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Building a Better Future for The Serrano

October 22, 2021

Dear AHC Residents, Partners, and Supporters,  

Over the past few months, we have made significant progress resolving deferred maintenance and resident concerns at The Serrano Apartments, which is under new management by our partner Drucker + Falk.  We want to thank each of you for your partnership, honesty, and patience as we work with residents to make every home at The Serrano — and at every AHC apartment community — welcoming and comfortable. 

SUPPORTING THE MOST AFFECTED HOUSEHOLDS 

We want every resident in the 280 apartments at The Serrano to feel secure and comfortable in their home. Progress includes:  

Relocation support. All Serrano residents who expressed interest in moving out have successfully relocated to new permanent homes or returned to fully inspected and repaired apartments at the Serrano. Of the 44 families that expressed interest in exploring other homes, about half moved to other communities and half returned to refurbished Serrano apartments. One is still choosing her home. All 31 families who chose to relocate temporarily to a hotel suite are now in their preferred permanent housing: 20 at the Serrano and 11 in other homes.  

Rental assistance. Serrano families have accessed more than $600,000 in rental assistance. AHC’s onsite Resident Services team has helped 57 Serrano families access rental assistance so far, and continues to help residents access additional rent relief. 

Rent and utility credits. All Serrano households received a one-time credit to apply toward their July rent payment. The credits included $500 for studios/one bedrooms, $750 for two-bedrooms, and $1,000 for three-bedrooms. Also in July, we simplified utility payments. Starting on August 1, 2021, residents are billed the same amount each month based on HUD utility allowances, which are updated on July 1 every year. The rates are based on apartment size. AHC has made the system retroactive to July 2020. On July 1, 2021, all residents who moved into the Serrano prior to 2021 received a credit to their ledger for overpayment during the previous 12 months.

Reimbursement process. This summer we worked with Serrano residents and tenant advocates to create a voluntary claims process for residents to request reimbursement for damage to their property. Throughout September, tenant advocates, AHC staff and AHC Board members worked with past and present residents to prepare voluntary loss claims. Claims from 19 households were received before the early October deadline. Three claims have been fully resolved, one is going through the mediation process, and the others are in active review by a third-party adjuster for resolution in the coming weeks.  

PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENTS  

We are continuing to make near term improvements in the physical plat at Serrano and have launched the pre-development team who will plan (in collaboration with residents) the options and phasing for comprehensive renovation in the next few years. Highlights include:  

Inspections. 100% of the apartments inspected by Arlington County passed inspection. The onsite inspection was provided for every resident who expressed interest.  

Pests. Mice activity was a key concern, and we are seeing significant progress. We continue to work hand-in-hand with our new pest vendor, residents and staff to inspect the 99% of apartments who have granted access. We have moved from “heightened” to “average” pest activity. Our pest professionals are onsite three times a week to treat proactively and respond immediately to any new concerns. 

Air Quality. The County’s third-party air quality testing this summer identified no systemic air quality issues, including no airborne asbestos or observed lead paint. We continue preventative maintenance, and unit-specific repairs to further improve air quality, including providing four furnished onsite hospitality suites to make it easier and more convenient for families to temporarily relocate onsite while repairs are being made.  

Plumbing Repairs. We continue to work with residents to reduce the disruption from routine plumbing repairs. The building is designed with groups of 5-10 apartments that are affected by a plumbing repair in any one of the apartments. Though water shut offs are typically brief and usually planned, we know they are disruptive to impacted residents and are exploring retrofits to reduce the number of homes impacted each time the water is shut off. 

Elevator Upgrades. We have completed routine updates to elevator interiors and updated annual inspections of all four elevators. When elevator work is scheduled, residents are informed by text and paper notice and work is phased to ensure that each building has at least one elevator operating at all times. 

IMPROVING COMMUNICATION, TRUST AND PARTNERSHIP 

We know this is the key to making sure residents really feel at home and know their voices are heard. We’ve made some good progress, but have more to do. Residents continue to share both suggestions and positive feedback – particularly about our new texting program.  

