AHC is committed to breaking down the digital divide and building digital equity across all its properties.
Affordable, fast, reliable internet is essential in today’s world – and an industry best practice in providing services to residents. Many people living in AHC communities lack not only the access infrastructure but also the skills and tools to take advantage of the internet and its benefits.
Collaborations with government agencies, housing nonprofits, and many other partners are critical to ensuring our AHC community members, regardless of income level, have what they need to thrive.
Highlights of AHC’s Digital Equity Efforts
Free, Open Access Internet and Chromebooks at The Spire
- In late 2022, residents at The Spire in Alexandria received free, open high-speed internet in their apartments and in all the common areas of the building.
- A $174,000 investment from Capital One helped make this project posssible.
- It included equipment installation for a building-wide network, internet access through Comcast, and $25,000 for technical support and assistance.
- Each household also received a Chromebook computer as part of the investment.
Integrated Wi-Fi at Arlington View Terrace
- AHC is integrating Wi-Fi connectivity into Arlington View Terrace East as it’s being constructed.
- Each apartment as well as the community areas will have internet access.
- This approach is a far more cost-effective strategy than retrofitting an existing building.
Digital Access Pilot at the St. James
- In mid-2020, AHC partnered with Capital One and Comcast to provide free, high-speed internet access to low-income families at St. James Plaza, a property with 93 affordable apartments in Alexandria, VA.
- To ensure families had the tools needed to maximize the service, Capital One also donated new Chromebooks to participating residents.
- This pilot continues through May 2023.
- Learn more about the pilot program.
Digital Equity Handbook in Development
- In the summer of 2022, AHC began developing a Digital Equity Handbook.
- This handbook will include a comprehensive needs assessment of AHC’s 50+ properties, including detailed strategies for implementing equitable internet options for residents.
- Estimated infrastructure costs, plus options for future partnerships and grants will be part of the handbook.
Report Analyzes Costs for Building Digital Equity
- To evaluate the capital expense of connecting Wi-Fi to existing buildings, AHC, APAH, and Virginia Housing partnered with CTC Technology and Energy to analyze connectivity costs for 39 apartment communities in Arlington.
- The report estimated the capital cost to be between $4.7 million and $6.2 million, or roughly $925 to $1,220 per unit.
- Learn more and read the report.
To learn more about AHC’s efforts, contact AHC’s Digital Equity Team. This team is working to break down the digital divide and ensure digital equality at every AHC property.