First Home Alliance Offers Housing Counseling and Homebuyer Training
First Home Alliance, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, has assumed responsibilities for conducting homebuyer education and housing counseling services to City residents. The agency will hold monthly pre-purchase homebuyer classes using the Virginia Housing Development Authority's (VHDA) training curriculum. This class leads to a certificate of completion from VHDA giving first-time homebuyers access to VHDA’s below market interest rates. The class is also a requirement for households purchasing a home using City of Alexandria home purchase assistance loans. For more information about VHDA’s homebuyer training program, click here. Classes will be held in English and in Spanish.
The next English-language VHDA class will be August 22nd in the Office of Housing, 421 King Street, Suite 200 in Conference Room 3. For more details or to register for an upcoming class, contact Leonardo Martinez at
(703)580-8838, Ext. 17 or at Lmartinez@FirstHomeAlliance.org First Home Alliance is also offering a Spanish-language on August 15 at Bank Of America's office at 7619 Little River Turnpike Suite 1000 in Annandale.
All classes are offered at no cost to participants.
Apartment Rents in Alexandria Increase City-Wide
Office of Housing’s January 2015 Annual Apartment Survey and data provided by
Delta Associates indicate that Alexandria’s multifamily rental market is
recovering and that recently declining rents are on the way back up. From January 2013 to January 2014 the Office
of Housing survey indicated a decrease in City-wide rents of 3.3% with
decreases by bedroom size of between 3.1% in efficiency units to 5% in one and
three bedroom units. From 2014 to 2015
rents increased 4.7% according to the annual apartment survey.
data for 2013 and 2014 provided by Delta Associates similarly indicate
increases in all Alexandria markets except in Alexandria’s west end where rents
continued to decline slightly. The
City’s Annual Apartment Survey collects data for all multifamily apartments in
buildings with ten or more units.
For more information, click here.
Meeting Needs Today: A Needs Assessment of the Alexandria Human Services System - Vol. 2
In this new report, ACHSO updates its earlier work in 2008, conducting and publishing a study of human services needs in the city for the purpose of guiding service delivery. The input of hundreds of stakeholders – from government, nonprofits and the community – were engaged around nine key issue areas: Early Childhood Development & Education; Emergency Assistance; Health - Physical, Behavioral, Oral & Food; Housing & Homelessness; Immigrant Services; Physical & Developmental Disabilities; Senior Services; and Youth & Young Adult.
Through a series of focus groups and a broadly disseminated survey, stakeholders were asked to weigh in on access to services and information, barriers to progress since the previous study, and recommendations for future activity. The appendices of the full report contain a full accounting of the information that came out of the focus groups and survey, which was undoubtedly influenced by the various master and strategic plan processes that have been conducted on a number of these issues.
Affordable Homeownership Units Now Available
The City of Alexandria's Office of Housing is currently assisting with marketing the following restricted resale homeownership units:
Quantrell Avenue,, Unit 104 - a one bedroom, one bath unit located in the
Mayflower Square community. This unit is being offered through the City's
Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The City's program partner,
Rebuilding Together Alexandria, is currently completing renovations to the unit
including new paint, carpeting and appliances. The projected resale price will
be approximately $123,925. The purchaser of this property may receive:
- up to $50,000 in
purchase assistance through the City's Flexible Homeownership Assistance
- a closing cost grant of
up to $8,000, provided through NSP
- a reduced interest rate
first trust mortgage through the Virginia Housing Development Authority's
Community Homeownership Revitalization Program (CHRP)
Maximum gross annual incomes for this purchase are
- One Person - $61,200
- Two People - $69,890
N. Van Dorn, Unit 813 - an efficiency unit in the Park Place condominiums. This unit is priced at $95,000. Please click
here for more information about this listing.
5300 Holmes Run Parkway, Unit 603
in The Greenhouse Condominiums. The
restricted resale price for this home is $274,035. Click
here for the complete listing.
The purchasers of these properties must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Be a first-time homebuyer (no ownership interest in real estate in the most recent three year period)
- Live OR work in the City of Alexandria
- Meet current federal income limits for the program.