Communication. We have developed several new tools to improve how we stay in touch and listen to residents. Over 85% of Serrano households now receive regular text messages in Spanish and English.  To ensure we are listening effectively and hearing residents’ concerns, we hold monthly resident meetings (with English- Spanish translation), focus groups in English and Spanish, and third-party surveys to collect resident feedback. In addition, our Interim CEO has worked onsite at the Serrano several days a week to hear directly from residents. 

Resident engagement. Our Resident Services team continues to build relationships with Serrano residents. Along with assisting residents in accessing rental relief funds, two onsite staff members provide onsite programs and services, including vaccination clinics, backpack distributions, and ongoing fresh meal programs. A community fair held in mid-October offered pet checkups and an array of other opportunities in residents’ front yard. Link to short video. 

Community partnerships. We are coordinating closely with tenant advocates (VOICE, BU-GATA and NAACP) and Arlington County staff, meeting regularly to identify opportunities for better coordination and communication. 

STRENGTHENING AHC LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE 

Building on lessons from the Serrano, AHC is making structural changes within our organization, to improve our communication and amplify residents’ voices. Our goal is to make sure every resident in every AHC apartment community feels comfortable and welcome in their home.  

Amplifying resident voices. This week our Board of Directors added six new members, including two residents of AHC apartment communities. A joint CEO/Board Community Engagement Initiative is lifting resident voices and redoubling our commitment to building strong and diverse communities. Next month we will welcome a dedicated staff member to coordinate community engagement across AHC, ensuring resident and community voice in our decision-making — across resident services programming, communications, real estate development and property management. 

Supporting diversity and inclusion. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts include intentional conversation and training, from the Board room to the frontline. We are expanding intercultural communication strategies and trauma-informed practices training, to complement existing customer service and conscious bias training.   

Hiring a permanent CEO. The AHC Board has hired a search firm to assist in a national search for the next CEO.  AHC anticipates launching the search in December with the goal of identifying the next leader in the second quarter of 2022.  If you have any questions related to the search you may contact Peggy Sand, Marcum Search and Sustainability Consultant at Peggy.Sand@Marcumllp.com

We want to thank our residents, Arlington County, and advocates who have been working with us to make sure that AHC continues to provide the level of service and care that our residents expect and deserve. 

Sincerely, 

David Barsky, AHC Inc. Board Chair
Susan Cunningham, AHC Inc. Interim CEO


August 13, 2021

AHC Inc. recognizes that at times during the last few years, living conditions at the Serrano did not meet our high standards. We are sorry for any inconvenience and thank our residents and the community for your patience and partnership as we make things right. 

Although Virginia law states that renters are generally responsible for any damage sustained to items inside their homes, we want to do more to help Serrano residents who may have experienced losses. 

On August 13, AHC distributed letters to all Serrano residents outlining the process we’ve put in place to reimburse residents if they sustained damage to personal belongings such as furniture or clothing due to pests or maintenance failures at the Serrano or if Serrano management failed to fix a defective condition in their home within a reasonable time after they brought it to management’s attention. 

Letters to Residents

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Reimbursement Process


June 24, 2021

Dear AHC Residents, Partners and Supporters,

We take the safety and well-being of our residents extremely seriously and we are working to build a better future for residents of The Serrano apartment building, which is owned by AHC Inc. and currently managed by one of our partners Drucker & Falk (D+F). In response to reports from some residents about unacceptable conditions in several units, AHC and D+F are working closely with the Arlington County Housing Commission, county officials, and community organizations, to ensure that residents’ concerns are not only heard but addressed as soon as possible.

We have made significant steps in addressing the challenges at The Serrano, but there is still much that needs to be done. The following is an update about the progress AHC and D+F have already made, as well as upcoming changes and improvements to the building’s infrastructure that are currently being planned at The Serrano.

ADDRESSING IMMEDIATE REPAIRS AT SERRANO

AHC is committed to investing in The Serrano and its future. To date, we have invested $500,000 in 2021 for immediate repairs at the community. AHC has also allocated up to $2 million of its cash reserves to conduct necessary repairs at The Serrano over the next 6 to 12 months.

