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Housing Programs

Programs sponsored by the Department of Housing.

Expo 2012


Annual Regional Housing Expo

Expo Logo




Purpose: To provide an opportunity for low and moderate income City residents and workers to learn about rental and  home purchase opportunities in the City of Alexandria and throughout the Northern Virginia region.

Area Served: Region-wide

Eligibility Criteria: None. This event is open to the public and there is no charge for admission.

Description: The Northern Virginia Housing Expo is a collaborative regional event between the Cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Manassas,the Town of Herndon as well as the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William.  The Expo features a range of exhibitors offering information on affordable rental and homeownership opportunities throughout the region.  Free workshops on topics such as understanding and repairing credit, personal finance, and preparing to rent or own a home will also be offered. Seminars are held in English and Spanish.  

The 2013 Housing Expo was held on Saturday, March 16 at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School in Falls Church.  The 2014 Expo is being planned for March 2014.  For more information, visit

Contact Person: Shane Cochran (703) 746-4990

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Home Rehabilitation LoanHot water heater Program

Purpose: To improve the quality of homes owned by low- and moderate-income City residents.

Area Served: City-wide

Eligibility Criteria: Owner-occupants meeting the federal Section 8 Low Income limits.

Description: This program enables low- and moderate-income owner-occupants to correct code violations and structural problems and to enhance the value and livability of their attached or detached single-family homes. Eligible households may receive loans of up to $90,000 for construction costs, plus additional funds if needed for moving and storage fees, permits, title and appraisal reports, architectural and engineering expenses, and other related costs. Loans are no-interest and repayment is deferred for 99 years or until the property is sold, whichever comes first. The Home Rehabilitation Loan Program is funded with federal CDBG and HOME monies and City General funds.

Contact Person: Arthur Thomas (703) 746-4990

Rehab Brochure for 2012

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Energy Efficiency Loan Program

Purpose: To provide access to affordable financing for residential energy efficiency improvements for Alexandria residents.

Area-Served: City-wide

Eligibility Criteria:  Applicant must meet income limits and other guidelines established by the City and participating lender.

Description: The City has provided limited financial support to CommonWealth One Federal Credit Union's to support development of the Alexandria Energy Saver Program. CommonWealth One provides exclusive low-interest loans at rates as low as 4.9% to qualified Alexandria homeowners. Higher income households may qualify for CommonWealth One's Home Performance Loan.  Interested resident can learn more by calling CommonWealth One's Lending Department at 703.523.8211, ext. 7611 or email

The U.S. Department of Energy's Home Performance Program with Energy Star is now being administered in Northern Virginia by LEAP, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which coordinates home energy upgrades, such as air sealing and insulation, in area homes. LEAP can offer energy assessments to Alexandria homeowners to identify key issues and solutions, connect homeowners with available rebates and special financing options, and help residents select a qualified contractor to complete needed energy efficiency improvements.  Get started today by completing a FREE online home energy report at

Rental Accessibility Modification Program (RAMP)

Purpose: To assist low- and moderate income tenants with physical disabilities in completing accessibility modifications to their residences.

Area Served: City-wide

Eligibility Criteria: Physically disabled renters meeting the federal section 8 Low Income limits.

Description: This program provides grants of up to $50,000 for primary residence modifications that are necessary to accommodate the particular circumstances of the disabled member of the household. The program also provides "mini-grants" to assist households needing limited modifications of up to $1,500. The RAMP program is funded through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, while the mini-grants program receives funding through the City's Housing Trust Fund. Landlords are encouraged to deem any modifications to be permanent improvements to the rehabilitated rental property.  City residents may also be eligible for a VHDA Accessibility Rental Modification Grant.  The Office of Housing is a designated Community Agent for VHDA and can assist City renters in completing and submitting the required application to the VHDA.

Contact Person: Gypsy Erostegui (703) 746-4990


Affordable Homeownership Set-Aside Units

Purpose:  To provide affordable home purchase opportunities in newly constructed condominiums or town homes.

Area Served: City-wide.

Eligibility Criteria:  Limited to first-time homebuyers who have been found eligible for the HAP or MIHP Programs.

Description:  This program provides a limited number of discounted, resale restricted units in some newly constructed homeownership developments.  The units are discounted by the developer to levels affordable to low and moderate income purchasers.  Units designated as affordable set-asides have long-term affordability requirements which are enforced by restrictive covenants. To receive email alerts when Affordable Set-aside Units or re-sale units are being marketed, subscribe to the City eNews Affordable Housing Opportunities subscription.  Click here to subscribe to eNews!

