Community Meeting on Homelesssness

2018 Community Meeting Celebrating 10 Years of Housing the Homeless

Celebrate a decade of successes in Arlington’s effort to end homelessness! Join the partners of Arlington’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness for this annual informational session on homelessness in our community.

When: Thursday, March 15, 2018, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Where: Marymount University – The New Ballston Center 1000 North Glebe Road (Glebe Rd. at Fairfax Dr.) Arlington, VA 22201

See the 2018 Community Meeting Flyer for more information.

Lee Highway Alliance Housing Conservation District Forum, March 10th

Late last year in response to the continued loss of affordable housing, the Arlington County Board approved Phase 1 of a proposal for a Housing Conservation District (HCD) that will provide protections and incentives to preserve or replace affordable apartments in market-rate affordable buildings. Phase 2 of the plan, which includes developing a set of incentives to help property owners renovate or redevelop their properties in exchange for affordability protections, will be formed throughout 2018. The first of those planning stages will occur this month with a presentation at the Lee Highway Alliance.  Join the Lee Highway Alliance on March 1oth for an educational forum on the HCD development process and discussion of its impacts along the corridor, including comments by our own Executive Director Michelle Winters.

March 10th, Lee Highway Alliance Educational Forum: Lee Highway Alliance Offices, 9:30-10:30 am.

Housing Conservation District Planning Process Begins

With the loss of market rate affordable housing (MARKs) continuing at a rapid pace, Arlington County has embarked on an attempt to improve on the set of tools available to preserve the affordability of MARKs or to encourage replacement of MARKs lost due to redevelopment. The first step in this effort resulted in a detailed report published in March 2017, Market Rate Affordable Housing: An Approach for Preservation. The report focused on MARKs in areas that are not already covered by detailed land use plans and offers recommendations for new and updated tools to be pursued by the County. In December 2017, the Arlington County Board approved Phase 1 of a proposal for a Housing Conservation District (HCD) that will provide protections and incentives to preserve or replace affordable apartments in market rate affordable buildings. The main action taken with the approval of Phase 1 is a change in the approval process for new townhomes being developed within the HCD boundaries, which will now require site plan approval. This change is expected to slow down demolitions such as those seen in the Westover neighborhood.

Phase 2 of the plan, which includes developing a set of incentives to help property owners renovate or redevelop their properties in exchange for affordability protections, will be developed throughout 2018.

The Housing Conservation District Policy Framework outlines several goals for the district:

• Implement the Affordable Housing Master Plan via the General Land Use Plan; • Encourage the retention and renovation of existing rental affordable housing units; • Provide opportunities for the creation of new affordable units (either rental or ownership) when redevelopment occurs; • Maintain the character of established multiple-family areas, considering historical buildings, tree canopies, mix of affordability, and mix of rental vs. ownership housing; and • Signal that a variety of tools are available to achieve the above, including removal of zoning barriers to reinvestment.

Attend these upcoming events to learn more:

  • March 10th, Lee Highway Alliance Educational Forum: Lee Highway Alliance Offices, 9:30-10:30 am. Six of the 12 areas included in the HCD are located along Lee Highway. Join the LHA for an educational forum on the HCD development process and discussion of its impacts along the corridor.
  • March 12th,  HCD Open House: Walter Reed Community Center, 6-9pm. The County is holding a general open house to share information with anyone interested in learning more or providing feedback on the plans.

AHS Executive Director Michelle Winters is participating in the County Working Group that is helping to guide the next phase of the process. Feel free to get in touch with any questions or feedback that AHS should bring to the Working Group.

APS Parent Coffee Event

The topic of diversity in schools, classrooms, and staffing have been on the minds of Arlington Public School parents. At AHS we believe that housing plays a significant role in our community's diversity and the ability of Arlington Public Schools to attract and retain employees. We would like to invite you to have coffee with us and learn more about what affordable housing means to our community. Please join leaders from AHS on Thursday, February 22nd to learn more about the Arlington for Everyone community awareness campaign!

During the coffee, we will explore the role affordable housing plays in achieving school diversity, and how access to affordable housing fosters a thriving community of employees for essential positions like bus drivers, classroom aides, and teachers. We feel confident that everyone will walk away with a greater understanding of affordable housing and the importance of housing opportunities for everyone in our community.

