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2019 – A Year of Building Homes and Community

2019 has been a busy year as AHC continues our mission of developing affordable homes and helping communities thrive. This year, AHC Inc. was recognized as one of the top 50 affordable housing developers in the country by Affordable Housing Finance magazine. As we approach our 45th anniversary, AHC provides more than 7,500 affordable apartments at 50+ properties in Virginia, Maryland and DC.

AHC’s Resident Services programs and community partnerships also continue to grow to better meet the needs of the children, families and seniors we serve. We currently reach more than 3,000 residents each year.

AHC’s 2019 accomplishments include:

Building and Preserving Homes

  • Topped off The Apex that will welcome 256 families in Arlington in 2020.
  • Broke ground on The Spire, 113 new homes in 2021, with our partner Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Alexandria.
  • Celebrated the renovation of two older garden-style apartment communities – Colonial Village West in Arlington and Lafayette Apartments in Fairfax.
  • Started the process to upgrade our oldest property in Baltimore, Greenspring Overlook, which provides homes for 189 families.
  • Continued to work with PN Hoffman, City Partners and Paramount on large-scale Waterfront Station in Southwest DC.
  • Partnered with Housing Authority of Baltimore City and The Michaels Organization to redevelop Poe Homes, a 1940s seven-acre project in Southwest Baltimore.
  • Expanded presence in Montgomery County with acquisition of 48-unit Brookside View. The approximately $6.1 million total development cost was financed completely with private funds.

Building Community

  • Hosted a Faith and Housing Round Table that included HUD Secretary Ben Carson, other nonprofit developers and the City of Alexandria.
  • Selected to participate in Amazon’s Employee Match Campaign, which allocates up to $5 million to 20 housing and homelessness nonprofits in DC and Seattle.
  • Created a safety initiative in Arlington’s Green Valley neighborhood, which includes community partners and volunteers living in AHC’s affordable apartment communities.
  • Returned $4.9 million to Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF). The AHIF loan fund is an invaluable tool for affordable housing development.
  • Offered our annual Women’s Empowerment Conference that inspired Baltimore residents to connect and overcome obstacles.

Housing + Education = Success

  • Initiated Career Fairs for middle and high school students with a wide range of professionals. Several students have already turned the opportunity into internships and job shadowing.
  • Celebrated 15 volunteers who have worked with our students for five years!
  • Honored three Community Builder volunteers who generously volunteered their time with AHC students and helped expand our programs’ reach.
  • Graduated 24 high school students who were all the first in their family to attend college. Together, the group earned more than $600,000 in scholarships and grants.
  • Persisted in college at above average rates. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 84% of AHC students stick with college and graduate. This compares to 56% of first-generation students and 74% of students with college-educated parents!
  • Helped stabilize 231 families through eviction prevention services.
  • Distributed 1,000 backpacks to youth living at AHC properties in Arlington.

Awards and Achievements

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Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region 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 programs and activities.

 

 

AHC Preserves 48-Unit Apartment Community in Montgomery County

(November, 2019 – Arlington, VA) AHC has acquired Brookside View, a 48-unit apartment community four miles east of downtown Gaithersburg in Montgomery County.

The approximately $6.1 million total development cost was financed completely with private funds, including AHC’s own acquisition funds. No public dollars were used to purchase the property. With Brookside View’s rents currently between 50% to 60% of the area median income (AMI), AHC’s purchase will preserve the existing housing affordability and ensure rents will remain stable.

AHC plans to moderately update the 1980s garden-style apartment community. Initial capital improvements will include installing water- and energy-saving appliances and fixtures, replacing aging heating and cooling systems and water heaters, and improving exterior areas of the property.

AHC owns seven properties in Montgomery County that provide nearly 1,300 affordable apartments.

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Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region 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 programs and activities.

AHC Inc., Episcopal Church of the Resurrection and City of Alexandria Break Ground on $48M Affordable Apartment Community in Alexandria, VA

(June 18, 2019 – Arlington, VA) Gathered together below the church’s towering steeple, leaders of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, the City of Alexandria and nonprofit developer AHC Inc. broke ground on The Spire, 113 new affordable apartments for low- and moderate-income families in Alexandria’s West Beauregard neighborhood.

“This is a really exciting project that will provide affordable homes for some of our most vulnerable population near a brand new transit system and jobs,” said City of Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson. “We wouldn’t be standing here today if not for the selfless act of a congregation that looked outside their walls and asked what they could do for the community at large.”

