Arlington’s nearly three-year effort to shape a vision for affordable housing and meet the challenge posed to our community’s diversity by rising housing prices and a dwindling supply of market rate affordable housing has reached a major milestone.
On Monday, March 23, 2015, the County Board will hold a work session from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to consider whether a draft Affordable Housing Master Plan, in the works for nearly three years, is ready for wider community review and discussion.
The County Manager-appointed Affordable Housing Study Working Group has produced the draft plan. Led by Dr. Leonard Hamlin, the group includes 19 community members, drawn from 12 County commissions and the broader Arlington community.
The County is seeking a plan for the next generation of affordable housing in Arlington because providing a range of housing options, affordable to persons of all income levels and needs throughout the County, supports our people, improves our neighborhoods and strengthens our economy.
The draft plan proposes ways to preserve Arlington’s current supply of affordable housing, encourage the production of particular types of housing to meet changing needs, and provide services to the County’s most vulnerable populations.
The need for a plan is obvious. Between 2000 and 2013, Arlington County lost 13,500 housing units that were affordable to low-income individuals and families. The County’s current inventory of 7,000 Committed Affordable Units – units that are contractually obligated to remain affordable for decades – has only partially alleviated the loss of market-rate affordable housing.
The working group is proposing that the County elevate its affordable housing policies by including the plan as an element of the County’s Comprehensive Plan.
The draft Affordable Housing Master Plan quantifies the County’s current and future housing need; assesses current programs and policies and develops the next generation of affordable housing policy. Among its recommendations is a new approach for establishing a target for affordable housing. The work session also will review a draft Implementation Framework that describes a set of potential financial, land use and regulatory tools designed to meet the County’s affordable housing goals, objectives and policies.
The work session, scheduled for the County Board Room in Courthouse Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., is open to the public, but no public testimony will be taken.
The public is invited to participate in an Affordable Housing Study Community Forum from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at Washington Lee High School, 1301 N. Stafford St., Arlington, VA. After extensive public review, the draft plan is scheduled to come before the County Board for adoption this summer.