Pest Control   

  • D+F has hired two pest management companies to comprehensively address the challenges. The primary firm, Environmental Pest, has completed its total seal and treatment of both buildings (12 apartments were not treated due to no access).
  • A second firm, Orkin, has done a complete walkthrough of the community and confirmed that Environmental Pest’s approach is effectively addressing the property’s needs.
  • Along with pest treatment, D+F has addressed pest issues by repairing and thoroughly cleaning trash chutes throughout the buildings.

Convectors

  • As of May 14, the property’s 600+ convectors were cleaned to industry standards and inspected for proper function (except for 10 apartments due to no access).
  • AHC and D+F also initiated a second air quality testing on June 16, which has been shared with the County and coordinated with the County’s environmental testing set.
  • D+F and AHC completed due diligence to inspect convectors to verify proper operation and D+F will replace units that are no longer operational.

Ventilation/Exhaust Ducts

  • By May 14, 2021, D+F completed its full inspection of the kitchen and bath exhaust systems. To date, D+F has replaced two of the exhaust system fan motors located on the roofs and repaired a third.
  • To further help to improve airflow throughout the buildings, AHC is hiring a firm to test and balance the ventilation system.

Balconies

  • AHC’s Construction Management team had a structural engineer review/inspect the balconies.
  • Having received the structural engineer’s report, we are now soliciting pricing proposals for any recommended work.
  • D+F has also repaired all identified broken glass panels.

Other recently completed maintenance

  • AHC and D+F installed new laundry equipment and flooring in laundry rooms.
  • Completed lighting survey and tree trimming to brighten property exterior. Additional lights are ordered and will be installed this summer.
  • Installed package delivery lockers to ensure security of delivered packages.
  • Repaired pool pump.

NEXT STEPS: NEAR-TERM PLAN OF ACTION

120-day repair plan

  • Based on the completed inspections, D+F is developing a 120-day plan to address individual apartment needs and the overall living environment throughout the property. 

Keeping residents informed

  • D+F completed full inspections of almost all The Serrano apartments (except 20 they were not given permission to enter). By July 15, 2021, each resident will have received a letter with the specific work that will need to be done in their apartment. Residents will be notified at least 48 hours before repairs are scheduled in their apartment. 

Accommodating residents during repairs

  • To minimize the inconvenience while repairs are underway, AHC will make 2 or 3 apartments at The Serrano available as temporary living arrangements. In addition, the community room will also be available for several families to spend the day.

 Helping families move, if desired

  • For residents who choose to move out of The Serrano permanently, AHC and Arlington County are working together to cover the majority of moving costs. Additionally, AHC is waving all fees for ending their lease.
  • The Serrano residents who want to learn more about this option can call Jeray Wilson of Housing Opportunities Unlimited at 202.977.8099.

 Expediting returns to The Serrano

  • AHC and D+F are expediting repairs for households who were temporarily relocated to hotels by Arlington County.
  • For any questions regarding this process, The Serrano residents can reach out to Nakia Brown at 703.253.7811 or nbrown(AT)druckerandfalk.com.

 Recognizing residents’ inconvenience

  • To acknowledge the residents’ challenges, we are crediting a payment to each household toward their July rent ($500 for studios/one-bedrooms, $750 for two-bedrooms, and $1,000 for three-bedrooms).
  • AHC is also providing $200 gift cards to all families who had to move to hotels temporarily so repairs could be completed in their apartments. In addition, families living elsewhere temporarily will not be billed for utilities while they were living off-site.

