APAH Celebrates Former President and CEO Nina Janopaul at 2021 Celebrate Home! Benefit

Business, Civic and Community Leaders contribute more than $800,000 to support affordable housing and resident services.

Arlington, VA (October 7, 2021) – Yesterday, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) honored Nina Janopaul, the organization’s former President and CEO at its annual Celebrate Home! Benefit. Held tented outdoors at facilities donated by Snell Properties, 250 guests in attendance and nearly 200 watching the live-streamed program contributed more than $800,000 to support APAH, its resident service programs and work in the community—a new record providing essential resources to support the 2,000+ low-income households that call an APAH apartment home.  “Each year, the community is more and more generous,” noted APAH President and CEO Carmen Romero. “Developing affordable housing is challenging work, we are so grateful for this deep and continuing support for our work and for the 4,500 residents who call an APAH property home.”

Celebrating Extraordinary Growth

Master of Ceremonies John Ziegenhein, who serves on the APAH Board and chaired the 2021 benefit committee, opened the evening by lauding APAH’s extraordinary real estate achievements and a year of firsts. “With 258 affordable homes under construction, including Terwilliger Place, APAH is building its first veteran’s preference affordable housing.  With the construction of Loudoun View, APAH is building our first senior housing and first new construction outside of Arlington. And at Snowden’s Ridge is completing a major renovation and is APAH first project in Maryland, and first project outside Virginia. It is a long list of firsts, but even more impressive is what’s to come with 294 units breaking ground before the end of the year, and another 1,000 in the pipeline.”

While the growth in affordable homes is critical, Ziegenhein noted, “the daily driver of APAH’s amazing staff and the purpose of every affordable home APAH builds, are the people who call them home. Today, nearly 4,500 people, including over 1,400 children and youth, call an APAH property home—it truly is a small village.  Thanks to our committed staff and the financial support of our donors, APAH is doing so much to help our residents prosper and reach their own goals.”

Celebrating the Leadership of Nina Janopaul

State Senator Barbara Favola (VA 31st District) and Virginia Housing CEO Susan Dewey joined the festivities to honor the 14-year legacy of honoree, Nina Janopaul.  Favola presented a proclamation of appreciation from the Virginia General Assembly.  Dewey recalled, “Throughout Nina’s career at APAH, we have certainly broken a lot of ground together and cut our fair share of ribbons on the way to making Virginia a greater, more affordable place to live, work, learn, and raise a family.  It is only fitting that one of the final projects with celebrated with APAH under Nina’s leadership, the amazing Queens Court, also happens to be the biggest in the organization’s rich history.”  She went on to note that “Nina’s legacy will be defined by tireless dedication to the cause of affordable housing, relentless advocacy for action, and—most importantly—delivering results for the people and communities she served.”

Accepting her award, Janopaul too a moment to share her hopes for the APAH mission and her journey as APAH’s leader. “I initially thought of APAH’s work as charitable—as a form of generosity to those in need, “Janopaul said. “But over time, I have learned, as Bryan Stevenson says, the opposite of wealth is not poverty, it is justice.  The dearth of affordable housing reflects an unjust allocation of resources in our prosperous nation.”  Pointing to the 2018 Urban Institute study that calls for 130,000 new units of affordable housing in the Washington metro area, Janopaul reminded the audience that “we learned during COVID, that when we lean in, we can create big solutions to tough problems. I hope that all of us in the APAH family will continue to advocate with the people we serve for affordable housing on the scale of the documented need and that together we pursue housing justice across our region.”

Speakers at yesterday’s Celebrate Home! Benefit included:

Susan Ingraham Bell, Chair, APAH Board of Directors

Senator Barbara Favola (31st District, VA)

Susan Dewey, CEO, Virginia Housing

Carmen Romero, APAH President and CEO

John Ziegenhein, Chair, Celebrate Home! Committee; Director, APAH Board


About APAH: 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. Founded in 1989, APAH now helps more than 2,000 households live in stable, secure, and affordable rental homes. APAH has 500 affordable apartments under construction and an additional 1,000 in its development pipeline.  APAH’s Columbia Hills Apartments, received the 2019 ULI Washington Trends Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing. And both Columbia Hills and Gilliam Place, APAH’s two most recent projects, were recognized as Virginia’s Best Affordable Housing project by Virginia Housing. In 2020, APAH was named one of the nation’s Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers by Affordable Housing Finance magazine. The organization was named 2021 Developer of the Year by HAND, the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers.