Like bridges and roads, affordable housing is an investment in a community’s infrastructure. Along with numerous social benefits, housing affordability supports diverse jobs and wage levels and also attracts and retains workers – critical to a community’s long-term economic success.
The Fair Housing Act was passed fifty years ago, yet America’s neighborhoods remain deeply segregated along racial lines. Author Richard Rothstein argues that this divide is the direct result of government policies, some of which are relegated to the past and others that are still in place today.
A coalition of experts and advocates urges the County Board to pursue strategies to meet the production goals set out in Arlington's Affordable Housing Master Plan
In a recent Progressive Voice column for ARLNow, our Executive Director Michelle Winters had the opportunity to weigh in on how we are doing two years after the Affordable Housing Master Plan was created. In the column, Michelle discusses the loss of critical market-rate affordable units, the worsening political environment, and the shortage of funding in the context of the Arlington housing market.
One of the biggest drivers of cost for housing is size, and when it comes to single-family homes, square footage has been on the rise nationwide for decades. If larger sizes drive up costs, then smaller sizes could help reduce them, potentially producing more affordable or moderately-priced options for people in our community. Smaller housing options such as tiny homes, cottage housing, and detached accessory dwellings are one part of the vital missing middle housing.
A recent study by Enterprise Community Partners points to public land as an underutilized affordable housing resource, especially in high-cost housing markets. The use of publicly owned land can provide an edge to nonprofit developers to acquire resources that are traditionally cost prohibitive. However, the use of public land raises two questions: first, what exactly is public land? Second, how can public land be used as a resource to meet affordable housing needs?
The Arlington County staff, County Commissions and Working Groups have been busy working on a number of policy efforts that will collectively have a sizable impact on housing programs in Arlington.
Housing affordability concerns in Arlington have reached the point where households higher and higher on the income scale are affected.
Westover is a vibrant and diverse community in North Arlington that is centered on the Westover Village shopping district, home to many beloved independent retailers and restaurants. However, in the past two years, 62 apartments in seven buildings in the Westover area have been demolished for by-right townhouse development. AHS is actively involved in helping develop and implement affordable housing strategies and solutions in Arlington County and preservation of apartments in the Westover area of North Arlington.
As Arlington's Affordable Housing Master Plan was approaching a vote by the County Board in fall of 2015, AHS reached out to its mailing list with a Q&A on the plan, urging support, links to key documents, and a call to action. AHS also ran two full-page ads (click on an image below for a larger view) in the Arlington Sun Gazette (September 10 and 17, 2015) to provide information to the larger Arlington community. The County Board adopted the AHMP after a September 19 hearing (more on that hearing, with link to video, here).