 AHC’S LONG-TERM COMMITMENTS TO ARLINGTON AHC RESIDENTS

 Simplifying utility payments

  • AHC is simplifying the utility system in response to residents’ concerns. Starting August 1, 2021, residents will be billed the same amount each month based on federal guidelines, according to the apartment size. AHC will make this system retroactive to July 1, 2020, which may result in rebates to some families.
  • The new utility billing system will be explained in more detail at the next resident meeting on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

 Amplifying resident voices

  • AHC will invite two residents, one from Arlington and another from across our portfolio, to join AHC’s 10-member Board of Directors at AHC’s Annual Meeting in October. If you are interested in being considered, please submit your name to endo(AT)ahcinc.org.
  • We are also committed to improving customer service and re-building trust. As such, D+F will continue holding monthly meetings with The Serrano residents to discuss any questions and concerns.
  • Customer service is our number one priority. If you are ever less than satisfied with the service you receive at The Serrano or any other AHC apartment community, we hope you will take the time to call AHC’s customer service hotline at 703.271.8425 to register a formal complaint. Our staff will be sure to follow up.

Planning for full-scale renovation

  • In addition to addressing residents’ immediate concerns, AHC plans to fully renovate The Serrano within the next three years. We will keep everyone updated as we determine exact timing and details.

We value your support and appreciate your patience as we make progress improving the overall living conditions at The Serrano. AHC Inc. is fully committed to making sure our residents have safe, healthy and quality homes. Working together, we know we can and will make The Serrano a wonderful place to live!

Sincerely,

AHC Inc. Board of Directors


May 20, 2021

Dear AHC Supporters, Partners and Residents,

We take the safety and well-being of our residents extremely seriously and we are working to build a better future for residents of The Serrano apartment building, which is owned by AHC Inc. and currently managed by one of our great partners Drucker & Falk. In response to reports from some residents about unacceptable conditions in several units, AHC Inc. and Drucker & Falk are working closely with the Arlington County Housing Commission, County officials, and community organizations, to ensure that residents’ concerns are not only heard but addressed as soon as possible.

So, what is AHC doing?

To move forward, we are redoubling our efforts and taking immediate actions to address residents’ top concerns:

  1. AHC Inc. has allocated $1 million to conduct necessary repairs at The Serrano in 2021, in addition to the $3 million we already invested in the property over the past three years. We are planning to invest another $2+ million in near-term capital repairs to improve residents’ living experience at Serrano.  To pay for this work, AHC will invest its own funds.
  2. Over the past few days, Drucker & Falk has completed more than half of its 100% inspection of the property (except for the apartments where residents have not provided access) to document and remediate all identified issues. Drucker & Falk is using special software to photograph and document conditions to create individualized action plans for each home and to hold ourselves accountable for the progress.
  3. AHC is working closely with Arlington County to respond to any residents’ interest in alternative living options. AHC is waiving fees and returning resident’s deposits. The County will help move belongings free of charge. More information.
  4. We have hired two pest control companies to treat the entire property. One company is searching and sealing for mice while the other is inspecting and re-checking the work.
  5. To address issues with heating and cooling convectors, AHC Inc. has expedited the spring maintenance schedule. All 639 convectors at The Serrano will be opened and vacuumed with a triple HEPA-filtered vacuum by the end of the month. All grille panels, evaporator pans, screens, and AC coils will be thoroughly cleaned.
  6. To continue building better communications and trust with our residents, Serrano’s new bilingual Resident Services office will be holding monthly bilingual resident meetings. Additionally, AHC Inc. will be administering anonymous surveys to provide residents an opportunity to confidentially convey their concerns, comments, and suggestions. Residents will receive a $25 gift card if they fill out the survey. We will repeat the survey in six months to track progress.

As pandemic restrictions are lifted, we look forward to making these repairs more quickly and will keep you up to date on our progress.

AHC Inc. is 100 percent committed to making sure our residents have safe, healthy and quality homes. We are proud of the 7,800 much-needed affordable homes AHC has created throughout the region, and we will continue to work hard to help our residents build brighter future.

Sincerely,
AHC Inc. Board of Directors

HUD Secretary Fudge and Officials Tour Alexandria Affordable Housing Community The Spire

HUD Secretary Fudge, Congressman Beyer, and Alexandria Mayor Wilson toured AHC Inc. affordable housing property The Spire to  address the affordable housing crisis and the path to recovery through Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda.

