AFFORDABLE HOUSING (1986,1999, 2012, 2013, 2019) The League of Women Voters of Arlington supports:
The Affordable Housing Master Plan (AHMP), adopted by the county on September, 2015, and its annual review.
Development and continued support by the County of sources of funding and financing for low-income housing, such as: a fund dedicated to affordable housing development commensurate with current housing values; expanded use of the Industrial Development Authority as a housing finance source; and full participation in local, state, and federal grant and tax credit programs for affordable housing. This includes support of the existing Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF), the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, and public-private partnerships in support of affordable housing.
Affordable Housing for Whom –
Efforts in Arlington to retain and expand affordable housing geared primarily towards those with incomes 60- 80 percent of the median income or below.
Expansion by the County of methods and programs to protect elderly residents with limited resources from displacement.
Increased emphasis by the County on programs to enable low-and middle- income households to purchase homes.
The development by the County of additional low-cost rental housing for the mentally and physically disabled.
Efforts to reverse historic systemic racism in zoning practices.
Housing Where/The Impact of Affordable Housing
County consideration of great residential density zoning in in currently lower density areas.
The County offering benefits such as increased density and
other incentives to for-profit developers who provide affordable housing on or off the site of their development. Such incentives should be proportional to the number of affordable units on site
and the length of the commitment to providing affordable housing, preferably 60 years or more. The County enforcing previous incentive agreements with for-profit developers.
Funding to make improvements to the general neighborhood atmosphere of areas with large concentrations of "market affordable" housing. The League supports the use of increased bond funding and expanded use of other resources (such as the
Apartment Conservation Fund, Neighborhood Conservation
Fund and other sources) to make improvements such as curbs, sidewalks, parks, etc., to those neighborhoods.
The allocation of County resources, such as the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF), exclusively to nonprofit groups or nonprofit/for- profit partnerships that specialize in developing housing for low-and moderate-income households. Nonprofit groups or nonprofit/for-profit partnerships that receive County resources should agree to maintain the housing at affordable levels for the longest term possible, 60 years of longer and/or in proportion to the amount of funding to reflect the AHIF.
Programs by the County giving high priority, for the purchase of County- owned land by nonprofit groups that specialize in
developing housing for low-and- moderate-income households. Preservation of Existing/Decent Affordable Housing –
The county placing more emphasis on and allocating resources to code enforcement at a tool to ensure that housing is safe and decent for all residents.
In order to preserve existing market rate affordable housing, the League supports the County being more pro-active in identifying "at-risk" affordable housing resources and working collaboratively with owners, developers, residents and neighbors to achieve an appropriate solution such as the solution, such as the County’s Housing Conservation District initiative. The
County should provide a safety net (such as a larger tenant assistance fund or expansion of the housing grants program) for low-income renters who might be displaced by redevelopment of older properties or code enforcement.