- County received two of five housing awards
- Arlington Mill Residences named “Best Housing Development”
- Columbia Pike Planning Initiative named “Best In My Backyard (IMBY)”
ARLINGTON, Va. — Arlington County has garnered two state awards for its efforts to preserve affordable housing and meet housing needs along Columbia Pike. The Columbia Pike Planning Initiative, a joint effort with the Pike Planning Plenary Group, was named “Best In My Backyard ‘IMBY’” at the 2014 Governor’s Housing Conference. Arlington Mill Residences, a joint effort with Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH), was named “Best Housing Development.”
The awards recognize statewide excellence and innovation in meeting housing needs.
“Arlington’s Columbia Pike Planning Initiative provides a vision for transforming the Pike by improving transit, preserving affordable housing and creating great public spaces,” said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. “At the heart of this plan is a modern streetcar that will spur high-quality development along this vital corridor and generate new tax revenues for Arlington, Fairfax and the Commonwealth.”
“We are honored that the state has recognized our multi-year planning efforts to re-envision the Pike as a more pedestrian-friendly, walkable Main Street, and our bedrock commitment to preserving affordable housing along this corridor,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “Integrated planning – land use, transportation and housing – is what we do to create the most sustainable community possible. Of course, streetcar is a key to the planning efforts on the Pike – the transit option that will spur high-quality, mixed-use development and help us fulfill the community’s vision. These awards also acknowledge Arlington’s creativity in building Arlington Mill Residences.”
Best Housing Development: Arlington Mill Residences
Arlington Mill Residences, completed by APAH in February 2014, is the first new affordable housing development of the Columbia Pike corridor revitalization effort. Its development on County-owned land is one of the innovative features that helped it win this year’s award.
The 122-unit, four-story building includes 98 two- and three-bedroom units to support larger families and has dramatically increased housing along the Pike for extremely low-income households, including 13 units designated for formerly homeless individuals and families. The affordable housing provided is a notable accomplishment for this dense, high-cost urban community. The area is projected to experience significant increases in population, jobs and housing over the next two decades.
Best In My Backyard “IMBY”: Columbia Pike Planning Initiative
Arlington County and the Pike Planning Plenary Group collaborated with residents, property owners, developers, County leadership, staff, and consultants to complete a community-based planning effort to revitalize Columbia Pike. The 2012 award-winning Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Area Plan illustrates a vision for a walkable, urban neighborhood that preserves the existing 6,200 affordable rental units along the Pike. A primary goal of the plan is to continue serving a diverse population with a broad mix of incomes to achieve a balanced, sustainable community. To implement plan goals, the County adopted an innovative Neighborhoods Form Based Code (FBC) zoning tool that incorporates affordable housing requirements and design regulations that will transform the Pike with quality public parks, sidewalks, new streets and transit-oriented development. In addition to the FBC, new financial tools, including the Transit Oriented Affordable Housing Fund (TOAH) and the Columbia Pike Tax Increment Financing Area (TIF) were adopted.
This is the first time that this particular award has been given. As the first recipients, Arlington County and the Pike Planning Plenary Group have set an exemplary path for the future of affordable housing planning with the Columbia Pike Planning Initiative. To learn more about planning for affordable housing along Columbia Pike, visit the County website. To read the state’s press release on the awards, visit the governor’s website.