The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing in Arlington, Virginia, has announced a $1.5 million gift from the Terwilliger Family Foundation in support of an innovative affordable housing project.
The gift from Ron and Fran Terwilliger will support the redevelopment of American Legion Post 139 in Virginia Square. When complete, the 1.3-acre development will include a hundred and sixty affordable housing units for local low-income families and veterans and a 6,000-square-foot facility for Post 139. Veterans will receive priority for half of the building's units, and the center will provide support services such as workforce development, tutoring, and financial literacy programs. In recognition of the gift, the first floor of the center, which will feature private counseling spaces, community activity rooms, and a computer lab, will be named Lucille and Bruce Terwilliger Place in honor of Ron Terwilliger's parents.
When Post 139 sold the prime property in 2016, APAH proposed a mixed-use facility that would enable the post to remain in place and expand its mission. "The redevelopment of Legion Post 139 into Lucille and Bruce Terwilliger Place is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation and could serve as a model for other Legion posts interested in responding to the changing needs of the communities they serve," said APAH chief executive Nina Janopaul.
"An affordable, safe home is the first step toward a better life," said Terwilliger. "The high cost of housing and long commutes to work can drive low-income families deeper into poverty. Innovative projects like this are a key part of our efforts to address the acute housing affordability crisis affecting our country."