Innovative Partnership Leveraging County Land for Deeply Affordable Housing Breaks Ground in Silver Spring

January 19, 2023 — AHC Inc. and Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland broke ground today on a 195-home, deeply affordable community.  The development is one of the largest new construction, affordable development of its kind in Montgomery County, Maryland, and includes 85 hard-to-find, family-sized, three- and four-bedroom homes. The community will co-locate rental and homeownership housing options and offer onsite resident services programming and childcare.

Located at 4010 Randolph Road, near the intersection of Veirs Mill Road, the development sits on 6 acres, with excellent access to schools, shopping, employment, and transit. Two future Bus Rapid Transit lines are scheduled to run past the community.  The site also fronts the County’s broadband access cable, which will help bridge the digital divide by offering low-cost internet access.

AHC will develop 168 affordable rental units across six new buildings. Habitat will develop and sell 27 affordable homeownership homes — 24 garden-style condominiums in two buildings and three single-family detached homes with Universal Design features.

The rental homes will be affordable to households earning 30% to 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) – $42,700 to $85,380 for a family of four. The condominiums will be affordable at 30% to 50% AMI. The three single-family homes will be affordable at 70% AMI and use the unique Habitat for Humanity approach. With this approach, homeowners participate in the construction of their future homes that they purchase through a no-profit mortgage from Habitat.

“The vision for this community is to address several primary challenges facing many of our neighbors living on lower incomes – deeply affordable housing for larger families, access to transit, and the availability of childcare,” said Alan Goldstein, AHC’s Vice President of Real Estate Development. “We are thrilled that AHC’s mission-aligned partnership with Habitat for Humanity allows us to offer both affordable rental homes as well as homeownership opportunities.”

“This exciting project will be truly transformative for our future homebuyers. Through the partnership with AHC and Montgomery County, we are building deeply affordable homes for families unable to secure conventional mortgage financing due to market pressures,” says Jeff Dee, President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland. “We thank our partners for prioritizing affordable homeownership, helping to ensure equitable access to wealth building in our community.”

To help with the goal of creating more affordable housing, Montgomery County issued a request for proposals in 2019 to redevelop the land.  The land value coupled with reduced property taxes through the County’s PILOT program, and a substantial loan from the County’s Housing Initiative Fund enabled the transaction to close despite dramatic increases in both construction costs and interest rates.

“Since taking office in my first term, I have been focused on creative solutions to our long-standing affordable housing crisis. As I noted in my recent inaugural address, this will continue to be a priority in my 2nd term in office,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich.

“I am thrilled that this project is moving forward and that it includes homeownership options for low-income residents.  When we began discussing this project, I pushed for homeownership opportunities, and I’m grateful to our partners for making sure that was included. It is an outstanding, innovative project. I want to express my deep appreciation to the many who are making this happen, including of course the project developers AHC and Habitat for Humanity, our DHCA and DGS and other County staff as well as the strong support of the County Council.”

Key Features of the Development

In addition to large, family-sized units, the Randolph Road community will include a community center, onsite resident services staff and programming, a fitness center, and a half-acre public park with a playground, picnic area, inviting pedestrian walkways, and open lawn areas. Space will be available onsite for a future childcare provider.

The entire project will meet National Green Building Standards and Energy Star compliance, with increased building insulation, LED lighting, and WaterSense plumbing fixtures. In addition, the site will include six EV charging stations for residents – with the capability to add another 10 stations if the demand increases. The electrical infrastructure and roof are designed for solar energy panel installation.

The construction period is just over two years, and the community will be open by Spring 2025.

Funding, Design & Development Partners

AHC Inc.’s $86 million affordable apartment development successfully competed for a variety of local, state, and national funds, including $27 million in low-income housing tax credit equity (LIHTC); a nearly $24 million loan from the Montgomery County Housing Initiative Fund (HIF); a $500,000 loan from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta; and, from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Administration (DHCD), a $2 million Rental Housing Program loan, $3.5 million Rental Housing Works loan, and $300,000 in Maryland Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability Program (MEEHA) funds. Hudson Housing Capital syndicated the LIHTC, which were purchased by Capital One.  Other sources include a construction loan from Capital One and a permanent mortgage loan originated by Capital One and guaranteed by Freddie Mac.

The design and development team includes Bonstra | Haresign Architects, Parker Rodriguez Landscape Architects, Johnson Bernat Associates (civil engineer), Kimley-Horn (traffic engineer), Harkins Builders (construction), Lerch Early Brewer (zoning attorney), and Klein Hornig (tax credit attorney).

 


Media Contacts

Jennifer Smith, AHC Inc., 571-556-7403, jennifer.smith@ahcinc.org

Jeff Dee, Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland, 202-997-5425, jeff.dee@habitatmm.org

Barry Hudson, Montgomery County, 240-777-6528, Barry.Hudson@montgomerycountymd.gov

AHC Inc. Brings More Affordable Housing to Fairfax County

AHC Surpasses Milestone of 1,100+ affordable homes in Fairfax County

(September 8, 2022) AHC Inc., along with partner Insight Property Group, purchased the property formerly known as Colvin Woods Apartments located in Fairfax County, Virginia, for $72 million. Rebranded as Haven Reston, the 259-unit community will be preserved as affordable apartments for 30 years.

