AHS leads HousingArlington, a coalition of housing and related service providers and advocates sharing information, planning strategy, and advocating on the range of housing issues in Arlington, including budget issues. This is one example of AHS’s growing role as chief “dot connector” for all things housing in Arlington.
Beginning in 2010, AHS took the lead in crafting a coalition approach (housing and other safety net providers) to County budget requests, finding success in the “united we stand” approach. In May 2013, AHS teamed up with the late Charlie Rinker of the Arlington New Directions Coalition and convened several meetings to explore housing-focused coalition work throughout the year.
The purposes of what has become HousingArlington are to:
- Share information in a timely way;
- More efficiently use resources, playing to the content strength of various groups/individuals and avoiding duplication of efforts; and
- Be more effective advocates, in part by building a broader base.
HousingArlington is open to all organizations/individuals who support affordable housing, although not all may participate on a given issue/action. Regular participants include faith communities, shelter providers, tenant advocates, nonprofit developers, and senior citizen advocates.
While budget-related issues remain a major focus of HousingArlington, the group also successfully collaborated on strategy and action that lead to the County Board’s unanimous adoption of the Affordable Housing Master Plan in September 2015.