Arlington Branch NAACP #7047
Copyright 2020. NAACP Arlington Branch 7047 . All Rights Reserved.
AHC Inc, Letter to Serrano Residents.
AHC Inc, Letter to Arlington County Board
November 13, 2020
November 14, 2020
The Arlington Branch NAACP Board has been made aware of an agreement AHC Inc, has reached to address the significant problems we addressed along with our allies regarding the Serrano Towers. AHC Inc. is a nonprofit affordable housing developer of low- and moderate-income housing in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. AHC, Inc. has pledged to remediate the rodent, mold, HVAC, and other issues in 2021. They have committed to spend $1.5 million, in what may be a down payment to address the many issues at these low-income apartment sites. AHC also agreed to replace the Serrano's property management company, which interestingly is a subsidiary of AHC, and to replace it with an outside property management specialist.
This is a good start to what has been an exhausting battle by the tenants and their allies. But it is not the end. The Arlington Branch NAACP trust and ask that AHC's progress at the Serrano be strictly monitored by County staff, that an audit be conducted of Serrano operations and other AHC properties where its subsidiary manages operations and that the repairs and renovations will occur quickly and be comprehensive. Ultimately, the NAACP and the other Serrano allies like VOICE want to ensure that this situation will increase the Arlington Housing Staff's and AHC's focus on tenant rights and to improve County accountability so that our most vulnerable citizens would not again have to go to such extraordinary lengths (13 Months) to get the attention and remedies that they deserve just to live decently, comfortably and safely in County affordable housing units.
Lastly, the NAACP stands with VOICE and tenants of the Serrano tenants and encourage everyone to call on the County Board to:
1. Implement an oversight plan that includes biweekly reports from AHC to the County Manager, with evidence that maintenance issues are being resolved.
2. Call on AHC to include at least two tenant representatives from Committed Affordable units on its Board of Directors
3. Review County agreements with AHIF funding partners to ensure that expectations for maintaining the properties and treating tenants with respect are included, as County and state landlord-tenant regulations require.
4. Consider withholding of funds and approvals for all AHC projects until AHC demonstrates a track record of significant progress at the Serrano;