Melwood, Wesley Housing Plan New Inclusive Affordable Housing in Arlington

Melwood, Wesley Housing Plan New Inclusive Affordable Housing in Arlington

Melwood, a leading national employer, advocate, and preferred provider for people with disabilities, and Wesley Housing, a leading nonprofit affordable housing provider located in Northern Virginia, are planning a mixed-use development including 105 new affordable housing units and 18,000 square feet of ground level space for Melwood’s community service use in Arlington, Virginia. This joint venture, which leverages property Melwood owns in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood near National Landing and the Crystal City Metro, will provide much needed affordable housing for a broad range of household sizes and affordable income levels. Some of the units are intended to address the need for accessible housing for people with disabilities. The project will replace the existing outdated Melwood Horticultural Training Center, with new space better suited for Melwood to operate its on-site programs and services, including job skills training for people with disabilities. 

Melwood entered into an agreement with Wesley Housing as its development partner in January 2024. Since then, the partners advanced pre-development activities through Arlington County’s Special General Land Use Plan (GLUP) process, culminating with the May 2024 County Board adoption of the GLUP Study and associated principles guiding future development. To kick off the site plan review process, Wesley Housing and Melwood submitted a preliminary Site Plan Application. 

“Approval of the proposed development by the County Board will be a critical first step allowing us to pursue the affordable housing financing and building permits necessary to bring this innovative community asset to fruition,” said Wesley Housing President & CEO, Kamilah McAfee. 

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (VA-8) and Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine championed the development which led to an award of $500,000 in congressionally directed funding. 

“Redeveloping our Arlington campus into an affordable, inclusive housing community enables Melwood to further our mission and support the people and community we serve,” said Larysa Kautz, President & CEO of Melwood. Most people served by Melwood face hurdles to live independently in affordable housing with meaningful inclusion, Kautz added.

The partnership between Melwood and Wesley Housing presents an opportunity to develop a truly inclusive community in Arlington, leveraging both organizations’ overlapping missions, complementary services, and long-standing histories of service in Arlington. 

About Wesley Housing: Wesley Housing, a leading nonprofit developer in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia, has worked to provide affordable rental housing for individuals and families for 50 years. Wesley Housing has emerged as a premier developer of affordable housing and has acquired or developed over 2,900 rental units, providing quality housing for thousands of low-income individuals and families each year. Wesley Housing supplements housing with supportive services. Visit 

About Melwood: Melwood is one of the largest employers of people with disabilities in the country, employing more than 1,400 workers – over 750 of whom are people with disabilities. Melwood offers job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to more than 3,000 people each year in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Visit