Four problems drive the involuntary displacement of our lowest-income residents: lack of affordable housing, expensive and unavailable child care, limited pathways to living wage jobs, and lack of health insurance and quality care.
This year, the Arlington Community Foundation launched a new partnership to find solutions to these problems. The Shared Prosperity Initiative brings together leaders from Arlington’s government, business, and nonprofit sectors to collaborate on creating shared prosperity in our community.
On November 17, the Alliance for Housing Solutions will honor Arlington Community Foundation’s Shared Prosperity Initiative with the Ellen M. Bozman Affordable Housing Award. This annual award is given to individuals or organizations who have significantly advanced efforts to increase the supply of and/or to improve the quality of affordable housing in Arlington through leadership, innovation, and effectiveness over time. The award honors the late Ellen M. Bozman, a long-time Arlington County Board member and leader on affordable housing issues. She was a co-founder of the Alliance for Housing Solutions and a member of its Board of Directors. The ticketed event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington.
The Arlington Community Foundation’s Shared Prosperity Initiative is inspired and supported by the national Shared Prosperity Partnership, a collaboration between the Urban Institute, The Kresge Foundation, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, and Living Cities. Working with local lead partners such as the Arlington Community Foundation, it supports the convening of local leaders in select communities across the United States to create inclusive growth by providing data, research, and access to national experts, networks, and financial resources.
About 9,000 households in Arlington are trying to make ends meet on $35,000 or less — 30 percent of our area median income. The Shared Prosperity Initiative is bringing forward new ideas and will generate investment into existing programs that show promise for scaled impact on these most vulnerable residents. Business leaders, government officials, nonprofit executives, and community residents are being engaged to maximize the chance for positive outcomes.
While the initiative is still in its first year, it has already shown the potential for great impact on affordable housing in Arlington by engaging leaders across sectors and focusing their energy on the needs of our lowest income households. The initiative has already attracted its first large private sector investment of $3 million from Amazon, which will go toward meeting affordable housing needs and preventing displacement in Arlington. Additional investments and creative solutions across all four of the initiative’s focus areas are expected in the near future.
“Arlington Community Foundation is honored and humbled to receive an award given in the name of one of our most passionate leaders in affordable housing for our Shared Prosperity Initiative,” said Jennifer Owens, president and CEO. “Community foundations work in their communities to address the most pressing needs of the day in a nimble and responsive way, and today that is affordable housing. We need swift, creative and bold action right now if we are to ensure that Arlington remains a diverse and vibrant community.”
“The value of engaging the private sector in solutions to our affordable housing challenges cannot be overstated,” said Mary Margaret Whipple, chair of the Alliance for Housing Solutions’ board. Whipple said that although nonprofits and governments have traditionally taken the lead, the Shared Prosperity Initiative has made clear that all kinds of leaders and entities within a community have a role to play in encouraging inclusive economic growth, and all stand to benefit when communities maintain and deepen their diversity.
Tickets to the 2019 Ellen M. Bozman Affordable Housing Award celebration are available at Bozman2019.eventbrite.com.
Potential sponsors, media, and others can contact AHS Executive Director Michelle Winters for additional information by email or at 703-859-0452.
About the Ellen M. Bozman Affordable Housing Award
The Ellen M. Bozman Affordable Housing Award is given annually to individuals or organizations who have significantly advanced efforts to increase the supply of and/or to improve the quality of affordable housing in Arlington through leadership, innovation, and effectiveness over time. The award honors the late Ellen M. Bozman, long-time Arlington County Board member and leader on affordable housing issues. She was a co-founder of the Alliance for Housing Solutions and a member of its Board of Directors. Visit our website for a video with highlights of her life of public service.
The Alliance for Housing Solutions (AHS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to increase the supply of affordable housing in Arlington County and Northern Virginia through public education, policy development, advocacy and innovation. AHS was created in 2003 by civic leaders motivated by the belief that Arlington was rapidly becoming a community in which only affluent families could afford to live. Since then, housing costs in our area have continued to escalate for both renters and owners, and the stock of housing affordable to low- and middle-income households has continued to decline. Our work is more important than ever. AHS helps to build greater public understanding of housing challenges and works toward the adoption of public policies that can help reverse the loss of affordable housing in our community.
About the Arlington Community Foundation
The Arlington Community Foundation is the local home for individuals, businesses and organizations in Arlington to carry out their charitable giving. The Foundation's general funds — supported by contributions from community members — improve and strengthen the community in and around Arlington through grants made to local nonprofit organizations and scholarships awarded to local students.