- 6500 rental apartments, 14.5 percent of Arlington's inventory, now committed affordable units
- County's commitment to loan program continues to grow
ARLINGTON, Va. – Loan repayments and developer contributions boosted the County's Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) $10.4 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 – a 42 percent increase over FY2011 and more than the fund has ever taken in during a single year.
AHIF is a low-interest revolving loan program available to developers who build, renovate and/or preserve affordable housing in Arlington.
“AHIF is the County's most powerful tool for financing the creation and preservation of affordable housing. The Fund's growth, reaffirmed by the County Board on July 23rd when it approved the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Plan, underscores the County's commitment to directing resources to meet affordable housing needs across the community,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes.
The $10.4 million received is from the following sources:
- $2.4 million in annual loan repayments
- $5 million in loan payoffs or pay-downs from five projects
- $3 million in developer contributions from private developers under the County's Affordable Housing Ordinance for site plan projects
For FY2013, the County Board appropriated $9.5 million in new funds from local taxes, recordation tax, and federal HOME dollars to AHIF, a 40 percent increase from FY2012. The current balance of AHIF is approximately $16 million, which includes anticipated carryover funds.
The Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) is the County's main financing program for development of affordable housing. Comprised of local and federal dollars, it is a revolving loan fund that provides low-interest, secondary loans as an incentive for developers to provide affordable housing.
More than $92 million to AHIF since 1988
The County Board established the Housing Fund Contingency (now AHIF) in 1988 with a $2 million appropriation in local funds. Since the fund's inception, the Board has appropriated more than $60 million in general fund dollars, nearly $20 million in federal HOME dollars, and nearly $12 million in recordation tax for a total of more than $92 million in new funds to support affordable housing development projects in Arlington. Since 2000, these new program funds — combined with loan repayments, developer contributions, and County lines of credit — have generated more than $200 million in loans to support affordable housing development, preservation and acquisition.
6,500 affordable units created or preserved since 1988
Since the inception of the program Arlington County's AHIF program, in conjunction with other funding sources and planning tools, has created or preserved 6,500 committed affordable units (CAFs) including 3,350 units since 2000. These units are contractually committed to remain affordable for 30- to 60- year terms, or are completely owned by the non-profits. These projects fall under the IRS Safe Harbor rule, which requires nonprofits to keep 75 percent of their inventory at or below 80 percent of area median income (AMI).
In FY2012, the County Board approved about $17 million in new allocations for affordable housing efforts to fund two AHC Inc. projects on Columbia Pike, including the acquisition and renovation of Arbor Heights, an aging 198-unit apartment complex (previously Magnolia Commons), and construction of a new 83-unit affordable apartment building located at 5511 Columbia Pike.
AHIF funds have prevented displacement of low- and moderate-income families — including disabled and elderly households — by preserving existing affordable housing, and have created new housing opportunities for low and moderate-income households with new construction projects.
Loan repayments, payoffs, and developer contributions help maintain AHIF as a revolving loan fund and will continue to support Arlington's affordable housing efforts, including preservation of units along the Columbia Pike corridor.