APAH Celebrates Arlington-Native and National Affordable Housing Champion Ron Terwilliger at 2018 Celebrate Home! Benefit

Business, Civic, and Community Leaders contribute more than $650,000 to support affordable housing and resident services.

Honoree Ron Terwilliger (center) with APAH Board member, Bobby Rozen, and Board Chair, Kevin Yam

Arlington, VA  (October 18, 2017) – Yesterday, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) honored J. Ronald Terwillger, Arlington-native, multi-family real estate giant, and passionate national champion for affordable housing at its annual Celebrate Home! Benefit at the Clarendon Ballroom. More than 300  guests generously contributed more than $650,000 to support APAH, its resident service programs and work in the community—a new record providing essential resources to support the nearly 1,600 low-income households that call an APAH apartment home. Immediately prior to the reception, Mr. Terwilliger and Tim Naughton, Chairman, CEO and President of AvalonBay Communities held a Leadership Talk discussing Terwilliger’s early life in Arlington, his real estate career, the national crisis in housing affordability and the role of leadership and philanthropy.


Providing Home to 3,000 Arlingtonians

 “APAH celebrates the power of home—it’s where our values are shaped, it’s where our kids do their homework, and it’s where we build our families.  We are so proud to provide homes for more than 3,000 of our Arlington neighbors.  The stories of our residents are varied from veterans and others who come to us from homelessness through our partnerships with A-SPAN and Doorways, to families who escape over-crowded apartments, to others simply striving to provide their children with the best education they can to realize the American Dream of forward progress for every generation. We are so proud to serve all of them”  said APAH Board Chair, Kevin Yam, who served as Master of Ceremonies.


Celebrating a National Leader

J. Ronald Terwilliger was recognized as APAH’s 2018 Celebrate Home honoree. Terwilliger began his life in Arlington, growing up modestly in South Arlington and attending Barcroft Elementary School. At Wakefield High School, he was an academic and athletic star, and went on to earn an appointment to the US Naval Academy. After leaving the Navy, Terwilliger worked his way up in the real estate business, serving as CEO of Trammell Crow Residential (TCR) from 1986 to 2008. During his leadership, TCR was the largest developer of multi-family housing in the nation. Since his retirement, Terwilliger has turned his attention and passion to the nation’s urgent need to provide decent affordable housing. He created the Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing at the Urban Land Institute, has chaired multiple boards including Enterprise Community Partners, Habitat for Humanity International and the I Have Dream Foundation. Working with other housing experts and political leaders, he was a leader in the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission and tirelessly walked the halls of Congress advocating for a more fair and effective national housing policy. Speaking at Celebrate Home!, Terwilliger noted, “I like to believe that the three-quarters of the population that are well-housed, just don’t know that a quarter of the people living in this country are not. I find it frustrating that of the $200 billion we spend as a nation on housing subsidy, 70% of it goes to home ownership and the majority of that goes to wealthy people.”


Cynthia Shares Her Story

Resident Cynthia Bendt and APAH CEO Nina Janopaul

The celebration included a video of Cynthia Bendt, veteran, mental health professional and APAH resident. Someone who had always had a home and always had a job, Bendt shared her journey from homelessness that occurred after she lost her job and experienced personal trauma.  With the help of APAH and partner, A-SPAN, Bendt is now stable and happy in her apartment and engaged in volunteer music therapy work with other veterans at the Veteran Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Speakers at yesterday’s Celebrate Home! Benefit included:

Kevin Yam, Chairman, APAH Board of Directors

Bobby Rozen, APAH Board Member

Tim Naughton, Chairman, CEO and President of AvalonBay Communities

Nina Janopaul, APAH President and CEO

APAH’s Resident Story Video featured Cynthia Bendt


APAH’s mission is to develop, preserve and own quality affordable places to live; to promote stability and opportunity for our residents; and, to advocate with the people and communities we serve.


More images from APAH’s 2018 Celebrate Home! benefit can be found here.

Download a PDF of this press release here.