Event Details

Date: Thursday, February 22

Time: 10:00 - 11:30 am

RSVP: please email Allison, allison.glatfelter [at] gmail.com

Location: APS Parent's home (address provided upon RSVP)

More about Arlington for Everyone

 

AHS Presents Arlington for Everyone Volunteer Training

Do you want to help keep Arlington a diverse and inclusive community? At AHS we do! In the spirit of the importance of affordable housing, we offered a training about the Arlington for Everyone campaign for this year's MLK Day of Service on January 15th. The campaign is designed to spark a community dialogue about the importance of housing affordability and housing options for the future of Arlington. In the training, we provided attendees with answers to common questions such as: What is affordable housing? How is it created in Arlington? What is the “missing middle” and how does it impact me and my community? What is an accessory dwelling? How can seniors afford to live here as they age? Attendees also learned how they could participate and help spread the word about the campaign.

We were proud to partner with Leadership Center for Excellence and Volunteer Arlington for MLK Day for the day of Service to help strengthen and empower our community through hands-on service projects and on-site training opportunities.

Turnout for the event was fantastic, and we hope to provide additional opportunities like this in the future. If you are interested in attending future trainings, please sign up for our mailing list!

You can view and download the PowerPoint presentation slides from the training here: MLK Day Presentation 2017.

2017 Ellen M. Bozman Awards: Partners in Preservation

On Sunday, December 3rd, 2017, the Alliance for Housing Solutions Ellen M. Bozman Affordable Housing Award celebration recognized three organizations whose commitment to affordable housing was demonstrated through collaboration in the preservation efforts in Westover. The award was shared by: Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing

The mission of the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) is to develop, preserve, own, and advocate for quality affordable housing in Arlington, and to promote opportunity for its residents through partnerships and programs. APAH was founded in 1989 and has grown into a successful real estate developer and owner, with a portfolio of 15 multifamily rental properties offering 1,361 units and valued at $300 million. In 2011, APAH was awarded Developer of the Year by the Housing Association of Non-Profit Developers and awarded the Arlington Community Foundation’s first -ever Prize for Impact and Innovation. Visit www.apah.org for more information.

A-Span

A-SPAN’s mission is to secure permanent housing and provide life-sustaining services for Arlington’s most vulnerable individuals through outreach and relationships built on trust and respect. A-SPAN’s range of supportive services works together towards one goal: ending homelessness in Arlington through housing. All of the housing programs are “Housing - First,” meaning A-SPAN quickly and successfully helps individuals and veterans get into permanent housing without any preconditions or barriers. Their case managers then provide ongoing support, help link clients to resources in the community, rebuild their lives, retain housing, and prevent a return to the streets. A-SPAN and its partner organizations in Arlington’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness helped Arlington become one of the first counties nationally to end veteran homelessness, reducing chronic homelessness by 64% since 2013. Visit www.a-span.org for more information.

Westover Village Civic Association

The Westover Village Civic Association serves the historic Westover neighborhood, located along Washington Boulevard between Ballston and East Falls Church. The neighborhood, which was initially a mix of single-family homes, duplexes, garden apartments, schools and commercial shopping center, was originally built between the 1930s and 1950s and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. The neighborhood continues to lose individual garden apartment buildings to redevelopment, replaced by luxury townhomes. Visit www.westovervillage.org for more information.

A big thank you to our generous event sponsors—see the complete list.

Inside NOVA's Scott McCaffrey was there to cover the event. Check it out online.

Browse a photo gallery of the event, or learn more about the Ellen Bozman Award and past recipients.

See the Press Release here.

AHS speaks on Behalf of Accessory Dwellings and Reduced Parking

AHS Executive Director, Michelle Winters, spoke at the County Board meeting on Saturday, October 21 on two topics:

Both of these agenda items included a Request to Advertise for the changes. The final consideration of each item by the County Board will take place at next month's meeting on November 18.

We have been tracking the proposed changes to the current Accessory Dwellings regulations on our issue page.

