Portfolio Partner Profile
AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region that provides quality homes for low- and moderate-income families. AHC Inc.'s purpose is to produce, preserve and manage affordable rental housing. Recognizing it takes more than a roof overhead to build a successful life, AHC also offers educational services to strengthen residents' economic and social stability and build stronger futures. Since 1975, AHC Inc. has developed and preserved 50+ affordable rental communities, providing high-quality homes for nearly 7,500 individuals and families in the mid-Atlantic region. AHC's properties are primarily located in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area and Northern Virginia.
AHC’s Services programs, which provide after-school programs, teen tutoring, workshops for adults and senior citizens, and English language classes, serve more than 3,000 children and adults annually. AHC's education programs for children follow a three-pronged model: after-school programs for elementary students, tutoring and mentoring for teens, and a summer camp for everyone to reduce learning loss - a key challenge for low-income students. This comprehensive approach works well. Students are improving literacy skills, graduating from high school, and often going to college. For more than 10 years, 100 percent of AHC's high school seniors have graduated, and nearly all continued on to college – the first in their families to reach that milestone.
Featured Impact Story
The Spire – A Church and Community Collaboration in Alexandria, 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 in late 2019.
“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.
AHC 2020 Grads – 31 First-Gen College Students & $1.24 Million in Scholarships
Celebrating graduation may have looked a little different this year, but we could not be any prouder of the students from our College and Career Readiness (CCR) program who graduated from high school in 2020. All 31 of the amazing young people who participated in the program this year are off to college in the fall. In total, they were accepted into 135 schools and received an estimated $1.24 million in scholarships and aid.
“I’m going to be the first person in my family to go to college in the United States,” said Sosna Marshet “I’m looking forward to all the college experiences.” Sosna, like all of her CCR classmates this year, is among the first in her family to pursue a college education.
Sagar Sapkota echoed Sosna’s sentiments saying, “I’m really happy that I’m going to college because my parents have sacrificed a lot for me and my brothers.” Throughout the school year, volunteer mentors work one-on-one with the students to study for standardized tests, apply for financial aid and scholarships, and write their college essays. Many of the students in our College and Career Readiness program have been with us since elementary school. And, that is by design. AHC offers after school and summer programming that grows with children, meets their needs at each stage from elementary school to senior year of high school, and helps them build stronger futures.
Students are already planning their next steps. Many are choosing practical majors like Information Technology, Business or Engineering. Others are committed to helping others by becoming teachers, social justice lawyers, doctors, nurses, and social workers. And several are exploring creative careers in journalism and architecture.
“We have such hardworking students in this program. It is so valuable to connect them with another caring and supportive adult who can help them navigate applying for college – especially since so many of them are first-generation college students,” said Milenka Coronel, AHC’s College and Career Readiness Manager. “Thanks to our volunteer mentors and supporters, these students are all taking that crucial next step. I’m so proud of our graduates; they are going to do such great things in college and beyond.”
You can hear from our graduates about their hopes for college in their own words in this video
New Arlington Redevelopment Creates 256 Affordable Apartments
The Apex, AHC’s newest affordable apartment community in Arlington, VA, is building community along with hundreds of high-quality affordable homes in the fast-growing South Glebe Road corridor.
“Affordable housing developments do more than provide a roof overhead, they also contribute to the community by providing homes near jobs, adding to the local economy, and building partnerships,” said John Welsh, AHC’s Vice President, Multifamily Group.
The $100 million redevelopment was designed to reduce environmental impact. The 4.6-acre site includes one of Northern Virginia’s largest solar roof installations that will provide 130 KW. The redevelopment is also more permeable with additional green areas, which will help reduce water run off by 80 percent. The Apex is on track to earn the EarthCraft Platinum certification, the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) highest environmental standard available for an apartment community in Virginia.
Along with a green design, the new development includes active outdoor spaces and increased access to the waterfront through additional access points and a much wider trail for bikes and pedestrians. Other positive community benefits include space for resident services, a fitness room, a playground and an outdoor sports court.
The project 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.
Families started moving into the Apex in March 2020. A local community garden has started sharing fresh produce with Apex residents twice a week. Eventually the Arlington Food Assistance Center will also distribute food at the site. Arlington County Community Outreach Program staff will also be located onsite to help residents access local services.