LEDC Expands Homeownership Program to Virginia With Acquisition of Arlington Home Ownership Made Easier, Inc. (AHOME), a Local Virginia Nonprofit

News / Press Releases

Immediate Release: January 31, 2019

LEDC Expands Homeownership Program to Virginia With Acquisition of Arlington Home Ownership Made Easier, Inc. (AHOME), a Local Virginia Nonprofit

The Moves Comes at a Serious Time When Low-income Hispanic Residents Fear Losing Their Homes to High-paying Residents

WASHINGTON, DC - Addressing a demand for housing counseling services in Virginia, the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) is pleased to announce the finalization of an agreement to acquire AHOME, a fellow nonprofit leader offering homeownership services in Arlington County to low- and moderate-income residents since 1989. LEDC’s acquisition of AHOME was filed on December 31, 2018, and expands LEDC’s robust homeownership program to Virginia, a state whose Hispanic residents have already expressed a fear of losing their homes as big businesses move in.

LEDC CEO, Marla Bilonick stated, “We are so pleased to incorporate AHOME into the LEDC family. The organization and its leader, Karen Serfis, bring to bear a deep and accomplished history of serving Northern Virginia residents in the homeownership space. With the addition of AHOME, we offer our full suite of LEDC’s Housing and Small Business Services out of our Arlington location. The timing, given the looming arrival of Amazon HQ2, is more critical than ever.”

The addition of AHOME, which offers homebuyer education classes, financial literacy classes and housing counseling services, to LEDC’s Homeownership Program furthers LEDC’s mission to drive the economic and social advancement of underserved residents in the Greater DC and Baltimore City areas by providing them with the skills and tools to create a better future for their families and communities through homeownership.

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a family of four needs to make roughly $113,915 in Arlington County to maintain an adequate standard of living – and these numbers could increase dramatically in the next decade. In November 2018, real estate purchase contracts increased by 90 percent after Amazon announced it would move into Northern Virginia, and some reports indicate an upsurge in home prices in the coming months, putting low- and moderate-income communities at risk of being displaced.

Through this acquisition, LEDC will be in a better position to help long-time residents in Virginia purchase their first homes and save their homes from foreclosure as the cost of living intensifies. This will ensure that communities remain vibrant and diverse as redevelopment starts to happen.

Through LEDC’s acquisition, underserved residents will gain the support of two expert organizations with a combined 50+ years of experience, as well as a team of culturally and linguistically competent counselors that will help them in their homeownership journey.

This is the second nonprofit acquisition that LEDC has completed in as many years. In 2017, LEDC acquired EWI (Empowered Women International), which provides training to aspiring and existing women-owned businesses. With the support of Citi Foundation’s Community Progress Makers fund, LEDC was able to explore this model for accelerated organizational expansion as a means of rapid growth into Northern Virginia, while sustaining and growing the important programming of both EWI and AHOME. LEDC is developing a toolkit for other nonprofits to use to replicate this model for their own growth or sustainability that will be available in late 2019.

AHOME will become a component of LEDC’s Homeownership Program led by Karen Serifs, AHOME’s Executive Director who will transition to Housing Program Manager for Virginia as part of the acquisition. Karen comes to LEDC with over 20 years of experience in providing homeownership services to residents in Virginia.

“I am excited about the opportunity to strengthen and expand our services to low- and moderate- income households in our community. This merger will allow us to have a bigger impact in assisting our clients achieve the dream of home ownership,” stated Karen Serifs.

LEDC’s WeWork Arlington office will be replaced by AHOME’s headquarters, conveniently located at 2300 9th Street South, Suite 300 B Arlington, VA 22204.


If you have any additional questions or concerns, or for more information, please contact:


Marla Bilonick

Chief Executive Officer of LEDC
641 S St. NW, Washington DC 20001

(202) 588-5102, [email protected]


Karen Serfis

AHOME’s Program Manager

2300 9th Street South, Suite 300 B Arlington, VA 22204

(703) 527-3854, [email protected]


About LEDC

Working families deserve to be financially secure. The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) equips Latinos and other underserved communities in the DC and Baltimore Metro areas with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities. Participants in our programs learn how to buy and stay in their homes, join with their neighbors to keep their rental housing affordable, and start or expand small businesses. Learn more at our website: ledcmetro.org



AHOME is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1989. AHOME seeks to increase the number of low- and moderate-income and minority households that purchase homes in our community. We provide home buyer education classes, condo classes, financial literacy classes and some housing counseling.