Arlington-based housing organization makes first foray into Fairfax County – Inside NoVA

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After more than three decades focusing its efforts entirely on its namesake community, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) is branching out.

Next stop: Fairfax County.

County leaders joined APAH and other project partners on Oct. 22 to celebrate the start of construction on the Oakwood Senior Residences, located in the Lee District portion of the county.

The project will include 150 affordable independent-living apartments serving seniors (ages 62 and above) with household incomes no higher than 60 percent of area median income.

APAH was selected as a partner on the project by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which owns the 6.2-acre parcel located at the intersection of Oakwood Road and South Van Dorn Street.

“We are very excited that Oakwood will give us the opportunity to bring the APAH experience to Fairfax County,” said Carmen Romero, who in June was named APAH president and CEO.

“In both design and function, we envision a community that will complement the surrounding neighborhood and provide fulfilling experiences, engaging opportunities and supportive programs.”

The project will include a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, along with a host of residential amenities and services.

Partnering with organizations such as APAH provides an opportunity “to find new and creative ways to bring affordable housing to Fairfax,” said Melissa McKenna, who chairs the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

“When we can come to the table with a commitment to provide public land for projects like this, it goes a long way towards reducing a developer’s overall project costs in order to take communities like Oakwood from concept to reality,” McKenna said.

A variety of funding sources were tapped for the project, including local- and state-government funds and tax credits, and a $30 million investment from Bank of America.

“This unique development at Oakwood and our continued partnership with APAH is providing critical solutions” to housing issues, said Bank of America executive Derrick Perkins.

APAH was founded by a number of Arlington residents in 1989, and now provides rental housing for more than 2,000 households, with 500 apartments under construction and an additional 1,000 in its development pipeline. The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority owns and operates nearly 4,000 units of housing.