Eligible purchasers may qualify for up to $50,000 in downpayment and closing cost assistance through the City's Flexible Homeownership Assistance Program (FHAP). In addition, discounted mortgage financing may be available through the Virginia Housing Development Authority's (VHDA)Community Homeownership Revitalization Program.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program - A Resource for First Time Homebuyers
The City and Rebuilding Together Alexandria (RTA) have partnered to offer an exciting new program to assist low-and moderate-income households become first time homebuyers. Modeled on the highly successful Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), RTA will purchase foreclosed or short sale properties, renovate them, and sell them to income eligible, qualifying homebuyers. By leveraging volunteer labor and funds through existing City home purchase programs, RTA will be able to help 20 - 25 families buy homes across the City over the next few years.
To begin the process of qualifying to purchase a home through the program, participants must complete a Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) training program for first time homebuyers - these classes are offered throughout the region at no cost. Acquired properties will be marketed, in order of priority, to:
- residents of assisted housing who are financially prepared to transition to homeownership;
- other eligible low-income City residents and workers; and
- moderate-income City residents and workers.
Other eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Applicants must not currently own a home or have an ownership interest in other real property;
- Applicants must have lived or worked within the corporate limits of the City of Alexandria for at least the most recent six months prior to application;
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent resident aliens, or possess a valid work permit and a Social Security card; and
- Applicants’ net worth must be within the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) limits.
Interested buyers can get more information by signing up for eNews alerts here (Affordable Housing Opportunities subscription). Click here for current income limits.
Northern Virginia Housing Expo
The 2015 Northern Virginia Housing Expo was held on March 21 at Herndon High School, 700 Bennett Street in Herndon. The Expo features a range of exhibitors offering information on affordable rentals, homeownership opportunities, the home buying process and preparing for your first rental. The annual Expo is free and open to the public.
The Expo is sponsored by the counties of Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William and Loudoun, the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax and the Town of Herndon, as well as the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). This is the fifth consecutive year that Northern Virginia Housing Expo has been held, offering valuable resources for those looking to rent an apartment or buy a home.
For more information, visit the Expo webpage!
See how the 2014 Regional Housing Expo provided attendees with insight on finding a home!
Applications Sent to Beauregard Small Area Plan Residents
of Housing has mailed 2550 pre-qualification applications for Committed Affordable
Units (CAUs) to households living in properties slated for redevelopment over
the next 30 years. The pre-application will collect household and
financial information which will be used to establish a preliminary wait
list for CAU’s which will be developed pursuant to the Beauregard Small
Area Plan Tenant Assistance and Relocation Plan. Meetings
and regular office hours for residents will be held to answer questions and to
assist residents in completing the pre-application.
information contact Caridad Palerm at 703-746-3079 or email@example.com
Landlord Survey Indicates Awareness and Compliance with the City's Voluntary Rent Guidelines
An Office of Housing survey of Alexandria landlords conducted in April
indicates that most property owners and managers comply with the City’s
Voluntary Rent Guidelines. The Office of
Housing received more than 40 responses to a survey of multifamily property
managers and owners which asked if they were aware of the City’s Voluntary Rent
Guidelines and used the Guidelines in calculating rent increases for tenants at
the end of their lease term. Eighty one
percent of the respondents said that they were aware of the City’s Guidelines
and 67 percent responded that they considered the Guidelines when calculating
rent increases for current tenants. Click here to review the survey results.
2014 Mailer Tracking Affordable Homeownership Occupancy Can be Completed ONLINE!
As a recipient of loan funds provided through the City’s Homeownership Assistance Program (HAP), Moderate Income Homeownership Program (MIHP) and/or the Home Rehabilitation Loan Program (HRLP), you must continue to own and occupy the assisted property as your principal residence. In addition, the City must be identified as a mortgagee on your homeowners’ insurance declaration statement.
Click here to complete your Certification of Residency!
Rooftop Roots Grows Produce to Benefit Participants in ALIVE’s Food Pantry Program
AHDC is repeating its successful collaboration with nonprofit Rooftop Roots to grow produce to benefit participants in ALIVE’s Alexandria food pantry program. On April 12, volunteers from Rooftop Roots were joined by residents of The Station at Potomac Yard in installing and planting a container garden including six types of spring lettuces and some squash. These photos were taken after the containers were set up on the second floor residential terrace which is located above the vehicle bays of Fire Station 209. In the summer, assorted varieties of peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and basil will be planted. At another urban garden location, Rooftop Roots plants and harvests okra, beets, carrots, onions, snap beans and radishes for ALIVE!
