- County Board moves to preserve affordability
- 294-unit garden apartment built in the 1950s
The Arlington County Board today approved a $6 million loan from the County’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund to help Standard Property Company, Inc. and the National Foundation for Affordable Housing Solutions buy the 294-unit Park Shirlington Apartments. Park Shirlington is an affordable apartment garden apartment complex in Fairlington.The developers plan to rehabilitate and preserve all 294 units as affordable.
“Our long-term goals for this property are to preserve as much affordable housing as possible and ensure that current tenants will be able to stay or return to the property once it is renovated,” County Board Chair Jay Fisette said.
The Board voted unanimously to approve the loan. To read the staff report, and view the staff presentation, scroll down to Item No. 48 on the Agenda for the Monday, Nov. 27, 2017 Carryover County Board Meeting.
Park Shirlington lies within one of nine study areas identified in the County’s “Market Affordable Housing: An Approach for Preservation” report that was presented to the Board in a work session in April 2017. Market-rate affordable housing are apartments that have rents affordable to low-and-moderate-income households, with no limit on income for tenants.
According to the report, only 2,780 market-rate affordable homes affordable to those earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income remain in Arlington. From 2000 to 2016, the County lost 14,603 market-rate affordable housing units affordable to those earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income, $66,180 for a family of four, largely due to rent increases.
After Park Shirlington is purchased, the developers will work with the County to determine the property’s long-term affordable and mixed-income housing program. The County wants a long-term affordable housing program for the apartments that preserves as much affordable housing as possible, and a tenant relocation plan – with the County’s goal being that those currently living at Park Shirlington will be able to remain in the community.
Park Shirlington Apartments, at 4510 31st Street South, was built in the 1950s, on about 15.79 acres of land divided into two parcels, one north of 31st Street South and the other south of 31st Street South. The units currently have rents that are affordable to low-income households earning up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income. Preserving Park Shirlington would meet many of the goals, objectives and policies of the County’s adopted Affordable Housing Master Plan.
The County’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund is its main financing program for affordable housing development. Created in 1988, AHIF has helped create the majority of Arlington’s nearly 7,500 approved affordable rental units that benefit low-and-moderate-income households. It is a revolving loan fund that provides incentives for developers through low-interest loans for new construction, acquisition and rehabilitation of affordable housing. Local and federal dollars, and the support of loan repayments and developer contributions comprise the fund.