Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) has received a $200,000 philanthropic gift from the congregation of Arlington Presbyterian Church (APC). The funding supports the ongoing rent relief needs of up to 30 households at Gilliam Place Apartments experiencing continued housing instability for a period of two years. This is APC’s second leadership gift of this size in 2023 for rent relief supporting APAH residents.
“Stewardship at Arlington Presbyterian Church isn’t about simply paying the congregation’s bills; it’s about human flourishing. Our faith mandates us to put the well-being of our neighbors at the center of all we do as a community,” said Rev. Ashley Goff, pastor at Arlington Presbyterian. APC’s gift will enable APAH to establish EASE (Encouraging Affordability and Stability for Everyone), which will stabilize housing and create paths for stronger financial futures.
EASE is based on the Arlington Community Foundation’s Shared Prosperity Initiative, which piloted private subsidies to lower rents temporarily. Households that participated in the program, some of which lived in APAH communities, benefitted from temporarily affordable rents to gain stability.
Recent data from Arlington County show that the percentage of rent-burdened households is around 38%. For most APAH families, whose average annual household income is just $37,000, the likelihood of being rent-burdened is high, even when living in an income-restricted apartment. Federal and state rental programs have ended, and some private funding sources have also been exhausted.
“With this incredible gift from APC, APAH is positioned to bring solace to participating households. Pastor Ashley and APC’s example inspires us. We hope this will inspire others to step up to help us keep more families housed and positioned to thrive and not just survive,” said APAH President and CEO Carmen Romero. EASE will start by enrolling ten households and will phase in additional families, allowing APAH to continuously improve based on lessons learned from the Shared Prosperity Initiative and in real-time.
Marquan Jackson, Vice President of Resident Services, shared, “The program will first provide respite to participating households as it relates to their rent, especially those who are paying more than 30% of their income.” Though residents will have the autonomy to utilize the relief funds for their family’s highest needs, participants will be encouraged to address future financial stability through workforce training or the creation of an emergency savings account. APC’s gift includes funds to match savings through APAH’s Individual Development Account program.
“The data shows these programs have real promise. How much better off would our communities be if those who could lean in made more opportunities like this come to life for families who need it most?” asked Romero.
“We care deeply about our Gilliam Place neighbors. Everyone at Gilliam Place has a right to dream about their lives, and we all need to show up with that belief. We are proud that with APAH, we can come alongside those dreams and generate real power for change. This financial gift is one way we live out this narrative, our faith, and our core values,” said Goff.