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Wesley Housing won’t expand affordable housing properties beyond D.C. Metro area

Kamilah McAfee, senior vice president at Wesley Housing, speaks at Agenda Alexandia discussion on building heights and affordable housing, October 24, 2022. (staff photo by James Cullum)

After five years of rapid growth, Wesley Housing’s new CEO says that the organization has no plans to expand beyond the D.C. Metro area.

Kamilah McAfee was promoted to lead the organization last month, and will take over for longtime CEO Shelly Murphy on January 2. She has been the vice president of development for Wesley Housing since 2018, and before that was the deputy director of real estate development for six years.

“We’re starting to look at opportunities in Prince George’s County in Maryland, but not really beyond the DMV proper,” McAfee told ALXnow.

Wesley’s portfolio has grown to 2,800 affordable rental units throughout the region, and McAfee is credited by Wesley for leading the organization in a five year period of unprecedented growth.

“I want to challenge ourselves to do more in areas pertaining to diversity and equity and inclusion for our staff as well as the communities that we serve… We’re running out of emergency assistance funding from the federal government coming off the pandemic, so we’ve been working with right-sizing our rents to make sure people can stay housed.”

This year, Wesley will finish construction on seven affordable communities that will house more than 1,500 people. In Alexandria, Wesley is developing the 200-unit ParcView II apartments (5380 Holmes Run Parkway) in the West End, as well as the 66-unit Parc Square Apartments in Arlandria.

“I’m committed, I’m energized, I’m here,” McAfee told ALXnow. “Expect it to be for the long haul. I’m hoping that I will continue to honor Shelley’s leadership and commitment and respond to our board of directors a vision for opportunities in the future for Wesley and our relationship in what we’re doing in the City of Alexandria.”

A rendering of Wesley Housing’s affordable housing project ParcView II at 5380 Holmes Run Parkway. (Via Wesley Housing)

The nonprofit was founded in 1974 by Virginia Peters,

A new Jersey native, she moved to the D.C. area to attend Georgetown University, where she earned a degree in finance and new and small business development. She also has a master’s degree in business administration from American University. Her career includes five years as director of public finance for the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency, as well as two years as a project manager for Forest City Enterprises.

Alexandria is currently experiencing an affordable housing crisis, and lost 90% of its affordable housing stock between 2000 and 2017. Consequently, the city has pledged to produce or develop thousands of units to meet 2030 regional housing goal set by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

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