Each year, Arlington County has a certain amount of unspent funds that must be reallocated through the "carry over" funding process. This happens because the County is unable to OVER spend, so public management best practice is to manage the budget toward a very small surplus that is then rolled over into the next year's budget. This Friday, November 4th is the last day to submit feedback on the County’s carry over funding for the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) and housing grants.
The County Manager has proposed a total of $9.1 million for affordable housing from the FY2016 carry over funds, which is half of the carry over funds available this year. AHS strongly supports this allocation (at a minimum) and we also believe that more AHIF should be included in the base budget moving forward. The affordable housing needs of the County are too great to depend upon one-time and carry over funds in the future.
Why is this important? The County Manager reports that for the coming FY18 year they are expecting to have only $16-19.4 million AHIF unallocated for a project pipeline of $53.5 - $59 million!! That means that many deserving projects will not be funded unless AHIF is increased substantially, and the FY16 carry over funds are one of the biggest potential sources for that increase.
FY18 projects in the pipeline include:
- Central United Methodist Church
- The Berkeley
- Trenton Street Apartments
- Queen’s Court/WRAPS
- And any unforeseen preservation loans such as what we saw in Westover this year!
The County Board needs to hear from everyone who supports funding for affordable housing! We encourage housing supporters to go to the input form on the County website (https://budget.arlingtonva.us/budget/budget-feedback/) and submit your comments between now and Friday November 4th.