Many faith and civic organizations struggle with over sized and aging facilities along with declining memberships or changing priorities. Affordable housing can enable a congregation or organization to grow its mission, energy, and financial health. APAH is a pioneer and thought-leader in this space.
Done well, affordable housing development can allow a congregation to grow mission, energy and financial resources. Dozens of houses of worship have produced new affordable housing complexes around the country and hundreds more are considering this path. APAH created “Seven Stages of Development for Houses of Worship” as a guiding document for faith communities considering this path. It was first presented at the Enterprise Faith Based Initiative Conference in Washington, DC in 2018.
In 2012, with a declining congregation and an aging church building, the Arlington Presbyterian Church approached APAH to create a space that would provide affordable housing and serve as a place of crossroads and connection for the community. Over the next six years, Gilliam Place was developed.
The redevelopment’s press coverage:
- Gilliam Place Approved by the Arlington County Board – December 12, 2015
- New affordable apartments coming to Arlington – The Washington Post – January 11, 2016
- APAH and Arlington Presbyterian Church Strengthen “Community Crossroads” Plan at Gilliam Place
- This church sold its land for $8.5 million, then bought a chunk back to build a park – The Washington Post – July 27, 2017
- Ground-breaking sets stage for new affordable housing on Columbia Pike – Inside NoVA – July 28, 2017
- Capital One Provides $57M in Financing for Arlington Affordable Housing Community – Commercial Observer – August 8, 2017
- What’s next for churches who sell their property? – The Presbyterian Outlook – November 27, 2018
- Nation takes note as D.C.-area churches create affordable housing – Thomson Reuters Foundation – October 4 2018
- How land-rich, cash-poor faith groups are creating affordable housing – CBS This Morning – November 24, 2018
- Arlington Presbyterian Church Celebrates Planned Return to Gilliam Place
- APAH Celebrates Grand Opening of Gilliam Place
Civic associations may struggle with oversized and aging facilities along with declining memberships or changing priorities. Like a faith community, affordable housing can enable civic organizations that own land to grow its mission, energy, and financial health.
Aware of the housing crisis facing veterans and experiencing challenges of their own, American Legion Post 139 decided to allow APAH to purchase their site, which will become the Lucille & Bruce Terwilliger Place when it opens in 2022. The redevelopment – believed to be the first of its kind in the nation – will provide 160 affordable apartments and a new 6,000 square foot American Legion facility.