Good Works, the county’s leading affordable housing developer, and TM Associates unveiled their newest project, Ashburn Chase, on Wednesday, Oct. 5, cutting the ribbon on a project that brings them to more than 300 rent-controlled units in four years.
The two groups since 2016 have opened 83 apartments at Birchwood at Brambleton, 128 units at Stone Springs Apartments in Sterling, and 96 units at Ashburn Chase. Kim Hart, the man most credited with the push for affordable housing in Loudoun, said that was made possible by a change to local zoning in 2016—and that with Ashburn Chase, those projects have approximately doubled the number of rent-controlled homes in Loudoun before the change.
“In the last four years we’ve been able to get as many units on the ground as the previous 20, thanks to that zoning change,” Hart said. “That’s why government matters.”
And those have been massive projects with an increasingly complex mix of grants and tax credits, which is enabled by that zoning change.
“I always say at the beginning, any affordable housing gets built is simply a miracle,” Hart said. “…Just the financial closing on this project was 1,200 pages. It took 14 lawyers to approve it, and the closing took four days—that’s how complicated these deals are to put together.”
Hart also credited the county’s office of Building of Development for helping keep the project on schedule despite the pandemic with their responsiveness.
District Supervisor Sylvia R. Glass (D-Broad Run) pointed out the amenities that come with the apartments, which include a small gym and a community room. They are also located within walking distance of shopping and groceries.
“These types of amenities are what bring attainable housing communities up to par with market rate structures,” Glass said.
Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) credited Hart with leading the charge to develop affordable housing in Loudoun. Even before the 2016 zoning change, Hart helped develop affordable housing and advocated for those changes.
“Before Kim Hart came to Loudoun County many years ago, no one was talking about affordable homes, period the end,” Randall said. “…Kim Hart put African-Americans, people who live in very impoverished parts of the county—and we do have impoverished areas of Loudoun County—he put them into homes, and he did it in a way that respected their dignity and their sanctity. And we would not have the amount of other diverse homes, the affordable housing stock homes that we have in Loudoun County, and more importantly, we wouldn’t have saved not just a family, but generations of people who were able to get into safe, secure homes.”
Like all affordable rental projects in Loudoun, apartments are expected to fill up immediately. Find out more at AshburnChaseApts.com. They are targeted at people making 60% of the area median income, $52,920 for a single person or $75,600 for a family of four.