Officials Visit Alexandria Affordable Housing Community to Highlight National Affordable Housing Crisis

For Immediate Release: August 24, 2021

On Friday, August 13, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge, Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08), and City of Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson visited AHC affordable housing community, The Spire, as part of a larger discussion about the nationwide affordable housing crisis.

“We are one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the world, and certainly in America, one of the best educated, and yet there are still many people struggling and living in poverty among us,” said Beyer. “Thank goodness we are choosing as a community to use our resources to invest in housing and other services for these people.”

In Alexandria, The Spire is one of a half-dozen newly built affordable housing developments. The City is working to meet both its Housing Master Plan target of 2,000 committed affordable rental apartments by 2025, as well as its portion of the 2030 regional housing goal set by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, which would require production or preservation of an additional 2,250 affordable and workforce level homes. While this will not meet all the affordable housing needs in the City, it represents an acceleration of the City’s historical rate of affordable housing production.

After touring The Spire’s community spaces and an accessible two-bedroom unit, officials provided remarks on the project and highlighted the Biden administration’s Build Back Better Agenda. As part of this recovery initiative, the creation of two million new affordable and low-income homes is proposed, along with expanding financial resources, including private investment through the low-income housing tax credit program, to support the goal.

“Low-income and affordable housing was a problem before COVID, but it is even a bigger problem now,” observed Fudge. “There is no place in this country today where a person making minimum wage can afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment. We know, we hear, and we understand what’s happening in this country. And I want to thank everybody who had anything to do with this project.”

“It was an honor to welcome Secretary Fudge to Alexandria and have the opportunity to highlight a project that demonstrates the value of community partnerships,” added Wilson. “Affordable housing continues to be a priority for the City and is integral for the success of our community as a whole.”

The Spire opened its doors to residents this past spring, seven years after its inception. In 2014, the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection generously offered nonprofit housing developer, AHC Inc., a parcel of their property as part of their commitment to expanding housing affordability for neighbors in the Alexandria community. Located in the Beauregard neighborhood, The Spire’s 113 apartments offer affordable homes to households with incomes ranging from 30% to 60% of the area median income.

 “We are so grateful that Secretary Fudge, Congressman Beyer, and Mayor Wilson came to The Spire to discuss this critical issue that affects so many in our region,” said Interim AHC CEO Susan Cunningham. “We hope projects like The Spire encourage other communities to join together to create affordable housing and pave a way forward for families in need.”

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, 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 ahcinc.org.

For media inquiries, please contact Celia Slater, Communications Director, at celia.slater@ahcinc.org or 571-228-5948.

About the City of Alexandria

Founded in 1749, the City of Alexandria is a full-service, independent city in Virginia, with a AAA/aaa credit rating and a national reputation for progressive and responsible government. With a fast-paced business environment, walkable neighborhoods and lifestyle amenities, Alexandria is a world-class destination where businesses and nonprofits choose to be. Alexandria’s ample office space and urban amenities offer room to grow – and value that is unmatched anywhere in the region. Located minutes from the nation’s capital, Alexandria’s old-world charm and cutting-edge innovation are the perfect mix for attracting a diverse community, talented workforce and enthusiastic visitors.

Visit alexandriava.gov/Housing for information about the City’s Housing Master Plan and affordable housing resources.

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Kelly Gilfillen, Acting Director, Office of Communications and Public Information, at kelly.gilfillen@alexandriava.gov or 571.208.9001.

AHC Inc. Breaks Ground on Affordable Apartment Redevelopment in Arlington

AHC Inc. broke ground on May 6 on the redevelopment of Arlington View Terrace East (AVT), a garden-style affordable housing community located on Arlington’s Columbia Pike, one of the County’s main corridors. The $39 million new construction project will create an expanded, sustainably designed community, which will provide residents with modern conveniences, such as free WiFi, a community room, fitness room, courtyard, and parking garage, as well as advanced green-building systems including roof-top solar.

