Arlington County’s FY 2020 budget includes $16 million for the Affordable Housing Investment Fund and a fully-funded Housing Grants budget of $9.3 million.
A coalition of experts and advocates urges the County Board to pursue strategies to meet the production goals set out in Arlington's Affordable Housing Master Plan
In a recent Progressive Voice column for ARLNow, our Executive Director Michelle Winters had the opportunity to weigh in on how we are doing two years after the Affordable Housing Master Plan was created. In the column, Michelle discusses the loss of critical market-rate affordable units, the worsening political environment, and the shortage of funding in the context of the Arlington housing market.
Each year, AHS is actively engaged in monitoring the Arlington County budgeting process and advocating for the level of funding and specific programs and policies needed to meet the housing needs of the County.
Working closely with the HousingArlington group and others throughout the FY 2018 budget process, AHS helped create a set of recommendations on housing and services issues. Between February and April, AHS and other advocates met with each of the County Board members to present and discuss the group's priorities and concerns.
AHS also submitted detailed recommendations to the County Board on the main housing-related budget items to help guide the Board's work sessions with County staff.
The final decisions for the FY 2018 budget were made at the April 22 County Board meeting, including the following - most of which are consistent with the housing and services groups' recommendations:
Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) - allocated $4.9 million in ongoing funds and $10.1 million in one-time funds, for a total of $15 million. This final allocation is $1.3 million higher than FY 2017, but still far short of the amount needed to cover the pipeline of projects proposed for 2018.
Columbia Pike Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund (TIF) - reset the baseline of the TIF to remove the current balance of $880k from the fund. This action placed the funds into the County's general fund, which means that almost half of the funds will be shared with Arlington Public Schools due to existing County revenue sharing principles. Of the County's $471k portion, $200k will go to increased funding for the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) and the remainder will be added to AHIF (included in the numbers above).
Community Services Board's recommendation funded to add 2.2 development disability FTEs. These positions are funded mainly by 3rd party (Medicaid) revenues, so they will have little impact on the County's budget while providing vital new services to the community.
Lee Highway - funds the Lee Highway Alliance with $60k, and keeps the planned funding for the County to move forward on the Lee Highway planning process. This planning process is key to the area's ability to create and preserve affordable and middle-income housing options.
Childcare - the Manager had recommended adding a position focused on childcare in Arlington Economic Development (AED), but the Board decided to move the position to add a planner to CPHD to deal with planning and zoning barriers to childcare, plus consulting money for a study.
AHS developed its 2015 Leckey Affordable Housing Forum as a "teach in" on current affordable housing issues in Arlington. [See all previous Leckey Forum topics.]
Link to the program with speaker bios. Link to presenter slides from the blue titles below.
Financing the Deal: Tax Credits and the AHIF
The Basics of Low Income Housing Tax Credits---Michael Scheurer, Vice President, Cornerstone Housing Development Corp.
Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF)---Yoomie Ahn, Housing Development Supervisor, Arlington County
General Land Use Plan and Zoning Issues
Achieving Affordable Housing: Role of the General Land Use Plan and Zoning---Susan Ingraham Bell, Planning and Zoning Consultant
Market Rate Development and Affordable Housing in Arlington County---Kedrick Whitmore, Venable LLP
The Public--Private Partnership
The Public--Private Partnership---Nina Janopaul, President/CEO, APAH and David Cristeal, Housing Director, Arlington County
Housing in Community
Home Buying in Arlington---Reverend Jon Smoot, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia and Karen Serfis, Executive Director, Arlington Home Ownership Made Easier (AHOME)
Community Facilities Study (CFS) Update and Housing Implications---Ginger Brown, Vice Chair, CFS Working Group
Educational Support Programs in Affordable Housing: Building Successful Families and Neighborhoods through Resident Services---Kathie Panfil, Board Member, APAH and Edu-Futuro and Jennifer Endo, Resident Services Director, AHC Inc.