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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.

 

AHC Inc. Honors 2019 Community Builders

Arlington, VA (October 25, 2019) – AHC Inc. honored three outstanding volunteers during its annual meeting in mid-October.  The Community Builder honorees are Ronn Levine, the MasterCard team, and Aisha Farooq. Each works with students in AHC’s comprehensive education program, which serves K-12 youth who live in AHC’s affordable apartment communities in Arlington, VA.

“AHC is so grateful for the hundreds of volunteers whose time and attention makes such a huge difference to our students,” said Jennifer Endo, AHC’s Vice President of Community Relations. “This year we are delighted to honor three wonderful Community Builders whose efforts are not only planting the seeds of success for our students, but also helping our programs grow.”

AHC’s 2019 Community Builders are:

Ronn Levine, recognized for his long-time work with AHC’s Afterschool Program, has been an AHC volunteer for 20 years! Not only has he been reading to our elementary students for two decades, but he has also created a whole team to provide a monthly program for our students. “When you get honored for something you enjoy, that’s as good as it gets,” said Ronn. “The program has always been on Mondays. For many that’s the worst day of the week. But, because of this program, Mondays are the best day of the week for me.”

The consistent connection is something Ronn really treasures. He enjoys building relationships with the students and helping them improve their reading skills. Over the years, he has enjoyed watching many of his students grow up. As they graduate from high school and go to college, he is thrilled and proud to have been a part of their road to success.

The MasterCard team has volunteered with AHC’s Teen Tutoring Program for more than five years. The Community Builder award honors six long-time tutors: Bruce Clarke, Chris Dieckhaus, Liz Liang, Nyk Lotocky, Jason Rubin, and Radha Sambasivan. Over the years, the number of MasterCard volunteers has more than tripled. Liz Liang credits the growth to the supportive environment at MasterCard, which encourages volunteering in the community and also that “AHC’s program is not only about academics, it’s also about building a connection.” Echos Chris Dieckhaus, “There are a lot of volunteer opportunities in the community, but most of them don’t give you an opportunity to build a relationship. At AHC, I feel like I’m making a lasting impact.”

In the last year, the MasterCard group has significantly broadened that impact. They have created field trips for our students at their office and also offered job shadowing opportunities, which opened a whole new world for many of them. One young man was thrilled to learn there was actually a job title that matched his interest in sketching products. He took home contact information and a new sense of direction.

Aisha Farooq is a long-time AHC resident who participated in AHC’s education programs as a teenager. She was the first in her family to go to college and she graduated from the University of Richmond in 2017. Her younger siblings are now now enrolled in college.

After her first full year in the workplace, Aisha wanted to give back to the program that helped her along the way by mentoring a high school senior in AHC’s College and Career Readiness Program. “AHC’s educational programs really helped me navigate through the college process and provided great support,” said Aisha. “I wanted to put my time back in to help someone else succeed.”

Photo: From left to right: AHC’s 2019 Community Builders – Aisha Farooq; MasterCard team members Bruce Clarke, Chris Dieckhaus and Liz Liang; and Ronn Levine. AHC Inc. honored the outstanding volunteers at its 2019 Annual Meeting. 

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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.

 

AHC Inc. Welcomes Ginger Brown and Terron Sims to Board of Directors

Arlington, VA (October 25, 2019) – AHC Inc., a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region, is delighted to announce Ginger Brown and Terron Sims have joined AHC’s Board of Directors.

“AHC is fortunate to have such committed community leaders serve on our Board,” said Walter D. Webdale, AHC Inc. President and CEO. “Both Ginger and Terron have extensive experience building local partnerships and advocating for affordable housing and educational opportunities.”

Ginger Brown is a long-time community planner and strategist. She has held a variety of Arlington County leadership positions, including chair of the Planning Commission’s Long Range Planning Committee, vice chair of Community Facilities Study and member of the Housing Commission. She helped found the Lee Highway Alliance and currently serves as the group’s Executive Director.