Progressive Voice: The AHMP Two Years Later - Full Speed Ahead

Arlington County adopted its first-ever Affordable Housing Master Plan (AHMP) in 2015. The goals of the AHMP are to foster an environment with an adequate supply of affordable housing that all of Arlington's residents can access and to ensure that new and preserved housing contributes to a sustainable community.  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 later. 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. Even with negative forces working against affordable housing, there are a few bright spots in our local public policies such as loosening parking requirements, proposed incentives for private owners, and updates to the accessory dwelling ordinance.  These new policies and proposals can contribute to shifting the balance towards affordable options for all of Arlington's residents.

To access the full ARLNow article click here.

 

Will Arlington Open its Doors to Smaller Homes?

One of the biggest drivers of cost for a housing unit is its size, and when it comes to single-family homes, square footage has been on the rise nationwide for decades. The increase in size can be particularly evident here in Arlington as the modest colonial revival, and ranch-style homes initially built in the area are being replaced with much larger homes, often at prices more than double or triple the value of the original houses on the same lot. 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. However, several options that could assist in creating smaller housing units are not currently allowed to be built in Arlington. At the most extreme end of the spectrum are tiny homes, which have recently sprung into a nationwide movement [tiny house movement timeline]. Tiny homes, which are often less than 500 sqft in size, can be an option for those looking to downsize, or for communities seeking affordable housing options. Additionally, the tiny homes can help fill in gaps in policy and funding for communities desperately in need of housing for a burgeoning homeless population. Quixote Village in Washington state provides an excellent example of this use.

One of the most significant challenges with tiny homes is where to place them; even if a tiny house could be built affordably, minimum lot sizes in most communities would render the homes unaffordable due to the high cost of land. One solution is to cluster several of these smaller homes together to form a cottage housing community, also known as a “pocket neighborhood” (see pocket neighborhoods designed by Ross Chapin Architects and developed by The Cottage Company in the AHS Missing Middle Gallery).

These kinds of clustered neighborhoods are also not allowed in most communities due to zoning limitations. However, some communities are taking a second look at their codes to see if other options are possible. A good example is our neighbors in Falls Church. They have been advancing a plan for a community of small homes under their newly adopted cottage housing ordinance. The Falls Church cottage ordinance was passed in early 2017 as a way to provide more affordable housing options to seniors looking to downsize and stay in Falls Church.  The proposed Railroad Cottage homes are around 1,500 sqft in size (larger than tiny homes but smaller than most other new single-family housing) and face into a shared green space.

Another option to make tiny homes or cottage housing feasible is to place the homes on existing single-family lots as a detached accessory dwelling unit, a.k.a. backyard cottages. These homes are built by the homeowner as either a rental unit or a secondary living space for family members, caretakers or others. A detached accessory dwelling unit can be constructed as a standalone structure or incorporated as part of another structure such as a detached garage. As with the other options described above, this type of detached unit is also not currently allowed in Arlington. However, detached accessory dwellings are presently under consideration in the potential rewrite of the County’s accessory dwelling regulations. If approved, the new rules would open up an important new housing option for both homeowners and renters.

As we lose housing options that are affordable for our aging population, families, and those with moderate to low incomes, detached accessory dwellings can help fill that gap while maintaining the character and charm of our single-family neighborhoods. The accessory dwellings can also assist existing homeowners to age in place by providing a source of rental income, or space for family or caregivers to live.

Smaller housing options such as tiny homes, cottage housing, and detached accessory dwellings are part of the vital missing middle housing in the space between expensive single-family homes and mid-rise multifamily housing. Missing Middle housing is an essential component of a community's housing portfolio, especially one like Arlington that continues to escalate in cost.

Here are some resources to learn more about accessory dwellings and how they can fill in the gap of housing affordability:

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

2017 Ellen M. Bozman Awards

Partners in Preservation

Join us to Celebrate the 2017 Ellen M. Bozman Award Honorees

Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington

December 3, 2017 beginning at 6:30 pm

 

This year AHS is honoring the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, A-SPAN, and the Westover Village Civic Association for their collaboration toward preserving affordable housing in Westover. Read the 2017 AHS Bozman Awards Press Advisory for more information on this year's honorees and learn more about the award and previous honorees.

Click Here to Sponsor the Event or Purchase Tickets Now!

