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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 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.

 

Tutors Build Relationships and Futures

AHC Faces

Sharon-and-Bibho

AHC’s Teen Tutoring program has been pairing volunteers with middle and high school students for more than 20 years. The program has helped over 100 youth successfully graduate from high school and generated countless long-lasting relationships.

Recently AHC recognized volunteers who have worked with our students for five years or more. The common thread that keeps them coming back: the rewarding connections with the students.

One of these volunteers, Sharon, was paired with a very young middle school student, Bibho, after she started volunteering. Today he is a junior in high school. “I have literally watched him grow up and we have become good friends,” says Sharon. “He has grown from a struggling student into a confident young man with improved grades and a willingness to try new things. I am very proud of him!”

Bibho also values their relationship. “I’ve learned new perspectives about college and jobs, and she also helped me catch up in math,” he says. “I enjoy getting my homework done and also learning more about life.”

The connection between tutors and students goes way beyond academics. “The program encourages tutors to work with the same student week after week, allowing us to get to know our student’s strengths and weaknesses and to build a trusting relationship,” explains Sharon. That trust, along with the sharing of different perspectives and experiences, is the foundation for the program’s – and the students’ – long-term success.

Photo: Sharon (left) has developed a rewarding connection with Bibho during the five years they have worked together in AHC’s Teen Tutoring program. The opportunity has been a positive experience for them both.  

 

 

AHC Students Win Essay and Art Contests

AHC Faces

Kids

As part of AHC’s 40th Anniversary, students in our youth program were invited to participate in Essay and Artwork contests and describe how they feel about being a part of AHC communities. Elementary students were asked to create a piece of artwork with the theme “The Place I Call Home.” Middle and high school students wrote essays that described  “How AHC’s Community Centers Affected My Life.”  The winning students were recognized at AHC’s 40th Anniversary Celebration.

“We are delighted to highlight the achievements of some amazing children and teens,” said Ginger Briggs Brown, former AHC Inc. Board member, who presented the artwork awards.  “The youngsters who live in AHC’s communities are the heart and soul of our programs. It is their futures we are working so hard to strengthen.”

The artwork winners were: Michelle Orellana, a nine-year-old Harvey Hall resident (First Place), Angel Barrera, an 11-year-old Woodbury Park resident (Second Place) and Loren Bonilla a seven-year-old Virginia Gardens resident (Third Place).

Jennifer Endo, AHC’s Director of Resident Services, presented the awards to the teenagers who won the essay contest. “I am proud to say our Resident Services team has watched some of these amazing young adults grow up in our program, and was delighted to read how much the program has encouraged their personal growth and academic success.”

The essay winners were: Jennifer Arvalo, 12th grade, Berkeley Apartments (First Place); Sara Berhe, 7th grade, Gates of Ballston (Second Place); and Jennifer Rivera, 9th grade, Berkeley Apartments (Third Place).

Winning Essay Excerpts and Artwork. 

Photo: AHC students received awards for winning Essay and Artwork contests at AHC’s 40th Anniversary Celebration. Front row, left to right: Angel Barrera and Michelle Orellana. Back row, left to right: Jennifer Endo, Resident Services Director, AHC Inc., Jennifer Rivera; Jennifer Arevalo; Sara Berhe; and Ginger Briggs Brown, former AHC Inc. Board member.