Housing

I believe that housing policy is among the most important things that the Arlington County Board does. Where we live, and whether we -- as young professionals, working families, new Americans, or downsizing retirees -- can afford to come to, stay, and grow in our neighborhoods has a profound influence on our local economy, as well as integration and diversity.



I’m proud of our record on housing. During my time on the County Board:

But just like the Red Queen’s country in Alice in Wonderland, here in Arlington, “it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.” We’ve made great strides, but we’re still a long way from our goal, adopted in the 2015 Affordable Housing Master Plan, that 17.7% of our rental housing stock will be affordable by the year 2040: Currently, only 8.8% of rental units are affordable to neighbors making 60% or less of the area median income. And it’s hard for middle-class residents of all ages and backgrounds to buy into broad geographic swathes of the County: Since 2005, the inventory of 3-bedroom (and smaller) homes is decreasing in Arlington, replaced with larger and more expensive homes throughout our single-family neighborhoods.

How can we address this challenge? I am committed to:

  • Following through on, and pursue new funding sources - including new state dollars, greater philanthropic and private investment, and maintaining and, where possible, growing, local commitments to the Affordable Housing Investment Fund - to support the creation of Committed Affordable Units to prevent displacement of low-income residents as rents increase.
  • Pursuing new zoning reforms to increase the supply of middle-class ownership housing - home types like duplexes, fourplexes and small cottages - for seniors, young people and changing families, in neighborhoods throughout the County.
  • Amping up regional leadership and collaboration to advocate for and reduce barriers to significantly increasing the supply of housing throughout Northern Virginia and Metro DC.
  • As past Chair of the Metro Washington Council of Government’s Human Services Policy Committee, I’ve advocated for COG’s bold goal of increasing the number of planned housing units by over 100,000 homes by 2045;
  • As a member of the Virginia Municipal League’s Legislative Committee, I’ve advocated reform to the state proffers law that has hamstrung the creation of more housing in our peer jurisdictions in Northern Virginia.

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  • Joan Mcintyre
    commented 2019-08-29 20:29:26 -0400
    If single family zoning were to be eliminated what provisions would be put in place to ensure that the denser development (duplexes, fourplexes, etc) would meet the needs for low and middle-income households rather than lead to speculator driven development to provide more market rate housing out of the reach of these populations, further driving up property values and exacerbating the availability of affordable housing for existing residents? Questioner can point to the already rising real estate prices in Arlington driven by speculation and failure of similar efforts in the past to address housing shortages. Moreover, how will you address the increased impact on our already overstretched stormwater system that increased density with likely continued increase in impervious surfaces and loss of tree canopy cause?