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AHC Greater Baltimore Health & Wellness Program Wins Innovation Award

(November 2019 – Baltimore, MD) AHC Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing developer based in Arlington, VA, is proud to announce that its subsidiary AHC Greater Baltimore has won the Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition’s 2019 Innovation Award for its Health & Wellness Program at MonteVerde Apartments.

MonteVerde Apartments provides 300+ apartments for senior citizens. The Resident Services team created a comprehensive on-site network to help elderly residents improve access to health care services and decrease social isolation.

Increasing accessibility and providing a variety of recreational and educational activities has significantly improved health outcomes and the overall quality of life for residents.

Positive outcomes include:

  • In a recent survey of 18 residents who regularly saw the nurse practitioner, 15 or 83% reported their health improved. This included a reduction in emergency room visits.
  • Through the regular cancer screenings, 4 residents in the past 5 years have received an early detection and diagnosis of cancer that enabled early, life-saving treatment.
  • The Medicare Insurance Navigator helped 32 residents better understand insurance options and select appropriate plans.
  • 122 residents have participated in the healthy food discussions and cooking classes.
  • 62 residents have participated in fitness classes designed specifically for seniors.
  • 132 residents participate in the Maryland Food Bank program.

Pictured above: Nichole Doye Battle (left), who serves on both the AHC Greater Baltimore Board of Directors and the MAHC Board, presented the Innovation Award to AHC Greater Baltimore’s Resident Services Assistant Director Tiffany Smith (center) and AHC Greater Baltimore Director Mary Claire Davis.

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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.

AHC Greater Baltimore opened in 2004 to address the need for more affordable housing in the Baltimore region. Since then, AHC Greater Baltimore has developed eight properties with more than 1,200 affordable apartments. AHC Greater Baltimore is a subsidiary of AHC Inc. 

 

Local Professionals Share Job and Education Experience with AHC Teens

AHC’s Fall Career Fair was loud, fast-paced and really interactive – the perfect recipe for a successful learning experience. More than 30 teens “speed networked” with professionals from a wide variety of fields – journalism, health and fitness, finance, accounting, government, education, engineering, FBI, fire department, and immigration law – and learned about their education experience and career path.

“We spoke to high school junior, senior and college students in the program about our own career paths, what skills are needed for certain careers and the how-tos of succeeding at a job. We received thoughtful questions and it was fun to hear the students’ plans for their future,” said Betsy Sharon of Chain Bridge Bank. After the Career Fair, two students reached out to Sharon about informational interviews.  She was able to set them up to talk with someone at the Bank about possible careers in investing and the stock market.

“The opportunity to meet and connect with different professionals is an invaluable experience for our students,”  said Milenka Coronel, Senior College and Career Readiness Manager. “Several of our teens have already set up informational interviews, job shadowing opportunities and internships after talking with some of the volunteers.”

Students, who ranged from 10th grade to college freshmen, also found it helpful to hear that career paths often evolve over time and it’s okay not to know exactly what they want to do right now.

Bernie Piper, who works with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, echoed the idea that career exploration is a journey. “What was most important to me was to convey that evolving career goals is a lifelong experience. This journey requires discovering your talents and passions, but at the same time, embracing a sober understanding of job markets.”

Huge shout out to our speakers for inspiring our students! Thank you to Austin Achenbach (Harkins Builders), Tim Bellaire (retired FBI), Natalie Brandmueller (EYP Architecture and Engineering), Orlando James (Orlando James Fitness LLC), Megan Mack (Vera Institute of Justice), Monique O’Grady (Arlington County School Board), Greg Pearson (Harkins Builders), Bernie Piper (Federal Housing Finance Agency), Catherine Sadaat (Aronson LLC), Betsy Sharon (Chain Bridge Bank), Terron Sims (Warrior Centric Healthcare Foundation), Tannia Talento (Arlington County School Board), Justin Tirelli (Arlington County Fire Department), and Debbie Truong (Washington Post).

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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.

 

Extinguishing Eviction

The United States is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. No state has an adequate supply of affordable rental housing for the lowest income renters. To afford a basic two-bedroom apartment in the U.S., renters need to earn an average of $20.30 per hour. With minimum wage just $7.25 per hour, a renter would need to work 112 hours per week to afford a modest two-bedroom rental. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that evictions are frequently happening across the country. In fact, sociologist Matthew Desmond estimates that 2.3 million evictions were filed in the U.S. in 2016 — a rate of four every minute.

AHC Inc. seeks to build, preserve and provide high-quality affordable housing to lower income families and individuals and provides housing for more than 18,000 families and individuals in the mid-Atlantic region. Twenty-five of those communities are just outside the nation’s capital in Arlington, Virginia, a county with some of the highest cost of living in the nation.

In 2017, AHC joined forces with Citi Community Development, a founding corporate supporter, and with NeighborWorks America, a nationwide organization dedicated to affordable housing and community development, to develop an eviction prevention program for residents of AHC’s affordable housing communities.

Through the program, on-site staff members provide intensive case management to prevent eviction and enhance financial stability. This includes financial coaching that introduces residents to credit building as well as online financial tools such as automated payments. In addition, AHC helps connect residents with workforce training to help residents secure better paying jobs. Staff members are culturally competent and trained financial coaches—essential ingredients when working with the diverse populations who live in the area.

“It is essential to find ways to help ensure that even the most financially vulnerable individuals have access to stable housing,” said Robert Burns, Citi Community Development. “This vital program helps keep people in their homes, which is absolutely critical to preventing displacement and preserving inclusive communities.”

This work has dramatically increased the housing stability and well-being of individual residents. To date, these efforts have helped stabilize 644 families. In many cases, the tools residents learn through these programs dramatically change their lives.

One example is Beth [name changed], a resident in her late 50s living on disability income. Health concerns had previously limited her ability to work. Last year, she was hospitalized for an extended period and her roommate, fearful she would not return, moved out of the unit. While Beth was in the hospital, she accumulated a past due rent total of $8,955.

When Beth got out of the hospital, she had no way to pay either the past due rent or an ongoing rental payment without the assistance of a roommate. AHC’s staff worked tirelessly with many partner organizations to secure financial assistance to pay off the rental balance and then helped her secure a new apartment that met her financial constraints. After the move, AHC continued to provide ongoing supportive services and connect her to vital community resources.

Because of one on one case management and participating in onsite workshops, she now wants to continue her education to better her chances for future financial success. She remains stably housed in an affordable community that meets her unique needs and is dedicated to helping her overcome obstacles and enhance the quality of her life. Most importantly – she never had to endure homelessness.

In sum, through providing affordable housing, actively engaging our residents in coaching as well as self-advocacy, and providing onsite Resident Services support, AHC is helping vulnerable residents maintain housing stability and build more successful lives for themselves and their families.

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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 7,000 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.