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Lake Anne House Revitalizes Historic Senior Housing in Reston, Virginia

A tall concrete apartment building on a grassy suburban lot.
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A large, colorful community room with various seating areas and tables with chairs.
A modern fitness center with several treadmills, recumbent exercise bikes, free weights, and exercise benches.


Home > Case Studies > Lake Anne House Revitalizes Historic Senior Housing in Reston, Virginia


Lake Anne House Revitalizes Historic Senior Housing in Reston, Virginia


Reston, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C., was founded as a planned city in 1964 by Robert E. Simon, who envisioned an inclusive, walkable community where "it would be possible for anyone to remain in a single neighborhood throughout [their] life." Today, Reston is a diverse community of more than 60,000, 16.6 percent of whom are over age 65. There is a pressing need for affordable rental housing in Reston, where the median rent is $2,109, more than 60 percent of homes are valued at over $500,000, and housing costs have steadily increased in recent years. The need is especially intense for seniors, many of whom live alone and on fixed incomes amid a national shortage of accessible, affordable senior housing.

For many years, the Lake Anne Fellowship House, a high-rise affordable housing project constructed in the 1970s, served Reston's low-income seniors. By the early 2010s, however, the aging facility needed renovation and the building, which predated the Americans with Disabilities Act, lacked key accessibility features. Lake Anne Fellowship House's owner, nonprofit Fellowship Square Foundation, partnered with Enterprise Community Development to replace the dated property with a new affordable apartment complex offering 240 senior housing units. Built on an underutilized portion of the existing site, the new Lake Anne House preserves affordability while improving accessibility for senior residents.

Preserving Affordability

In 2015, Fellowship Square Foundation commissioned a third-party assessment of the property and was advised that the existing facility was functionally obsolete. The evaluation concluded that there were no feasible renovations that would significantly improve operations or resident life. Fellowship Square decided to construct a new building on the site's underutilized land. This arrangement was beneficial for residents, allowing them to avoid temporary relocation and remain in their community in modern, accessible apartments.

Fellowship Square soon partnered with the Community Preservation and Development Corporation, which later became Enterprise Community Development. The development team replaced all 240 affordable units from the original development with 240 new affordable units by working with HUD and Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority to transfer the project-based operating contracts from the old building. The original Lake Anne House building was constructed in two parts, and had two separate mortgages — a HUD Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly loan and a Virginia Housing loan. The development team paid down both mortgages on the property — a move made possible in part because Lake Anne House had undergone a Rental Assistance Demonstration conversion several years earlier, which allowed the developers to access more financing sources. Fairfax County approved the proposal for redevelopment in 2018. The developers broke ground in 2020, and residents began moving into the completed building in 2022.

An Inclusive Community

Lake Anne House is an eight-story, steel-and-concrete building designed by Grimm + Parker Architects. Its 240 units consist of 56 studios, 178 one-bedroom apartments, and 6 two-bedroom apartments. All units are reserved for people over age 62 who earn no more than 60 percent of the area median income, with rents capped at 30 percent of resident income. The original Lake Anne Fellowship House was demolished, and land on the now-vacant east half of the lot was sold to a developer that plans to build market-rate townhomes.

The development includes various amenities that foster community and inclusivity. All units come with a microwave, dishwasher, and pantry as well as grab bars in all tubs and showers and task lighting. Community amenities include a game room, a social hall, an arts and crafts room, an outdoor terrace, a wellness clinic, and electric car charging stations. The building is EarthCraft and ENERGY STAR® certified. Fifty-four units are fully accessible to people with disabilities.

The developers prioritized resident engagement and inclusion throughout the development process. "We engaged residents from the beginning about features and amenities that they would like to see," said Christy Zeitz, chief executive officer of Fellowship Square. Starting in 2017, the development team regularly updated residents on the redevelopment process and solicited resident suggestions to identify amenities for the new building. When the development was complete, the developers offered residents relocation support, including a white glove moving service.


The total cost to redevelop Lake Anne House was $84.5 million (table 1). Funding came from federal, state, and local sources, including $46.5 million through tax-exempt bond financing from Virginia Housing and $21.3 million in 4 percent low-income housing tax credit equity provided through Capital One. The project received 122 project-based vouchers from the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, with HUD providing the rest.

Table 1. Funding for Lake Anne House

4 percent low-income housing tax credit equity through Capital One $21,276,477
Tax-exempt bond from Virginia Housing 46,500,000
Fellowship Square land proceeds loan 6,241,667
Fellowship Square land seller note 5,017,455
Virginia Housing Trust Fund 700,000
Fairfax County Housing Blueprint loan 3,000,000
Deferred developer fee 960,958
Transferred reserves 816,993
Total $84,513,550

The new Lake Anne House was the overall winner in Affordable Housing Finance's annual 2023 Readers' Choice Awards. The development also won the 2023 Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Developments of Distinction Award in the category of Development that Best Preserves Existing Affordable Housing. The project is consistent with Robert E. Simon's original vision of an inclusive, multigenerational community and helps maintain the supply of affordable senior housing in Reston's Lake Anne neighborhood.

This article was written by Sage Computing, Inc, under contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The contents of this article are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. Government.