Arlington, Va. —March 6, 2021 — AHC Inc., a leading developer of affordable housing in Maryland and Virginia, today broke ground on its $39 million redevelopment project of Arlington View Terrace East, an affordable housing community located on the eastern end of Columbia Pike. The current community includes 77 apartments spread out among seven two- and three-story buildings. The Arlington View Terrace East redevelopment is demolishing the largest of the structures, which currently includes 30 homes, and replacing it with a new Energy Star Certified & EarthCraft Certified Gold structure with 77 apartments. With construction beginning later this month, the redevelopment will boost the number of affordable apartments to 124 at Arlington View Terrace and create several new amenities and features for residents.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by local dignitaries, including Virginia State Delegate Alfonso Lopez and Arlington County Board members Matt de Ferranti and Katie Cristol.

“I’m delighted to be here today for the groundbreaking of much-needed affordable homes along Columbia Pike in Arlington,” said Virginia State Delegate Alfonso Lopez. “I believe investing in affordable housing is essential to the economic vitality of not only Arlington, but also to the entire Commonwealth. In today’s competitive economic climate, it takes a lot of resources to get an affordable housing project off the ground. I am proud this project is being funded through Virginia’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund – which I created in 2013 – along with support from other local and national partners.”

“Preserving and expanding access to safe, habitable affordable housing is a priority in our community,” said Arlington County Chair Matt De Ferranti. “Along with creating life-changing opportunities for dozens of local families, it’s also great to see that Arlington View Terrace East has been designed to contribute to a more equitable and sustainable future by including access to free WiFi and green design elements like solar panels.”

Ricky Clark, a service manager at AHC for nearly 20 years who grew up at AVT, also participated in the event.

“This will always be home for me,” Clark said. “A lot of these residents have lived here a long time. People enjoy both the sense of community and the convenience of being right off Columbia Pike.”

The new building will feature sustainable design elements, including a projected 190-panel solar system, AHC’s second solar project in Arlington. The solar project is expected to generate 84,000 kwh a year, enough to power nearly 8 single-family houses a year. Arlington View Terrace East is also AHC’s First Energy Star Certified Building and includes an extensive green roof to support stormwater management. The community qualified for Gold-level certification with EarthCraft Multifamily (ECMF), the nation’s first multifamily-specific green building program.

Residents will also enjoy a new community room, fitness room, courtyard, leasing office, and parking garage. The apartments will feature attractive plank flooring, bigger and more numerous windows, new appliances, and free WiFi for each apartment.

“We’re excited to break ground on redeveloping Arlington View Terrace East to bring more quality affordable apartments to Arlington,” said John Welsh, VP of Multifamily Development at AHC Inc. “Primely located in the heart of Arlington, central to jobs and the vibrant streetscape of Columbia Pike, this is a much-needed community that will provide dozens of local, hardworking families with an opportunity to build brighter futures.”

Expected to be completed by early 2023, AVT’s 77 new affordable apartments will house families earning between 30% and 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and will offer 15 three-bedroom apartments. Further, eight homes have been set aside for Arlington County’s Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) program, which provides the opportunity for residents with disabilities to maintain their housing and pay no more than 30% of their income towards rent. There will also be eight fully ADA accessible units, and the new building will meet Universal Design standards.

This project was made possible by AHC Inc.’s local and national partners. Arlington View Terrace East won an allocation of $2.03 million in competitive tax credits from Virginia Housing (VHDA), which will generate $19.5 million in tax credit equity. The Arlington County Board allocated up to $8.23 million in loan and grant funding, and the project was also selected for a $900,000 loan from the Virginia Housing Trust Fund.

Other funding partners include Virginia Housing (VHDA), Capital One, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (VDHCD), Hudson Housing, and NeighborWorks America. AHC Inc. also collaborated with Cunningham and Quill Architects, who designed the renovation, Harkins Builders, who will execute the construction, Walter L Phillips, AVT’s civil engineer and Klein Hornig, LLC, financing council.

