Bellefonte Residents Celebrate Reopening of Renovated Apartment Community They Call Home

Page updated on Jul 22, 2021 at 1:26 PM

Bellefonte Residents Celebrate Reopening of Renovated Apartment Community They Call Home 


Bellefonte ReopeningJuly 16, 2020--On June 29, residents of the Bellefonte Apartment Community celebrated the reopening of newly renovated units and buildings, which provide affordable and safe housing for adult community members with developmental disabilities. 

Twelve HUD-subsidized units in the Bellefonte Apartments, which are provided by Sheltered Homes of Alexandria (SHA), gives residents the opportunity to live independently with support provided by DCHS Developmental Disabilities Services staff, who provide a variety of services such as in home training, personal care assistance and assisted and supervised living assistance. 

SHA, a non-profit started in the 1970s by parents of children with developmental disabilities, provides more than 40 residential properties in the city for individuals receiving mental health treatment and long term residents with behavioral health conditions, co-occurring substance use disorders, and/or developmental or intellectual disabilities. SHA works closely with the DCHS to meet the growing need to find safe and affordable housing for this growing client base. 

The renovation included a range of improvements to increase the usability of the property for another 30 years. The interiors were completely renovated with modern finishes, energy efficient appliances, repairs to elemental damage, and open floor plans that allow for ample natural light. Six of the twelve units were also made fully ADA accessible during the renovation as well. 

Outside, redevelopment included an update to the stormwater drainage system and landscaping, adding a 200ft drain and improving landscaping on the site, which will improve drainage for SHA as well as neighbors. In addition, a wheelchair lift was replaced with a ramp. 

Finally, several security features were added to the community; vestibules with key-fob entry limit access to resident units, and residents can screen and admit guests via a cell-phone call box. Outdoor walkway illumination has also been improved. 

The renovations, which were complete in April 2021, were made possible through a partnership between SHA and the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHCD). AHDC provided renovation and redevelopment support for the group home, which was completely renovated to support residents for the long-term while also improving the community’s site conditions. 

At the reopening celebration, AHDC and SHA representatives highlighted the collaborative nature of this redevelopment, and the work of creating housing for all in Alexandria.  

SHA Board Chair Julie Jakopic said ,“By working together, AHDC, Sheltered Homes of Alexandria, and the City were able to create these beautiful, accessible new homes for our residents. This community in Del Ray will enjoy the results of these partnerships for many decades to come.”  

“In Alexandria’s Housing Master Plan, a core guiding principle is to ‘Expand housing choice for people of all ages and abilities’,” said AHDC President and CEO Jon Frederick. “While our previous work at AHDC has focused largely on larger, family-designed housing, this renovation with Sheltered Homes of Alexandria focuses on a new segment of the Alexandria population. We are thrilled to have played a role in supporting SHA as they carry forward their mission and continue serving adults with additional needs in the community.”  

Photo: Residents, staff and board members, in addition to AHDC and City staff members, gather before the official community ribbon cutting.

This article contains content from a news release from Alexandria Housing Development Corporation.