Ginger graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Cultural Anthropology.  She received her Masters in Public Policy concentrating in public budgeting and finance from the George Washington University, where she worked for the Institute of Public Policy.

“A diversity of housing options is critical to a community’s success, and I’m delighted to contribute to the conversation about affordable housing as a member of AHC’s Board,” Ginger said.

Terron Sims, II is a community and education activist with a long history of public service. He has volunteered with AHC’s Teen Tutoring Program for nearly 15 years, and works closely with a range of local organizations, including the NAACP and Green Valley’s Revitalization Organization and Civic Association. He is currently the Executive Director of the Warrior Centric Healthcare Foundation.

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Terron has served on nomination committees for Congressman Moran and Senator Tim Kaine, while currently helping Senator Warner. Among his many professional endeavors, Terron is the executive director of the Warrior Centric Healthcare Foundation and served on Secretary Clinton’s National Security Policy Team, on the Veterans and Military Families (VMF) Policy Working Group where he wrote the intergovernmental agency policy.

“As a long-time community activist, I’ve seen how important it is to provide access to affordable housing and education for all,” said Terron. “Being on AHC’s Board is a way for me to be on the front lines of these key issues.”

The AHC Inc. Board of Directors also includes Justin Oliver (Chair), David Barsky (Secretary), C.C. Jenkins (Treasurer), Robert Bushkoff, Wanda L. Pierce, Catherine Saadat, Rachael Schroeder, and Walter D. Webdale (President). Ginger and Terron replace retiring Board members John Snyder and Jason Dalley, who both served nine years on AHC Inc.’s Board.

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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.

 

AHC Inc. Celebrates 24 High School Graduates – All First in Their Families to Go to College

(June 13, 2019 – Arlington, VA) Nearly 100 family members, friends, and supporters attended AHC Inc.’s Graduation Celebration to applaud the nonprofit organization’s Class of 2019 – 24 high school students who are all the first in their families to go to college.

The evening, a culmination of AHC’s College and Career Readiness Program (CCR), was overflowing with hope and promise, students’ sheer joy of accomplishment and proud mentors and parents.

Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey was the keynote speaker. “I find this group so inspiring,” said Dorsey. “Even though you all want to do different things in college, there is a common theme that you want to find a way to make a difference and be a change maker in the world.”

Graduate Roger Mensah-Cooley, a participant in AHC’s education programs since fourth grade, shared how the program and volunteers have helped him overcome challenges over the years.

“Our journey ahead is going to be so awesome, but it may be rough at times. However, you can’t climb to the top of a mountain if the sides are smooth. You need those rough patches to get there. AHC and its programs were like my mountain climbing gear.”

Students Earned $600K in Scholarships

AHC’s Class of 2019 earned approximately $600,000 in scholarships and gift aid. Two students also received full-tuition scholarships. Nahom Ayele is going to Bucknell through the POSSE Foundation and Esther Garcia is attending James Madison University thanks to the Centennial Scholars Program.

Many students have grown up in the program. Five students, Rene Burgos, Jessica Delgadillo, Liliana Martinez, Roger Mensah-Cooley, and Kevin Platero started attending AHC’s afterschool program in elementary school.

“I have had the privilege and honor of working with these amazing students, and it has been a wonderful journey,” said Milenka Coronel, AHC College and Career Readiness Manager. “Their hard work, dedication and commitment has paid off and we know they will do amazing things in their future.”

Mentors Are Key to Students’ Success

Each student in the CCR program has a mentor who works one-on-one with them during their senior year of high school. Their consistent dedication makes a world of difference. Some mentors have worked with individual students for several years through AHC’s Teen Tutoring program, and their personal connection has been a huge part of their success.

“AHC’s program allows for one-on-one interaction, which is essential for these students who have less available resources than their more affluent peers,” said Josh Kearns, a mentor who has known Roger Mensah-Colley since 6th grade. “My relationship with Roger has really grown. He inspires me every day.”

