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Goodwill of Greater Washington and AHC Propose to Provide Critically Needed Affordable Housing

February 22, 2023


Goodwill of Greater Washington (Goodwill) and Affordable Homes & Communities (AHC) announced they will partner together on a groundbreaking initiative to provide a critically needed, service-enriched, affordable housing community and a new, world-class, retail store and donation center on the site of the existing Goodwill store on Glebe Road in Arlington, VA.

Goodwill of Greater Washington is a nonprofit organization that provides free job training, education, and supportive services to people faced with barriers to employment. The social enterprise, best known for its 21 area retail stores, has already expanded beyond its free job training programs into the secondary education space and the sustainability space with the opening of two Goodwill Excel Center Adult Charter High Schools, and its new Goodwill Sustainability Center that recycles plastics, and soon, other materials. Now, Goodwill hopes to branch out again by tackling a major barrier to employment: affordable housing.

Goodwill will demolish and rebuild its flagship store located at 10 South Glebe Road in Arlington, VA, pending review and approval by Arlington County as part of the site plan development process. In its place, AHC will develop a multistory, family-focused, affordable housing complex that will sit atop a newly rebuilt and expanded Goodwill store and donation center. The proposed mixed-use plan will include enough parking to accommodate both apartment residents and retail shoppers.

AHC, a regional developer of affordable and workforce housing, brings extensive experience creating affordable housing communities in Arlington. The collaboration with Goodwill is a continuation of AHC’s work partnering with mission-aligned organizations to develop housing. AHC will guide the partnership through the development process, including securing Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) and other subsidies to finance the initiative. AHC also plans to provide onsite Resident Services to further support the individuals and families living in the community. The partnership envisions a mixed-income community with many family-sized units.

Affordable housing will remove a tremendous barrier for community members living on low income—individuals vital to supporting the community’s economic health. The new retail store and donation center will create up to 30 incremental new jobs and result in a more efficient donation experience.

Goodwill believes that to permanently solve the unemployment problem, it must take a holistic approach to eliminating barriers to employment, which go beyond just the hard skills required for most jobs. This affordable housing project will address one of those barriers in a very meaningful way.

“We can no longer view the removal of one barrier as the solution to a systemic unemployment problem that is the result of many barriers”, said Catherine Meloy, President and CEO of Goodwill of Greater Washington and The Goodwill Excel Center. “Therefore, we’re excited about partnering with AHC and respected, local architect, Michael Foster, on a project that will have such a lasting impact on the communities we serve.

“We commend Goodwill’s foresight in pursuing a mixed-use strategy for the redevelopment of its flagship store for the benefit of both their business and the community. Developing affordable housing is challenging and joining forces with a similarly mission-oriented organization will be transformational,” says AHC President & CEO Paul Bernard. “We are excited to partner with Goodwill on creating a state-of-the-art facility and high-quality affordable housing that will serve the Arlington community for decades.”

Goodwill and AHC plan to target a groundbreaking on the new facility by the summer of 2025, the opening of the renovated retail store by the end of 2026, and welcoming new residents to the housing complex in 2027.


Media contact: Brendan Hurley, Goodwill Greater Washington, 202-715-2605 (w) or 703-472-8302


 

About Goodwill of Greater Washington: Goodwill of Greater Washington has been transforming lives and communities through the power of education and employment since 1935. Goodwill operates 21 Washington, DC area retail stores, 9 government contract sites that employ hundreds of people with disabilities, and two adult charter high schools called The Goodwill Excel Center. Visit www.dcgoodwill.org.

About Affordable Homes & Communities: Affordable Homes & Communities (AHC), a nonprofit developer based in Arlington, VA, builds and preserves affordable and mixed-income housing in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. Since 1975, AHC has developed more than 8,200 apartments in the mid-Atlantic region, including 3,500 in Arlington. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches thousands of children, teens, adults, and seniors each year through onsite education and social service programs and activities. For more information, visit www.ahcinc.org. 


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