To learn more about Arlington View Terrace East, visit: https://www.ahcinc.org/portfolio/arlington-view-terrace-east/

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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 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 https://www.ahcinc.org/

AHC Inc. Partners with Virginia Housing and Fairfax County to Preserve 292 Affordable Homes

Summary: Landings I and Landings II cover approximately 16 acres of land and feature 292 apartments for residents to choose from, with studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom options. Capital repairs will take place at the two properties in the next year, while a more extensive renovation will occur over the course of the next decade.

 Arlington, Va. —March 2, 2021 — More affordable homes are coming to the Alexandria and Fort Belvoir area, thanks to affordable housing developer AHC Inc., which today announced the acquisition of two prime properties. The acquisition was made in partnership with Virginia Housing and Fairfax County to fulfill their goal of providing safe, affordable homes for the residents of Fairfax County.

This acquisition ensures the preservation of 292 apartments as affordable homes. The properties will provide homes for residents earning between 50% and 80% of the Area Median Income or between $63,000 and $79,600 for a family of four. Affordability will be implemented in a phased approach upon turnover.

“Fairfax County is committed to ensuring no net loss of affordability. To accomplish this preservation goal, partnerships with the development community and financial institutions are essential,” said Department of Housing and Community Development Director Tom Fleetwood. “We are very excited that AHC and Virginia Housing have taken the first steps toward helping us meet that goal by preserving existing market affordable units along the opportunity-rich Richmond Highway Corridor.”

One of the properties, currently known as Haven Mount Vernon, is located at 5401 Claymont Drive in Alexandria, while the other, known as Haven Fort Belvoir, is located at 9190 Richmond Highway in Fort Belvoir. Both properties will be renamed as Landings I and Landings II, respectively.

The two communities will undergo moderate improvements, including repairs to the siding and sidewalks, in addition to partial replacements of the HVAC systems and hot water heaters. Easier access to the leasing center, as well as new roofing will be implemented at Landings I, while window repairs will be made at Landings II. Additional renovations will take place at both buildings over the span of the next 10 years.

“Preservation is an important aspect of Virginia Housing’s mission, and AHC is to be commended for preserving some of Fairfax County’s much-needed affordable housing stock along the Route 1 corridor,” said Virginia Housing CEO Susan Dewey. “Virginia Housing remains focused on working with our partners to increase the amount of quality affordable housing available to our citizens, especially in Northern Virginia. Together with AHC, Fairfax County and our other partners, we are making great progress toward our goal.”

Occupying nearly 12 acres of land, Landings I will offer 216 apartments with 168 two-bedrooms and 48 one-bedrooms. Landings II is situated on approximately four acres and will feature 76 residences with 12 studios, 42 one-bedroom apartments, and 22 with two-bedrooms.

Both communities will offer a number of amenities to their residents. Landings I will include a business center, fitness room, clubhouse, pool, children’s playground and picnic area, while Landings II will have an on-site dog park, playground and fitness center.

“I am committed to preserving and adding affordable and work force housing in the Richmond Highway corridor along with our many other new developments,” said Mount Vernon District Supervisor Daniel Storck. This new acquisition is a major step to not just preserving, but improving and enhancing the affordable housing stock we already have in the District for our residents.”

AHC Inc. financed the properties with loans from both Virginia Housing and Fairfax County, as well as an AHC Loan. Project financing also included Virginia Housing (VHDA) REACH, including funding specifically for affordable housing near Amazon’s new headquarters.

“We are excited to partner with both Virginia Housing and Fairfax County to help address the ongoing affordable housing crisis in our state,” said AHC Inc. VP of Multifamily Development, John Welsh. “Currently, there are many hard-working families who work in Alexandria and Fort Belvoir but do not live here because of the lack of housing affordable to them. Landings I and II will offer much-needed affordable and moderately priced homes, located near employment centers and convenient transportation options.  Landings I & II will connect nicely with Fairfax County’s Embark Richmond Highway.”

With the new acquisition, AHC Inc. has preserved or produced more than 1,100 quality homes for low- and moderate-income Fairfax County residents.

AHC Inc. is also welcoming 113 families later this month to a brand new affordable housing community in Fairfax County called The Spire, which is already accepting applications.