Seven years in the making, The Spire is becoming a reality thanks to ECR’s mission-driven generosity. By a nearly unanimous vote, the congregation voted to make a lasting difference to the community by transforming their two-acre plot of land into a combination of affordable housing and worship space.

“Ours is a church that works together,” said Reverend Jo Belser. “It has really taken the whole community to make this possible. And we are really proud of what we have accomplished together.”

The Spire will include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, including 12 fully accessible homes, that will serve households with incomes ranging from 30 to 60% AMI. It will also include Universal Design features and achieve EarthCraft Gold certification.

“Thanks to a wonderful partnership – the leadership and commitment of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, the ongoing support of Alexandria’s Mayor and City Council, and the steadfast efforts of the City’s Office of Housing – we are delighted to break ground on homes that will be affordable for hard-working families in need,” said John Welsh, AHC’s Vice President Multifamily Group.

The $48.3 million affordable apartment development successfully competed for a variety of local, state and national funds, including $23 million in tax credit equity from the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), a $9.9 million loan from the City of Alexandria, a $1.3 million loan from Virginia/National Housing Trust Funds, and a $500,000 loan from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta.

Other sources include a $11.5 first trust loan from Capital One and Freddie Mac and $500,000 from NeighborWorks America. The City of Alexandria also provided a rental assistance grant of $350,000 to make 12 apartments deeply affordable.

The Spire, designed by Cunningham-Quill and constructed by Harkins Builders, will welcome families in 2021.

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Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region 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 programs and activities.

 

 

Local Leaders Kick Off $100 Million AHC Inc. Affordable Housing Redevelopment in Arlington

(May 31, 2018 – Arlington, VA) With sledge hammers and shovels, local leaders, community members and partners helped kick off the redevelopment of The Berkeley, an aging affordable apartment complex in Arlington, VA.

Arlington-based nonprofit developer AHC Inc. is transforming the outdated property into a new affordable community with 256 apartments – almost doubling the original 137 homes. The $100 million redevelopment, renamed The Apex,  is expected to welcome residents in 2020.

Nearly 50 people helped celebrate the milestone event. Virginia State Delegate Alfonso Lopez, who represents the neighborhood, took the first whack at the building. Former State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple and Arlington County Board leaders Christian Dorsey and Erik Gutshall also participated.

The 4.6 acre project, five years in planning, is significant because it complements Arlington County’s Affordable Housing Master Plan by providing affordable apartments in a neighborhood that has a lower share of affordable housing.

“AHC is excited about building something new in this part of the County that will welcome so many more families looking for a comfortable, modern and affordable home in Arlington,” said Mary Claire Davis, AHC Inc. Director and Berkeley Development Manager.

The redevelopment also includes a broader mix of housing options than most affordable projects. “Along with much-needed affordable housing, we are also adding ‘missing middle’ housing for households that earn 60% to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) – a demographic that is having an increasingly tough time finding homes they can afford,” said AHC Board Vice-Chair John Snyder. “We are also including a large number of apartments for families – a real need here in Arlington. Eighty-one percent of the new homes will have two or three bedrooms.”

The new development also complements the Four Mile Run Master Plan with a green design, active outdoor spaces and increased access to the waterfront through additional access points and a much wider pedestrian/bike trail. Reduced impervious surfaces along the stream will minimize run off by 80 percent. The buildings also limit environmental impact by meeting EarthCraft Gold standards.

Other positive community benefits include space for resident services, fitness room, playground and outdoor sport court.

“I want to thank AHC and all of you here for improving the quality of life for countless people and making the dream of what is and should be Arlington more real every day,” said Delegate Lopez.

The project’s financing includes up to $20.9 million in revolving loan funds from Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF). The redevelopment also won $2.5 million in 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which will provide approximately $24 million in equity financing. The highly competitive federal program, designed to encourage the development of affordable rental housing, is administered through the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). The project also received approximately $1 million in 4% LIHTC tax credits, which will generate roughly $10 million in equity. NeighborWorksAmerica helped fund pre-development costs.

Project partners include Arlington County; Capital One; Harkins Builders; Hudson Housing; Klein Hornig, LLP; Michael T. Foster Architects; NeighborWorks America; Walter L. Phillips, Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.; Virginia Housing Development Authority; and Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, P.C.