The property was a naturally occurring affordable community with no existing rent restrictions to safeguard affordability. In partnership with Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, AHC and Insight plan to preserve and increase long-term, dedicated residential affordability.

The affordability goals will be implemented in a phased approach over three to five years, to achieve an apartment mix serving households between 60% area median income (AMI) and 80% AMI. AHC’s award-winning Resident Services will collaborate with the new ownership team to assess and plan for community needs.

“Through our joint venture with Insight and with significant support from Fairfax County, we’re ensuring housing security for hundreds of individuals and families for decades into the future,” says Paul Bernard, AHC Inc. President & CEO. “Preserving the affordable housing in this beautiful woodland area, full of nearby amenities, is central to our mission of helping residents thrive.”

Haven Reston is located at 11012 Becontree Lake Dr. in Reston and was built in 1979. The 47-acre property is less than 10 minutes from Reston Town Center, the Wiehle and Reston Town Center Metrorail stations, and the Dulles Toll Road. The property includes one- and two-bedroom apartments along with a community clubhouse, playground, fitness center and swimming pool.

Over the next four years, AHC and Insight will invest in improvements to update the exteriors, site, and common areas.

“Insight is proud to have partnered with Fairfax County and AHC in order to preserve this much-needed affordable housing,” said Tim White, Principal at Insight Property Group.

“Preservation is about making key investments in existing residential infrastructure to advance our continuing goal of ensuring that everyone who works in Fairfax County can also afford to live here,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “Our $15 million investment in Colvin Woods Apartments will provide significant affordable rental options in a community of high opportunity with access to transit, employment, medical services, recreation, and all the very best of what Fairfax County has to offer.”


About AHC Inc.

Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing that provides quality homes plus education programs and social services for low-and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed nearly 8,000 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. For more information, visit www.ahcinc.org.

Media Contact: Jennifer Smith, Director of Communications, jennifer.smith@ahcinc.org

About Insight Property Group

About Insight Property Group: Insight Property Group acquires and develops mixed-use and residential communities in the Washington Metropolitan area. Since its inception in 2009, it has built a broad portfolio of housing including affordable, workforce, mixed-use and luxury rental communities as well as infill for-sale townhomes. With more than $1.5 billion in investments, Insight has purchased, re-positioned and constructed more than 4,800 residential units and 200,000 square feet of commercial space with another 1,250 units and 120,000 sf of retail in the immediate pipeline. The company is recognized for delivering memorable, neighborhood-centric projects. For more information, visit www.insightpropertygroupllc.com.

Media Contact: Karen Widmayer, karenwidmayerpr@gmail.comkarenwidmayerpr@gmail.com

About the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) serves nearly 20,000 residents through a variety of rental housing assistance and homeownership programs and owns and operates nearly 4,000 units of housing – including multifamily housing, senior housing, licensed assisted living and specialized housing for tenants with a variety of needs. The FCRHA also oversees and administers Fairfax County’s land use housing programs and the investment of public land and local funds (including state and federal grants) to increase and/or preserve the county’s stock of affordable homes.

Media Contact: Ben Boxer, Marketing and Outreach Manager, benjamin.boxer@fairfaxcounty.gov

AHC Inc. Receives $2M Federal Funding Award

In June, the U.S. Treasury announced that AHC Inc. will receive $2M in federal funding from the prestigious Capital Magnet Fund. This funding will allow AHC to establish an internal revolving loan fund that will leverage an additional $20M in private capital to renovate at least 331 deeply affordable apartments at AHC communities in Northern Virginia, Baltimore, and suburban Maryland.  

“We’re excited to be a first-time awardee for this competitive program,” said Paul Bernard, President/CEO of AHC Inc. “This award will help us modernize several aging AHC Inc. properties and also extend their affordability for another 30 years. Ultimately, the award will benefit our residents – and their communities – in census tract Areas of Economic Distress.”  

AHC was one of only 59 recipients nationwide and just one of three in Virginia to receive funding. AHC was selected following a merit-based review of applications submitted from nearly 150 organizations. 

Background 

The funds are administered by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund through the department’s Capital Magnet Fund. 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) awarded 59 organizations $336.4 million to support financing for the preservation, rehabilitation, development or purchase of affordable housing as well as related economic development and community service facilities such as daycare centers, workforce development centers and health care clinics.  

The awardees are required to leverage their awards with other private and public investment by at least 10 to 1, guaranteeing that a minimum of $3.36 billion will be invested in eligible projects across the United States. Read the CDFI news release or check out the award book to learn more. 

 

Media Contact: Jennifer Smith, Director of Communications, jennifer.smith@ahcinc.org

Key’s Pointe Project in Baltimore Receives $2.9M in ARPA Funding

June 16, 2022

More affordable housing is coming to Baltimore, with the help of $2.9M in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. The funding will go toward a new phase of the Key’s Pointe development. AHC Greater Baltimore (AHC-GB) and our development partner The Michaels Organization (TMO) are leading the project in partnership with the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC)—a redevelopment of the O’Donnell Heights, a public housing community in Southeast Baltimore. 

