Major Housing Program Funding
After two months of deliberations and public hearings, the Arlington County Board unanimously approved the FY19 County Budget at its April 21st meeting. This year's budget process was more difficult than in past years and involved a number of cuts to programs and staffing in order to close a $20 million deficit.
The County Board was able to allocate an additional $619,628 to the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) from Recordation Tax revenues to supplement the County Manager’s original $13.7 million proposed level. This brings the total FY19 AHIF funding allocation to $14.3 million. Although this is higher than the County Manager’s proposal, this is still below the FY18 level of $15 million. It is also far short of the level needed for the County to begin meeting its production goals set in the Affordable Housing Master Plan.
As we do each year, AHS and our HousingArlington partners met with all County Board Members to make the case for maintaining the AHIF contribution at or above previous levels. Read our letter outlining this and other positions.
In addition to supporting additional AHIF allocations, the letter argues for:
Taking action on specific recommendations in the Fulfilling the Promise report to help lower costs for affordable housing development in the County;
Moving forward on cost-saving reforms to the Real Estate Tax Relief program, which helps low-income seniors and disabled households with deferrals or exemption of real estate tax payments;
Increasing the Maximum Allowable Rents (MARs) in the County's Housing Grant program to reduce rent burdens and allow more eligible households to participate; and
Sustaining the effort toward a comprehensive planning initiative for the Lee Highway corridor that will help create greater opportunities for affordable and middle-income housing.