AHC staff, project partners, and residents cut the ribbon at Jackson Crossing, 78 new affordable apartments in Alexandria, VA, on Saturday, April 16. (Photo by John Dawson, Harkins Builders)

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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 7,000 apartment units in 52 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.

 

AHC Inc. and PN Hoffman Win Right to Develop Southwest DC Parcel

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March 30, 2016 –  The DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) has selected AHC Inc., PN Hoffman and several other partners to develop Waterfront Station II, a 59,000-square-foot lot adjacent to the Southwest Waterfront Metro station in Washington, DC. This is the last of the Waterfront Station parcels in the Southwest community.

PN Hoffman is the senior partner and AHC is developing the affordable housing component. Other partners include ER Bacon Development, LLC; CityPartners; and Paramount Development LLC.

Designed by Torti Gallas, the 400,000 square-foot, mixed-income, mixed-use building will include 133 affordable apartments (30% of the total), 310 market-rate apartments, a 10,000-square-foot black box theater and cultural artist space, and approximately 20,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail. The project is being designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.

“AHC is delighted to provide the affordable housing piece of this vibrant project, which will bring much-needed quality affordable living opportunities to the Southwest community and help residents live closer to where they work, the Metro and retail opportunities,” said Walter D. Webdale, AHC President and CEO.”

The community-minded proposal won the neighborhood’s support earlier in the application process – thanks to its diverse housing for a mix of incomes, neighborhood-serving retail, and unique cultural offering that aims to continue building DC’s Southwest neighborhood as a premier arts and cultural destination.

“The Southwest Waterfront is experiencing a renaissance unlike anything else in the District,” said PN Hoffman founder and CEO Monty Hoffman. “We are confident that our plan to revitalize a key portion of 4th Street SW will enhance the livability and allure of the neighborhood.”

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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 7,000 apartment units in 52 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.