AHDC discusses Gateway project at monthly meeting

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By Alexa Epitropoulos | aepitropoulos@alextimes.com

The Alexandria Housing Development Corporation passed resolutions for the soon-to-open Gateway on the West End and approved the release of the organization’s annual report at a
board of directors meeting on Monday.

AHDC Executive Director Jon Frederick also provided monthly updates about AHDC’s finances and the progress of the Gateway and Lacy Court projects.

Frederick said AHDC was “on track” to meet its budget goals this year, saying the only area where the organization is falling short is on developer fees. Frederick said in the meeting that AHDC has recently closed on $136,000 in financing for Lacy Court.

The board also discussed a resolution regarding a staff retirement plan. Frederick said the organization had received offers from three entities and had ultimately chosen an offer from Corporate Payroll Services.

The board unanimously approved two resolutions in relation to the 74-unit Gateway development, which will provide eight units that are affordable to households earning 40 percent of the median income, 29 units that are affordable to households at 50 percent of the median income and 37 units that are affordable to households at the 60 percent threshold.

The second resolution, approved 8-0 with Board President Daniel Abramson recusing himself, involved AHDC guaranteeing financing for Gateway.

Frederick said the Gateway project is starting to go vertical, and that the building will be closed sometime in September. The project is expected to be completed in early 2019.

Another of AHDC’s projects – The Bloom and Carpenter’s Shelter 2.0 – will break ground next week. Construction for the project, which will provide 97 market affordable units in addition to a new home for the shelter and its residents, begins this month and is expected to take two years, during which time the shelter is temporarily residing in the Landmark Mall.

The groundbreaking takes place on Aug. 29 at 3 p.m. at the former Carpenter’s Shelter location on First Street. Gov. Ralph Northam, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and city officials will be in attendance.

The board also voted unanimously to release AHDC’s annual report to the public. The report provides an overview of Alexandria’s affordable housing need, the organization’s accomplishments in 2017 and its upcoming goals.

This year, the organization plans to begin a pilot program to increase its residents’ health and wellness. The initiative will utilize partnerships with local wellness providers and the gardens at AHDC properties, according to the report.

Some of the highlights in the annual report were the amount of housing funds and tax credits AHDC was awarded in 2017 – $5.6 million – and the number of units that are in the works – 171 and 215, counting the renovation of Lacy Court’s 44 units.

AHDC also provided an overview of its 2017 finances. It ended the year with $3,725,117 in revenue, and $3,755,022 in expenses. Its assets were $49,498,387 and its liabilities were $45,642,875, yielding $3,855,512 in net assets. This was, however, before an audit report from Hertzbach.

The report also included demographic information about AHDC’s residents, gathered through a survey conducted in July 2017. 

The majority of residents in AHDC properties – more than 25 percent – are in the accommodation or food service industry, followed, in order, by retail, administrative, transportation, construction and health and social services. The average income of AHDC residents is $36,422, in comparison to the D.C. metro area’s $110,300 average. In addition, the bulk of AHDC’s residents are within the 10 to 19 age bracket, followed, respectively, by the 30 to 39, the 0 to 9 and 40 to 49 brackets.

AHDC’s board of directors will next meet in September

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