Arlington Affordable Housing Partnership

Welcome baskets for residents of Queens Court

249 families have started to move into the new community of APAH – Queens Court. Groups and individuals are encouraged to donate welcome baskets for these new neighbors.

The request relates to baskets complete with articles to be inserted in a laundry basket. Please limit your donation to the items listed below as there is no space or capacity to accept other items.

For reasons of hygiene and dignity, all items must be new, unopened and unused.

A complete basket includes:

  • Laundry basket large enough to hold the items listed

  • Laundry detergent (pods)

  • Dishwasher detergent (pods)

  • Kitchen cleaning sponges

  • All-purpose cleaner

  • Dishwasher soap

  • Hand soap

  • Paper napkins (pack of 6)

  • Toilet paper (pack of 6)

  • Tissue paper (pack of 6)

  • Oven mitts

  • Optional: Welcome to the neighborhood personalized note.

To donate or pledge a full basket, please complete the following registration form to learn more about the drop-off date / location and any additional instructions.

If you have any questions, please contact Volunteer Manager Aseel Elborno at or 571.249.2928.

Terwilliger Place Topping Out

In May, APAH joined CBG Building Company to celebrate the ‘Topping Out’ of Lucille & Bruce Terwilliger Place, the milestone when a new project completes its highest part of the project. The construction team and APAH staff celebrated this milestone at the site on a bright sunny day, enjoying the nearby Rocklands barbecue and the view of the community of Virginia Square.

Over the next few months, the Terwilliger Place construction team will continue to work on exterior siding, window installation, exterior masonry as well as mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

Terwilliger Place will house 160 affordable housing units and a new ground floor condo for the American Legion Post 139. Of the 160 units, 50% will have a veteran preference, providing essential housing and resources to meet the needs of low-income veterans. in our community. It is expected to be completed in summer / fall 2022.

Reflections on APAH’s 14 Years of Growth

While Nina Janopaul’s early days at APAH were a master class in crisis management, opportunities for growth and greater service to the community also began to emerge – and the key was planning.

“For me,” Janopaul recalled, “it was a great discovery that long-term planning was such a powerful and flexible tool that could allow APAH to do something truly innovative.” While browsing the APAH’s Columbia Grove property in 2007 with an advisor, Janopaul speculated on how much more affordable housing could be added to the sprawling garden apartment community. “I remember he said, you know Nina, you can’t do that, it’s only zoned for a few more units.” But the possibility remained in Janopaul’s mind – there was a land and a skyscraper next to it, why couldn’t APAH find a way to build more to meet the needs of the community of ‘Arlington?

Even though it sounded a bit like a ‘mole kick’, the APAH was struggling to overcome some of the great financial challenges Janopaul faced when she joined APAH. “In those early years, there was no question of growing or adding to APAH’s portfolio. We were simply focused on finding resources and solutions for five different properties in different types of distress. But as the challenges began to ease, opportunities began to emerge.

A few years later, it was Chris Zimmerman, then a member of the Arlington County Board of Directors, who urged Janopaul to connect with the planning. He noted that Arlington was making sector plans all the time and APAH should be involved. During a memorable conversation, Chris pointed out how close the APAH property in Carlin Springs was to the area where Harris Teeter and the Mercedes Benz repair shop were pursuing rezoning. “The process had been going on for three years,” Janopaul recalls, “but APAH skipped the last year. I was so proud. Even though we got into the process late, we worked with the community and others involved in the process, developing at least ten iterations of our plan until we came to an agreement.

The APAH project was the first to be built. Springs Apartments were completed in 2016, bringing 104 beautiful new and affordable apartments where there were only 27, and a new office on the first floor for the growing organization.

The success of The Springs was a turning point. “I began to realize that you can work with your community and together create a new shared vision. In the years that followed, the APAH repeated these complicated journeys over and over again. “When I think about the growth of APAH,” commented Janopaul, “I’m really proud of it. It’s about having the right people on the team, showcasing compelling building designs, posting data on urgent needs, sharing stories from displaced neighbors, and sitting in those little chairs. folding with others in the community for hours and hours. I think our work was really revolutionary. As we have done over and over again, we got really good at it. Our work with the long term planning process has created affordable housing where there was no zoning path and no possibility before.

The partnership has been as important to the growth of APAH as the planning. New CEO Carmen Romero proudly highlights Gilliam Place, APAH’s collaboration with the Arlington Presbyterian Church (APC). “There have been so many times along the way that the answer was ‘no’, or ‘it’s too hard’, or ‘too risky’,” Romero recalls, “but we never gave up. APC was our partner and we really believed in what they wanted to do.

The result is beautiful homes for 173 families. “But the multi-faceted project is also much more,” noted Romero. “It’s economic development and the creation of new businesses for entrepreneurs of color on the pike through our partnership with La Cocina VA. It’s about housing for young adults with autism and seeing a resident who can’t speak explain on video that living in Gilliam Place is like a dream. It’s about having a place where the APC congregation can worship and prosper. It is a beautiful open and contemplative space for the neighborhood. It’s bringing Governor Northam over to the property and announcing half a billion dollars in rent relief, then going around the property and touching the stone of the building that we had preserved and brought back from the Church of origin. I am so proud of what we have accomplished at Gilliam Place and how it inspires APAH and the community to imagine and achieve truly amazing results together.

Over the course of Gilliam Place’s seven-year journey, APAH’s tenacity has been tested time and time again. “I look back and there were so many challenges,” Romero recalls, “from surviving a $ 2 million flood towards the end of construction, a fire in the church before demolition started, to relocate and rebuild a daycare center that could have been destroyed, the business by the redevelopment, and get an emphatic ‘no’ from the National Capital Presbytery and return a year later to a standing ovation and a ‘yes’.

And we faced it all without ever having a mean word with our partner the whole time. “This is what I am most proud of: the resilience and commitment of APAH to honor their vision.

This power of partnership continues to fuel APHA’s growth. “I love to bring people to Gilliam Place and see them get excited,” Janopaul said. “I remember bringing people from American Legion Post 139, with whom APAH is now developing Terwilliger Place, and seeing them embrace that same spirit.” I think they saw what we did at Gilliam Place and said, “I want to work with a partner who will be there for me, a partner who will go out of their way to achieve our vision.”

“This same spirit of partnership also exists with the community,” added Janopaul. “The community of Arlington said we have this affordable housing master plan that says we need thousands more units, and APAH said, ‘OK let’s step up and do it. And don’t do it in a minor way. Let’s build 200 apartments. How can we work with our architects and with fundraising tools to help our community achieve its ambitious goals? When we opened Arlington Mill in 2015, we had a huge waiting list with 3,000 people. We knew people needed affordable housing, and it didn’t make sense to half do it.

It was this desire to serve, to truly meet the growing need for affordable housing in Arlington and beyond, that motivated APAH’s decision in 2018 to expand its work to other DMV jurisdictions. “As an organization, we’ve really refined our approach to planning and partnerships,” noted Janopaul, “and we want to bring these skills to other places. And we also want to continue to learn and innovate. Now that the APAH has projects in five jurisdictions, this has really broadened our horizons. We can see that the world is not just one cookie cutter. Some places have a lot of public land, others have funds, but no land to resell; some places are preservation oriented, others want new construction. I think the expansion helps APAH get into an even better version of itself, to be more agile and innovative.

As she prepares to become the new CEO of APAH, Carmen Romero completely agrees. “For me and for the APAH Board of Directors, geographic expansion has always been ‘both / and’, and I think that’s wonderful. I think we are a better partner for Arlington being also regional. It opens up the way we go about things, we see how other communities approach issues, and learn new tools and strategies.

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