WHC Acquires Wheaton Apartments in $29M Deal to Preserve Affordable Housing

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The Washington Housing Conservancy, a nonprofit focused on preserving affordable housing, has partnered with Montgomery Housing Partnership to bring housing affordability to residents in Montgomery County.

The joint venture has acquired Earle Manor, a two-building, 140-unit apartment building in Wheaton, Md., for $28.8 million.

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The sellers, Blackfin Real Estate Investors and Acre Valley Real Estate Capital, acquired the property in 2019 for $21 million.

“Earle Manor is located near the Wheaton Metro, a thriving part of Montgomery County that is facing tremendous redevelopment pressure and escalating rents that threaten to displace residents,” Kimberly Driggins, executive director of WHC, told Commercial Observer. “More and more of this naturally occurring affordable housing in high opportunity neighborhoods like Wheaton, are being lost every year.”

Originally constructed in the 1960s, owners will reserve 50 percent of its units for residents at 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), 25 percent of the units at 80 percent AMI and the remaining 25 percent of units at market-rate rents. An existing rental assistance program with Montgomery County provides subsidies for below-market rents for 27 units through February 2025. The rents were not disclosed.

This is the fourth property acquisition for WHC, which is halfway toward its goal of preserving or creating affordability for at least 3,000 units in the D.C. region, while also advancing housing equity and sustaining diverse and inclusive communities.

“The acquisition advances our mission to preserve housing affordability for essential workers—nurses, teachers, first responders, construction workers and others, particularly African American and other residents of color, who are facing crushing rent increases,” Driggins said. “By stabilizing rents and focusing  on inclusive property management that encourages residents to shape the place they live, residents can build wealth and opportunity for themselves.”

Berkadia provided the first mortgage through Freddie Mac, while the Washington Housing Initiative Impact Pool provided mezzanine financing.

JBG SMITH, one of the region’s largest developers and landlords, will manage the property. 

WHC was not available immediately for comment. Requests for comment from other parties in the deal were not immediately returned.

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com