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors to Date:

Grand Sponsors

AHC logo     APAH logo

Venable logo

Benefactors

John Andelin and Ginger Geoffrey Shooshan Family Fund of the Arlington Community Foundation

Patrons

Charles and Jennifer Lawson

Kim Honor and Philip Matkovsky

Kathryn and Max Scruggs

Mary Margaret and Thomas Whipple

Supporters

Martha Bozman and Blair Reischer

Jack and Donna Cornman

Lucy and Jerry Denney

John Milliken

Koube Ngaaje

United Bank

Friends

Marsha Allgeier - Mac Bozman - Allison Glatfelter and Scott Adams - Carrie Johnson - Vicki and Gary Kirkbride - Dave and Bea Leibson - Fran Lunney - Sakura Namioka - Jill Norcross - Larry and Rose Mary Padberg - Kathie Panfil - Pam Quanrud - Stuart and Mayo Raynor - Searle Business Solutions, LLC - Jean Sweeney - Joe and Midge Wholey - Michelle and Chris Winters

 

This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land: Public Land as an Affordable Housing Resource

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? Examples of public land include vacant government buildings, transportation and emergency responder buildings, land situated in school districts, undeveloped parcels of land, or land with public facilities. According to the Enterprise Community Partners Study, a public land is any land or building that is owned by a governmental entity.

The Use of Public Land to Provide Affordable Housing

The answer to the second question is a little more complex. As cities and towns become stretched for affordable housing options, innovation and mixed-use must go hand in hand at delivering more housing options. To this end, public land can be an attractive asset for several reasons. The use of public land in co-share development generally relies on cross-sector partnerships that help offset costs for both the developer and the government entity.  The result creates opportunities for the type of mixed-use development such as those with affordable housing, which encourages a thriving community.  As the nationwide debate on how to make housing more affordable continues, we are lucky to have several examples of innovative development in our area.

Arlington Mill Residences stands as one example of how the Arlington County Capital Improvement Plan and the Affordable Housing Master Plan work in conjunction to solve both long and short term goals.  Arlington Mill is an Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing development built in coordination with an Arlington County community center, underground parking, green space, and access to parks. By using public land and co-locating parking, the ability to share costs meant more than $9 million dollars in project savings. More importantly, the state-of-the-art community center allows for multi-generational use for area residents.

The Bonifant at Silver Spring is a mixed-use, mixed-income senior living building that co-shares space with retail, grocery, and a public Library. The development was created through a collaboration between a private developer, a nonprofit, and Montgomery County to provide access to transportation, retail, grocery, and other community assets for senior citizens allowing them to age in place.

What makes Alexandria's Station at Potomac Yard unique is the use of public land and mixed-use development that includes a fire station, retail, affordable housing, and workforce housing making it a model for cities across the nation. The design emphasis was on walkability, accessibility, and a beautiful green space to promote interaction among neighbors.

What these examples have in common is the reaching across sectors to produce solutions that meet multiple public goals at once in communities where land is scarce. These developments provide affordable housing with access to jobs, grocery stores, parks, community spaces, and other community assets, all in a walkable, mixed-use environment.

Access the full Enterprise Community Partners report  to learn more about public land development and how it can benefit the community

Future Use of Public Land in Arlington

The ability to maximize the benefits of public land for affordable housing is not without challenges. It can be difficult to convey project ideas to citizens, and then to get through the bevy of zoning and planning rules that are often different between each type of structure. In Arlington, the Joint Facilities Advisory Commission (JFAC ) was created in 2016 to help guide future uses for the Buck property near Washington-Lee High School and Virginia Hospital Center site on and Carlin Springs Rd. (https://commissions.arlingtonva.us/jfac/). While the uses on these two sites may not involve housing in the short run, JFAC has recommended, consistent with the AHMP, that the County explore co-location of affordable housing in future decisions regarding these and other public properties.

There are a lot of competing priorities in Arlington when it comes to the use of publicly-owned parcels. The examples described here show that we can be creative when it comes to how scarce public land is used. Housing can often be a complimentary use for public facilities that results in a more efficient use of space and helps a community achieve multiple high-priority public goals at once.

In short, public land can be many different things. However, as a resource for affordable housing, it does not mean encroaching upon parks or dedicated green spaces. Instead, it means planning in a mixed-use fashion utilizing areas that are unused or underdeveloped to give life to them in a dual purpose way. This type of development can provide affordable housing options and other assets that can easily be accessed and enjoyed by the community for many generations.

