Arlington County added or preserved 556 affordable housing units for low- and moderate-income households during its 2017 fiscal year, bringing the Countywide total to more than 7,700 units.
The achievement was highlighted in the County’s FY 2017 Affordable Housing Master Plan Annual Report, which tracks progress in expanding the supply of affordable housing in the County, as well as providing better access to housing and ensuring long-term sustainability.
These 556 units have been designated as Committed Affordable Units, or CAFs, meaning that they are guaranteed to remain affordable for 30-60 years. About half of the units were part of newly constructed buildings while the other half were existing housing stock in need of preservation as affordable units.
The County’s 7,729 CAFs represent about 15 percent of total apartment units in Arlington. They are available in more than 70 different complexes across the County, including in the Metro-accessible Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and along the redeveloping Columbia Pike corridor.
These areas, like much of Arlington and the rest of the region, continue to see rising housing prices, putting increasing financial pressure on families, the elderly, persons with disabilities and others with limited financial resources.
To grow the supply of affordable housing, the County uses a variety of tools and mechanisms, including innovative financing programs and zoning incentives for developers. Arlington has a decades-long affordable housing legacy, and remains committed to ensuring that housing affordability and stability are part of the County’s vision to be a diverse and inclusive community.
Here are some more highlights from the FY 2017 Annual Report:
Balancing preservation and redevelopment
This year’s annual report, “Preserving Our Past and Building for the Future,” focuses on the need for balancing the preservation of existing housing stock with the need to create new housing supply in the County’s effort to achieve greater affordability. Arlington’s leaders see this balance as critical to maintaining the County’s unique history and character while supporting its economic growth and vibrancy.
Two big affordable housing developments completed in FY 2017 showed this approach at work:
- Three older, two-story garden apartment buildings were replaced with a new 12-story building
- Two adjacent historic garden apartment buildings were renovated and updated
- In all, an existing 50-unit complex was expanded to 193 units, 76 of which are committed to remain affordable for 60 years
- Arlington provided support through its Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) revolving loan program
- Union on Queen is located in the Fort Myer Heights neighborhood within the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor
- 68 units of existing market-rate affordable housing will be renovated and designated as affordable units
- Arlington provided an AHIF loan to the nonprofit Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH)
- 8 units will be for individuals or families transitioning out of homelessness