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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 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 through on-site education and social service programs and activities. For more information, visit https://www.ahcinc.org/.

About the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA)
The FCRHA serves more than 18,000 residents through a variety of rental housing assistance and First-Time Homebuyer 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 local funds as well as state and federal grants to increase and/or preserve the county’s stock of affordable homes. For more information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/housing

About Virginia Housing
When homes are affordable and accessible to jobs, good schools and transportation, everyone benefits. Individual lives are improved and communities as a whole grow stronger. Virginia Housing was created in 1972 by the General Assembly to help Virginians attain quality, affordable housing. We carry out this mission by working in public-private partnerships with local governments, community service organizations, lenders, Realtors, developers and many others. We provide mortgages for first-time homebuyers, as well as financing for apartment communities and neighborhood revitalization efforts. We offer free homebuyer classes, support housing counseling, and help people with disabilities and the elderly make their homes more livable. We also administer the federal Housing Choice Voucher and Housing Credit programs in Virginia. Virginia Housing is self-supporting and receives no state taxpayer dollars to fund our programs. Instead, we raise money in the capital markets, and we contribute a significant portion of our net revenues each year to help meet Virginia’s most difficult housing needs. www.virginiahousing.com

AHC Greater Baltimore 2020 Development Highlights

Established in 2014, AHC Greater Baltimore has developed eight properties with more than 1,600 affordable apartments in the Baltimore region. The organization, a subsidiary of Arlington, VA-based AHC Inc., continues to expand its portfolio. Following are our 2020 development highlights. 

Greenspring Overlook Renovation

We’re giving our first property, Greenspring Overlook, a refresh! Purchased in 2001, the garden-style complex features 189 units and accepts Housing Choice Vouchers. The extensive renovations feature upgrades to all units and common spaces, including: replacing the plumbing and HVAC, updating lighting and fixtures to save energy, installing new kitchen cabinets and countertops, enhancing the security system, altering the sidewalk to improve accessibility, and building a new tot lot/additional recreation space.

We’re phasing construction so we can relocate residents for all in-unit work, with the goal of keeping most residents on site. COVID-19 has presented additional challenges to the construction process, but we have put new precautions and protocols in place to protect the safety of the residents and the construction workers.

MonteVerde Rowe

In 2008, AHC-GB purchased and renovated MonteVerde – a complex with 301 affordable apartments for seniors and people with disabilities. After investing in MonteVerde, we realized the nearby 2600 block of Violet Avenue, which used to include mostly vacant and abandoned homes, was also in need of renovation. We purchased 2/3 of the homes on this block and redeveloped them with first-time homebuyers in mind. Dubbed MonteVerde Rowe, the project has transformed the 2600 block of Violet Avenue. Renovations provided updated kitchens and baths, new windows, Energy Star appliances, and features that celebrated the history of the rowhomes like hardwood floors and exposed brick.

In December 2020, the final renovated home on MonteVerde Rowe went under contract, bringing years of hard work and effort to fruition!

Poe Homes CHOICE Neighborhoods Transformation Plan

AHC-GB is excited to be working with our partner, Michaels Development, to create a plan for the transformation of Poe Homes, one of the oldest public housing developments in Baltimore. AHC-GB submitted the final transformation plan for the development to HUD in September. The final plan proposes approximately 600 new units at Poe Homes and in the surrounding neighborhood to replace the existing public housing as well as add new housing to create a mixed-income redevelopment. 

O’Donnell Heights Community Revitalization

Since September 2019, AHC-GB has participated in the community process led by Baltimore City Department of Planning and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City to develop a neighborhood revitalization plan for various communities, including O’Donnell Heights. The community revitalization plan was approved in June 2020 following a process that included AHC-GB, Michaels Development, local neighborhood associations, O’Donnell Heights Tenant Council, local schools, and businesses.  

Photo: AHC Greater Baltimore Development Manager Darron Cooper works with residents to revitalize Poe Homes public housing into a mixed-income development with approximately 600 new affordable homes.