AHC-GB and TMO have been redeveloping the massive 62-acre revitalization project in phases and already have constructed 144 townhome-style homes. The 60 apartments that are part of this next phase will replace the existing public housing, along with market affordable apartments. 

In April, Mayor Brandon Scott joined Councilmember Zeke Cohen, HABC President & CEO Janet Abrahams, Senate President Bill Ferguson, Delegate Brooke Lierman, O’Donnell Heights residents, and AHC and TMO project staff to announce the ARPA funding award for Key’s Pointe/O’Donnell Heights. 

“I am honored to be able to fill the gap and fulfill the city’s commitment to its long-time residents in the O’Donnell Heights community. This is an exciting development,” said Mayor Brandon Scott. “Once again, we are maximizing the impact of our ARPA allocation to help those most in need in our city.” 

AHC Greater Baltimore Director Mary Claire Davis has been leading the project. “As we move forward with the next phase, we’re excited to continue our long-term commitment to the O’Donnell Heights residents and surrounding communities, in partnership with TMO and HABC,” she said. “We are grateful to Councilmember Zeke Cohen for his passionate support of this project and community – and to Mayor Brandon Scott’s financial commitment of ARPA funds toward this effort.”  

Phase 2A of Key’s Pointe will construct 62 units of mixed-income rental homes. Thirty-one of these homes will be dedicated to current and relocated O’Donnell Heights residents. The remaining homes will be available to households earning 60% of the area median income (AMI) and less.  

Background 

The HABC selected AHC-GB and development partner TMO nearly 10 years ago to redevelop O’Donnell Heights, originally built in 1942 as WWII worker housing, converting to public housing after the war. Visit the Key’s Point development project page for more information.

 

Media Contact: Jennifer Smith, Director of Communications, jennifer.smith@ahcinc.org

Photo of Paul Bernard

AHC Board Names Paul Bernard New Chief Executive Officer

Photo of Paul Bernard

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Arlington, VA — AHC Inc.’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Paul Bernard has been unanimously selected as the organization’s new President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He will join AHC in his new role on April 4.

Mr. Bernard brings nearly 30 years of experience in urban planning and real estate development, public finance and investing, community development and affordable housing. He has worked in both the public sector as well as the private sector and has extensive external leadership skills working with communities and government officials.  Throughout his career, Mr. Bernard has demonstrated a commitment to addressing economic and social issues, including housing as the foundation for economic success. He has made diversity, equity, and inclusion a cornerstone of his leadership.

Most recently, Mr. Bernard was executive vice president of advisory and educational services at the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a nonprofit research and education organization focused on issues affecting urban communities, including housing. In that role, he managed four international and global-oriented programs and provided development services to municipalities, corporations, students, and real estate professionals. He also led a program that provided dozens of clients with solutions in affordable housing, sustainability/disaster recovery, economic development, mixed-use master planning, urban regeneration, parks and open space and other land-use issues.

Prior to ULI, Mr. Bernard was vice president at Enterprise Community Partners, a Washington, D.C nonprofit improving the lives of low-income residents through housing preservation, community development and by bridging the racial equity gap. While there, he grew a $45M national public sector advisory platform. The consulting practice included 288 diverse clients, including 48 municipalities, 187 public housing authorities, and 53 foundations/nonprofits and private organizations.

Mr. Bernard also worked for Walker & Dunlop, the largest provider of capital to the multifamily industry in the US, as senior vice president of principal investments and prior to that for MMA Realty Capital as a public pension fund advisor. He also was the planning director for the City of Detroit from 1988 to 2002, overseeing $8 billion in new construction projects. And early in his career, Mr. Bernard worked for the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, identifying sites for acquisition and development. He currently sits on the Board of Lotus, which houses and includes wrap-around services for formerly homeless residents.

“I am honored to join the AHC team and have long admired the organization’s mission of providing quality affordable housing and outstanding resident services. I am excited about the opportunity to work with local leaders, advocates, and partners to provide much-needed homes and services throughout the Virginia, Maryland, and DC region,” said Bernard.

“Paul has a history of tackling a variety of housing challenges and a track record of leading real change,” says David Barsky, AHC Board Chair. “With his perspective in economics, finance and urban planning — coupled with his passion for affordable housing and its potential to transform lives– we’re thrilled to have him lead AHC forward in its next chapter.”

Mr. Bernard will replace Susan Cunningham who served as Interim CEO since July 2021 and will support AHC as a senior adviser.

Mr. Bernard holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) in International Finance from Georgetown University’s Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service. He also holds a Master of Public Policy (MPP) in Urban Economics & Public Finance from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In addition, he has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Strategy & Finance from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

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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 7,800 apartments in 50+ properties in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 3,000 children, teens, and adults and seniors each year through onsite education and social service programs and activities. Visit the AHC website for more information.

 Contact

Jennifer  Smith
AHC Inc. Communications Director
703-486‑0626 x1118
jennifer.smith@ahcinc.org