CCR Caps Off AHC’s Education Program

The College & Career Readiness Program is the culmination of AHC’s multi-faceted education program, which also includes an afterschool program and summer camp for elementary students plus tutoring for middle and high school teens.

For more than 10 years, 100% of the seniors in the program have successfully graduated from high school. The students’ determination helps build their commitment to succeeding in college. Eighty percent of AHC’s college students are staying in school or have graduated. This compares to just 56% of first-generation students across the country and 74% of students with college-educated parents.

AHC Inc. thanks the many volunteers, supporters and community organizations that have helped our students along their journey, including Project Discovery of Virginia, Arlington County, and the Arlington Public Schools. Together, we are making dreams come true.

AHC’s Class of 2019

Eilaf Abdelmutalb (NOVA Pathways Program), Salina Abraham (NOVA Pathways Program), Rochelle Andrade (Trinity University), Nahom Ayele (Bucknell University), Chrithian Iriarte Blanco (Virginia Tech), Rene Burgos (Virginia Commonwealth University), Jessica Delgadillo (NOVA Pathways Program), Arsema Deribe (NOVA Pathways Program), Esther Garcia (James Madison University), Alinson Hernandez (NOVA Pathways Program), Liliana Martinez (Virginia Commonwealth University), Annali Menjivar (James Madison University), Roger Mensah-Cooley (George Mason University), Fatima Mercado-Zeron (University of Mary Washington), Rozina Nigussie (Virginia Commonwealth University), Jade Northover (Kent State University), Delina Ogbe (NOVA Pathways Program), Walaa Osman (NOVA Pathways Program), Anudari Oyunbold (NOVA Pathways Program), Jose Perez (NOVA Pathways Program), Kevin Platero (NOVA Pathways Program) Yushek Sitoula (NOVA), Nuhamin Tekleselassie (NOVA Pathways Program), and Sarish Zahid (George Mason University).

AHC 2018/2019 Mentors

Terry Burridge, Laura Cialone, Tara Claeys, Jean Falvey, Aisha Farooq, Evan Heit, Joshua Kearns, Stephanie Lee, Marjorie Macieiran Lemeka Magee, Zaynab Malik, Laurie Mittenthal, Laura Mulieri, Shawn Pham, Hunter Rheaume, Jonathan Roose, Sharon Showalter, Jeanne Sweeney, Ann Symonds, Gary Usrey, Adrienne Wichard-Edds, Kristine Wood, and Maria Woolverton.

Event Photos and Program

News Coverage

Volunteer

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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.

 

AHC Inc. Chosen by Amazon for Employee Match Campaign

 

(June 11, 2019 – Arlington, VA) AHC Inc. has been selected by Amazon as a nonprofit partner to participate in a $5 million company employee match campaign. AHC is one of 10 housing and homelessness nonprofits chosen in the Northern Virginia/Washington, DC region to receive the donations. Amazon also identified 10 nonprofit organizations in the Seattle area to participate in the campaign. Amazon will match employee donations one-for-one, up to $5 million, through September 30, 2019.

“AHC Inc. is honored to be selected by Amazon as a local nonprofit partner,” said AHC President & CEO Walter D. Webdale. “We are grateful the organization supports our mission to provide affordable housing and educational programs to help low- and moderate-income residents build more stable and successful lives in our community.”

The employee matching campaign was announced along with an $8 million donation to two nonprofits based in the company’s headquarters regions – $3 million to the Arlington Community Foundation in Arlington, VA and $5 million to Plymouth Housing in Seattle, WA. The gifts will support both nonprofits in their missions to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable residents by increasing access to housing for families, veterans, and single adults experiencing chronic homelessness or in need of affordable housing.

Learn more about AHC’s Housing + Education = Success initiatives.

Donate to AHC Inc.’s education and social services programs.

Provide much-needed education tools for AHC’s youth. Check out our “Wish List” on Amazon Smile. 

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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.