To stem the housing crisis, religious congregations are building homes

The crowd that prayed together at Arlington Presbyterian Church’s Sunday worship service had dwindled from more than 100 to a few dozen. Neighbors’ stories guided the church’s radical transformation. People were struggling to afford to live there. After some contentious discussions, the church reached a decision to use the greatest asset it had: real estate. In 2016, the church sold its land and historic stone building to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, a nonprofit developer, for $8.5 million. The church was razed. In its place now stands Gilliam Place, a six-story complex with 173 apartments.