Event photos.

Construction Cam

Photo Left to Right: AHC Board members C.C. Jenkins and John Snyder, Virginia State Delegate Alfonso Lopez, Former State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple, Arlington County Board Vice-Chair Christian Dorsey, AHC President and CEO Walter D. Webdale, Arlington County Board member Erik Gutshall, and AHC Board member Wanda Pierce, helped “Knock Down” the Berkeley.  

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Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region 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 programs and activities.

 

 

93 New Affordable Apartments Open in Alexandria

Development Also Includes Preschool and Market-Rate Townhomes

(April 16, 2018 – Arlington, VA) Local lawmakers, partners, community supporters and residents joined AHC Inc. to cut the ribbon on St. James Plaza, which delivers 93 new affordable apartments to the City of Alexandria’s Beauregard neighborhood.

Working together, nonprofit developer AHC Inc. and the City of Alexandria successfully transformed three acres previously owned by St. James United Methodist Church into a vibrant, mixed-use, mixed-income community with an onsite pre-school operated by The Campagna Center. Families began moving into St. James Plaza in mid-March.

With affordable housing increasingly difficult to find in Northern Virginia, the St. James Plaza waiting list topped 2,600 people by the beginning of March. According to information published by the City of Alexandria’s Office of Housing, the number of market-affordable rental units in the City of Alexandria has declined 90% between 2000 and 2017.

To help subsidize the cost of the land for the affordable apartment building, AHC Inc. sold half of the site to Craftmark, a McLean-based homebuilding company. Craftmark is building 31 two- and three-bedroom market-rate townhomes adjacent to AHC’s apartment building.

“Finding developable land and putting together the financing to create quality affordable housing is a complex challenge,” said AHC Inc. Board Vice-Chair John V. Snyder. “This project is a living example of how local government, a nonprofit and a market-rate developer can work together to create a welcoming community with a variety of housing opportunities.”

The City of Alexandria approved a $5.7 million development loan to partially fund construction of the affordable building. AHC Inc. also received $19 million in competitive 9% Low-income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) equity through the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) competitive process.

“As housing affordability is harder to find in our region, the City of Alexandria is glad to make investments that help residents secure quality, affordable apartments,” said Mayor Allison Silberberg. “Partnering with nonprofits, like AHC Inc., reflects the City’s commitment to remaining inclusive and diverse by successfully creating mixed-income communities.”

The new development also includes an Early Learning Center, operated by The Campagna Center, with capacity to serve 50 children ages three to five across three classrooms.  The Campagna Center has offered quality educational programming and services in Alexandria for over 50 years. The Early Learning Center will open in September.

“The Campagna Center is excited to launch a new preschool in the Beauregard neighborhood–the second we have placed in an AHC Inc. community — and is eager to build connections with neighbors, local employers, and the nearby community college,” said President and CEO Tammy L. Mann. “Our ability to co-locate a quality preschool within a vibrant, diverse residential community helps families access vital early learning opportunities and extends our impact throughout Alexandria.”

St. James Plaza will include a mix of efficiencies and one- two- and three-bedroom apartments for households with incomes between 40% and 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). A family of four, for instance, qualifies with a maximum household income between $46,880 (40% AMI) and $70,320 (60% AMI). The rent for a two-bedroom apartment will range from $920 (40% AMI) to $1,447 (60% AMI).

The property will also include underground parking, a fitness center, and a community room for residents. The building will meet the highest EarthCraft environmental certification.

In addition to the City of Alexandria, development partners include Capital One Bank, Hudson Housing Capital, Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), NeighborWorks and NeighborWorks Capital. Designed by Cunningham-Quill Architects, the five-story building was constructed by Harkins Builders.

St. James Plaza is AHC’s second development in Alexandria. Jackson Crossing, with 78 affordable apartments, opened in 2016 on Route 1 near Potomac Yard.

A third project, in partnership with the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, is on the drawing board. The Alexandria City Council approved the 113-unit project and a loan of up to $9 million in January 2018.  The project is subject to AHC receiving low-income housing tax credits later this year through the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA).

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Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region 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 programs and activities.

Photo: Residents, partners, housing officials and local lawmakers, including City of Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg, helped cut the ribbon at the grand opening of St. James Plaza. Photo credit: Nick Crettier Photography