Contact Person: Shane Cochran (703) 746-4990


Microenterprise Loan

Purpose: To support the development of micro-enterprises in Alexandria.

Area Served: City-wide

Description: This program, which is administered by the ECDC Enterprise Development Group, provides loans of up to $25,000 to new micro-businesses in the City (defined as having five or fewer employees) who generally do not meet the traditional commercial lending requirements of collateral, minimum equity investment, operating and credit history, and loan size. Loans are available at an interest rate of prime plus 4% and may be used for equipment, inventory or working capital. Funds from local lending institutions will be used to capitalize the program's loan pool fund and a portion of the loan loss reserve fund, while federal CDBG funds from the City will be used for loan loss reserves and administrative costs.

Contact Person: Shane Cochran (703) 746-4990


Landlord/Tenant Complaint Mediation

Purpose: To mediate housing-related disputes between landlords and tenants

Area Served: City-wide

Eligibility Criteria: Complainant must be age 18 or older

Description: This program assists landlords and tenants in resolving disputes by providing information to both parties on their rights and responsibilities under local and state law, and by helping to settle disputes through mediation. This program is funded with City General Fund monies and is overseen by the Landlord-Tenant Relations Board.

Contact Person: Goodman Okpara (703) 746-4990


Fair Housing Testing

Purpose: To identify discriminatory practices in the Alexandria housing market and promote compliance with fair housing laws.

Area Served: City-wide

Description: Through this program, the City conducts fair housing testing to determine the presence of discrimination in the rental and sales housing markets and in mortgage lending. Paid testers visit apartment complexes, real estate firms and mortgage lenders to test for discrimination. Staff meet with the owners and managers of apartment complexes and real estate firms with less serious problems of discrimination discovered during testing, and file complaints with the City's Human Rights Office concerning more serious, repetitive problems. To date, the program has tested for rental housing discrimination based on race, national origin, familial status and sexual orientation, and for real estate sales and mortgage lending discrimination based on race and national origin. This program is funded with federal CDBG monies and is overseen by the Fair Housing Testing Program Advisory Committee. In addition to fair housing testing activities, staff of the Landlord-Tenant Relations Division provide a half-day training seminar on federal, state and local fair housing laws to real estate and property management companies. Training is provided on request.

Contact Person: Goodman Okpara (703) 746-4990


Relocation Counseling

Purpose: To provide housing counseling services to persons seeking rental housing in the City.

Area Served: City-wide

Eligibility Criteria: Must be age 18 or older.

Description: Assistance is provided to persons seeking suitable rental housing in Alexandria. A listing of rental apartment complexes is provided and staff offers available information on vacancies and their locations. In addition, staff conduct an annual Apartment Survey, which provides information on the location, contact numbers and available amenities of rental complexes with 10 or more units in the City. This program is funded with City General Fund monies.

Contact Person:  Goodman Okpara (703) 746-4990


Fair Housing Training for Realtors and Property Managers

Purpose:  To promote compliance with fair housing laws.

Area Served: Citywide.

Eligibility Criteria:  Businesses involved in the sale, rental or management of property in the City of Alexandria.

Description:  Landlord-Tenant Relations staff provide half-day training to real estate or property management companies on compliance with federal, state, and local fair housing laws.  Training is provided upon request.

Contact Person:  Melodie Seau (703) 746-4990


Affordable Rental Set-Aside Units

Purpose:  To provide affordable rental opportunities in newly constructed apartment complexes.

Area Served:  City-wide.

Eligibility Criteria:  Low- and Moderate-Income Renters.

Description: This program provides a limited number of discounted units in some newly constructed rental developments under City’s Affordable Housing Policy.  The units are discounted by the developer to levels affordable to low and moderate income renters.  Units designated as affordable set-asides have long-term affordability requirements. 

 Contact Person:  Juanita Norwood (703) 746-4990


Housing Opportunities Fund

Purpose:  To provide project financing to support the development and preservation of affordable rental and sales housing in the City.

Area Served: City-wide

Eligibility Criteria: Requests for funding may be submitted to develop or preserve affordable housing within the City of Alexandria.  Priority for federal HOME funding will be given to City-certified Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs). Developers are expected to leverage funding from all available sources; assistance from the Fund will be provided only in the amount required to meet identified gaps in financing to produce or preserve affordability.

Description: The Fund is designed to supplement other sources of project funding by providing low interest loans or grants to produce housing units affordable to households with incomes at or below 60% of the area’s median income.   Funding may be used to cover costs such as: feasibility analysis; pre-development activities; housing preservation; and development costs.

Contact persons: Helen McIlvaine or Eric Keeler (703) 746-4990