The future look of "The Pike" is taking shape

. . . as the Columbia Pike Land Use and Housing Study Working Group readies its policy recommendations for the County Board. Yesterday, Tuesday, October 18, the County Board approved up to $13.3 million in loans from the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) to help AHC, Inc., buy and renovate Columbia Pike’s Magnolia Commons apartment complex---one of the targeted sites for the study. (The restoration will also be assisted by revenue bonds by the Arlington County Industrial Development Authority, or IDA. The bonds are secured by the net revenues of Magnolia Commons and are not an obligation of the County.

“The Board’s decision today underscores Arlington’s commitment to ensuring that Columbia Pike continues to be a diverse community with a wide range of housing available for people at all income levels,” said County Board Chair Christopher Zimmerman. “This important investment ensures that market affordable housing that was at risk of being sold and priced beyond the reach of low- and moderate-income families will remain affordable for decades to come.”

The Alliance for Housing Solutions supported this renovation because it meets several important affordable housing goals set by the County, not the least of which is to preserve housing along the Pike Corridor affordable to those making 60 percent and below of our (high) Area Median Income.

We of course share concerns raised about displacing families but know that some disruption is unavoidable. With AHC’s commitment to do the renovation in phases, disruption should be minimized. Some households will be at incomes too high to qualify after renovation and others will earn too little. AHC is crafting an approach to assist with both ends of the income spectrum and expects most households will be eligible to live at the property after it is renovated.

We expect that this will be the first of many such proposals, we hope spaced far enough apart to ensure adequate resources. Tonight, we learn about the draft recommendations. This process is none too soon, and it’s time for all of us to focus and get to work on creating the future that we hope to see.

For more about the Columbia Pike Land Use and Housing Study, link here.