Alexandria, Va.—Jonathan Rose Cos. (JRC), together with national investor The Community Development Trust and local nonprofit AHC Inc., will preserve a 340-unit affordable housing community in Fairfax County through a $6 million renovation it plans to begin in 2017.+
JRC purchased Lafayette Apartments for $39 million through its sponsored fund, Rose Affordable Housing Preservation Fund, along with its joint venture partners. The seller, Eagle Point Cos., will stay on as property manager.
“The preservation of green affordable housing for families in locations with terrific transportation access to schools, jobs and employment is directly in line with our mission and with a sound business plan,” said Nathan Taft, director of acquisitions at JRC. “We were able to secure this acquisition at a competitive price, and we will be collaborating with our partners to improve the property physically and enhance the connection to social services in the community.”
Lafayette Apartments was originally built in 1966 and features 32 garden-style buildings across 17 acres. It was last renovated in 2003 through a program funded by Low Income Housing Tax Credits. JRC plans to refinance the project in 2017 and reinvest in a “greening and capital improvement program.”
Examples of the renovation program goals include pursuing Enterprise Green Communities certification through energy efficiency upgrades, water conservation measures and other social and environmental efforts like onsite gardening and education on healthy living.
Affordable housing is especially lacking in Fairfax County, according to JRC’s release, with more than 45 percent of the county’s renter households considered “cost burdened,” meaning 30 percent or more of their income goes to rent. At least 42,000 renters in the county pay more than 35 percent of their income in rent, according to census data.
For Alexandria in particular, the city has lost more than 12,000 affordable apartments since 2000, leaving only 10,316 affordable units to accommodate a population of 14,353 residents living below 60 percent of the area median income.
The joint venture believes its investment strategy to acquire and recapitalize the property could be used as an example for Alexandria’s leaders to address its affordable housing problem.
“Our investment in Alexandria is a great example of multiple partners working together to recapitalize an important community asset, which will have significant long-term benefits for the residents,” said Brian Dowling, CDT’s senior vice president for community investments.
This transaction marks the sixtieth acquisition for the Rose Affordable Housing Preservation Fund, which is the latest in the Rose family’s preservation funds that will green and preserve more than 1,800 units of affordable housing in the U.S.