On April 23, the County Board adopted the FY 2020 budget at a General Fund level of $1.4 billion, a 6.3% increase over the FY 2019 budget.
The approval included a property tax increase of 2 cents, 1.5 cents of which is dedicated to the public schools budget. The County Manager’s proposed budget from February had proposed $14.5 million in funding for the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF), only a slight increase from the FY 2019 level of $14.3 million. The final level approved by the County Board included an additional $1.5 million in one-time funds to bring the total in the FY 2020 budget to $16 million ($8.7 million in ongoing and $7.3 million in one-time).
The Affordable Housing Investment Fund is the County’s main financing program for affordable housing development. Since its creation in 1988, this revolving loan fund has helped to create most of the 7,500 affordable rental units that house Arlington’s low and moderate-wage working households.
The FY 2020 budget also allocates $9.3 million for the Housing Grants program, which is now 100% funded with ongoing budget funds. Housing Grants provide monthly rent assistance to low-income working families and people who are elderly, disabled, or mentally ill in Arlington.
The budget increases the Housing Grant rent maximums for the first time since 2010, which will help to reduce rent burdens experienced by program’s participants and make more apartments eligible for the program.
Full details on the adopted budget will be released in July. Until then see the staff report from the April 23rd meeting for more details.
Read the letter AHS sent the County Board prior to the April 23 meeting, which advocated for investments in affordable housing and zoning policies that would increase the supply of housing in Arlington.