Helping Seniors Age-in-Place at Culpepper Garden
Culpepper Garden Apartments is an independent living facility for low-income seniors aged 62 years and older. In 2016, the County Board approved a $9.9 million Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) loan for the first substantial renovation to the property since it was originally built in 1975. Construction to the building began in Spring 2017 and tenants were temporarily relocated to other onsite units as improvements were made. As of today, several tenants have begun to move back to their newly refurbished units, and all will be able to move back by June 2020.
Ethel Starks was one of the first residents who moved temporarily while her apartment was renovated. Ms. Starks is 91 years old and has lived in Arlington County for 65 years. She originally moved to Culpepper Garden in October 2013, downsizing from a single-family home. Now that she has moved back to her original apartment, Ms. Starks is delighted with the new walk-in shower and bathroom fixtures, kitchen cabinets and appliances, all new finishes and much brighter lighting. She can now regulate the temperature in her apartment and looks forward to having washers and dryers just down the hall on every floor.
As an added benefit, when Ms. Starks signed her new lease, she learned that with a new HUD rental voucher, she will be paying less of her very modest income on rent. Ms. Starks will be able to continue to age in her community with the help of renovated age-appropriate housing, onsite medical visits, resident services and support from the home health agency.
Preventing Homelessness through Wraparound Services
Mr. DW is a veteran of the U.S. Army and has lived in Arlington for many years, but, after struggling with personal and medical issues, wound up at the Residential Program Center (RPC) in early 2018. Coupled with these challenges, Mr. DW had high housing barriers due to rent payment delinquencies with a previous landlord. Despite these challenges, he entered the shelter optimistic that he would be able to get back on his feet.
When Mr. DW first entered the shelter, he met with a case manager, who encouraged him to contact SSI to retrieve a current award letter, connected him with a collection agent to help settle his previous rental amount, and helped Mr. DW submit a Rapid Re-Housing referral seeking assistance with paying off his arrears. His case manager also helped Mr. DW apply for the County’s Housing Grant program as well a committed affordable (CAF) rental unit. Mr. DW worked hard to meet all the shelter expectations and to achieve his housing goals.
After living at the RPC shelter for several months, Mr. DW’s case manager accompanied him to his lease signing at Clarendon Court Apartments in June 2018. Mr. DW is now living in a committed affordable (CAF) unit and has obtained a Housing Grant to help pay his rent. He has also begun paying off his previous debts and is in the process of getting his life back on track.
Ensuring a Healthier Living Environment for Residents of The Berkeley
Originally built in 1961, The Berkeley was an aging committed affordable housing (CAF) complex that consisted of two four-story apartment buildings with 138 CAF units. Over the years, as the property aged, the buildings experienced significant capital needs including plumbing, mechanical and structural issues. Following a capital needs assessment in 2016, it was determined that the buildings had outlived their useful lives and that a redevelopment was needed.
In 2018, the Arlington County Board approved an investment through the County’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) to demolish the existing buildings, redeveloping the site into an apartment community that will include two five-story buildings with 256 apartments available to households earning between 40% and 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The new property will feature over 100 family-sized units and on-site community amenities, including garage parking, a community lounge, a fitness room, a playground and a sport court.
The County’s AHIF investment will not only increase the number of long-term CAF units within the I-395 corridor, but will also help to create a healthier and better living environment for existing Arlington County residents. The new buildings will be EarthCraft Gold, significantly improving energy-efficiency and indoor quality. The project developer will add pedestrian safety upgrades, including a rapid flashing beacon for a new crossing on Glebe Road. Additionally, the developer will make improvements to the Four Mile Run trail, which runs adjacent to the property, including widening it and adding public features.