Regional Housing Group Produces Catalog of Housing Affordability Tools

This month the Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington released A Guidebook for Increasing Housing Affordability in the Greater Washington Region: Local Resources and Strategies for Housing Production and Preservation. This catalog covers a variety of housing affordability tools in use, and under consideration, in Arlington, and around the DC Metro area. How does Arlington stack up?

Arlington is utilizing many of the tools described in the report, such as:

  • Inclusionary zoning
  • Density bonuses for affordable housing
  • Accessory dwelling unit ordinance (currently under review)
  • Local housing voucher program
  • Local housing trust fund (AHIF)

There are many other tools covered in the report that are not used in Arlington -- either by choice, inaction, state mandates or Dillon Rule limitations. These include:

  • Public housing
  • Medium density/missing middle housing
  • Reduced parking requirements
  • Tenant's right of first refusal/opportunity to purchase
  • AirBnB tax
  • Single-room occupancy (SRO) homes
  • Microunits
  • Community land trusts
  • Expedited development review
  • Social impact bonds

This list is not necessarily new for Arlingtonians following the local housing and planning process. Many of the tools were included in Arlington's Affordable Housing Master Plan and the related Implementation Framework approved by the County Board in 2015.

The length of the "to-do" list here and around the region is long and is an indication of how much work we still have to do as housing advocates to keep the ball moving forward.

Learn more about these tools and how they are being used in the new report.