 

Save

Queen's Court in Rosslyn is Approved for Redevelopment

In a process that began with Arlington County in late 2016, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing received site plan approval at the February 2017 meeting of the County Board to redevelop an existing APAH property with 39 aging units into a 12 story tower with 249 Committed Affordable (CAF) units.

The Queen's Court redevelopment does double duty by serving to increase the supply of affordable housing under the Affordable Housing Master Plan and as a key anchor in the mixed-use planned community adopted under the Western Rosslyn Area Plan. The site will include the 249 Committed Affordable units, two below-grade parking levels, and a public playground.

Construction is expected to be underway on the site in 2019, pending final approval of an Affordable Housing Investment Fund loan from Arlington County.

 

 

Save

Save

New Housing Affordability Research Underscores Need

Although AHS focuses on local and regional housing issues, we always stay plugged into the latest national research on housing challenges and affordability to inform our work. Check out these recently released resources that provide evidence for the continued need for addressing housing affordability in Arlington and all our communities.

State of the Nation's Housing 2017

Joint Center for Housing Research of Harvard University

The report indicates that although nationally housing markets and household incomes are strengthening, this is not true for all markets and all households. Overall, US house prices are on the rise by more than 5%. However, in low-income areas housing prices are still less than 10% of their pre-recession value, exposing a chasm between income levels.  Moreover, household incomes are becoming polarized with an increase of 37% of workers earning less than $15,000, and a 37% increase of those earning more than $150,000.  The middle categories of household incomes show growth of only 16%. A significant shift in rental supply and an increase in rental prices equates to a shortage of affordable rental units nationwide and a growing problem for those looking for adequate and affordable housing.

The full report can be accessed here

Out of Reach 2017

National Low Income Housing Coalition

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition annual report, Out of Reach, shows what full-time hourly workers must earn to afford housing that costs less than 30% of their household income. This research exposes the gap between low paying jobs and an adequate supply of affordable rental homes. Nationally, a minimum wage worker must work more than 100 hours per week all 52 weeks of the year to afford a modest two-bedroom rental. Otherwise, a worker must make $21.21 per hour for a 40 hr work week.  In the DC metro area, the hourly rate to afford a two-bedroom rental equates to a wage of $33.58. In Virginia, the rate is $23.29. However, the average renter wage in Virginia is $17.38, showing a gap of almost $6 an hour, or over $12,000 a year.

Find full details for Out of Reach here

 

 

Power Your Community: DoMore24 June 8th 2017

Thank you for joining Alliance for Housing Solutions as we partner with United Way’s DoMore24 Campaign! Through this online giving competition, you can help us spread the word about our goal to increase the supply of affordable housing in Arlington County and Northern Virginia. On Thursday, June 8th, thousands of people will join together to create positive change in our community.

What is DoMore24?

The Do More 24 campaign is a movement that brings together nonprofit organizations, companies, and people committed to making a difference. Through focused online giving on June 8, 2017, Do More 24 provides the opportunity for people to create solutions to our region's most difficult social challenges by determining which issues matter most and channeling their funding towards tackling those problems.

How can I get involved in DoMore24?

Join us June 8th by telling your friends, family, and coworkers about this opportunity! All you have to do is check out our page on DoMore24.org and give!

Your support of Alliance for Housing Solutions in this United-Way sponsored 24-hour online fundraiser will enable us to help our community’s most vulnerable families to gain access to affordable housing opportunities. Proceeds raised from this year’s Do More 24 campaign will benefit the Alliance for Housing Solutions in so many ways.

While there are many different levels of giving, a donation of $124 supports a presentation to educate the community on topics such as housing options for seniors aging in place, or ways to prevent the loss of affordable housing.

On Thursday, June 8th, visit our Do More 24 page to participate at any level of giving and lead the way to help ensure the supply of affordable housing options for families in the Arlington area!

Your generosity can continue to multiply when you go one step further for our organization. Spread the word about Do More 24 to five of your friends and family, and encourage them to support the Alliance for Housing Solutions, as well!

What are my Options for Giving During the DoMore24 Event?

There are three ways to participate in this event!

  • Give on Thursday June 8th via our page at DoMore24
  • Don’t want to wait? Visit our page at any time to give one-time, recurring, or even non-cash donations!
  • Online giving not your thing? Send us a check to PO Box 7009, Arlington VA 22207