With guidance from Rooftop Roots, the plants are maintained and harvested throughout the spring and summer seasons by Station residents. Produce is donated to the food pantry each week. In 2013, more than 125 pounds of fresh produce was made available to ALIVE! to supplement canned and non-perishable foods. Station residents were eager to help their neighbors in need again through the popular gardening initiative. This year’s goal is 500 pounds.
For more information about the program’s sponsors, please see these websites:
NVAHA Releases Report on Affordable Housing and Public Land
The Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance (NVAHA) recently released its report "Leveraging Public Land for Affordable Housing in Northern Virginia: A Primer." The report features the Station at Potomac Yard as an example of how public land and co-location of uses can serve to increase the supply of affordable housing. Click here to read the complete report or visit NVAHA's webpage.
Jackson's Crossing Under Construction
On Saturday, February 22nd, City Council joined AHC, Inc. in breaking ground for Jackson’s Crossing, the organization’s first housing development in Alexandria. The project, which is located at the corner of Jefferson Davis Highway/Route 1 and East Reed Avenue will provide 78 units of affordable rental units when it is completed in late Summer 2015. AHC will also provide educational programming for pre-K and school aged children in a first floor community space.
To facilitate the project, the City contributed one of the parcels necessary to complete AHC’s land assemblage and also provided a loan of $2.5 million toward the total development cost of $25 million. AHC owns and operates more than 5,000 affordable apartments throughout the region.
Click Here for construction Camera
AHDC Renovated Arbelo and Longview Terrace Apartments in 2014
The Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) renovated the Arbelo (Bashford Lane) and Longview Terrace (Seay Street) Apartments in 2014. All 75 units at these garden-style properties were substantially rehabilitated at a total cost of more than $65,000 per unit.
The scope of work included improve livability for residents, as well as increase energy efficiency and reduce operating costs. The City initially provided loans to RPJ Housing to acquire and preserve these properties, as well as Lacy Court Apartments (Commonwealth Avenue) in 2006 - 2007. AHDC bought the properties from RPJ in 2011 in order to permanently refinance and renovate the properties. Lacy Court is now scheduled to be renovated in 2016. In exchange for the City’s ongoing support, AHDC has agreed to keep rents at all three properties affordable for at least 40 more years.
Office of Housing Welcomes Beauregard Relocation Coordinator
As part of the ongoing implementation of the Beauregard Small Area Plan (BSAP), the Office of Housing has hired a Relocation Coordinator to assist residents impacted by the proposed future redevelopment. Cari Palermo, who recently completed the relocation of tenants in the Buckingham Village redevelopment in Arlington County, will help coordinate relocation resources and manage the waiting list for committed affordable units.
In April, in cooperation with area landlords, the City will send a preliminary questionnaire to Beauregard residents so that current households can be prioritized for assistance pursuant to City Council’s directive that those residing in the BSAP at the time the Plan was adopted receive the greatest consideration.
Notabene Drive Project Wins Award
The City and the non-profit Community Lodgings, Inc. (CLI) have been selected for the Audrey Nelson Award by the National Community Development Association (NCDA). The award recognizes the City for its support to CLI in partnership with HomeAid Northern Virginia and Pulte Homes to renovate a 10-unit apartment building which provides housing for homeless low income families. The renovation will enable CLI to continue to serve ten homeless families in modern, energy efficient, safe and stable housing.
The project is valued at over $900,000 with a scope that included a complete gut of the building down to the structure and rebuild with new kitchens; bathrooms; flooring; windows; doors; HVAC; and roofing. The actual cash investment is about $550,000 from federal HOME funds, local match, and a grant from the Freddie Mac Foundation.
2013 Communications Action Network (CAN) Parade of Homes
On May 18, 2013 the Communications Action Network (CAN) hosted the first CAN Parade of Homes, featuring 17 communities throughout the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland. Representing the City of Alexandria was AHDC’s property, The Station at Potomac Yard, which showcased a particularly creative mix of land uses, including a new fire station, retail space, and 64 units of much needed affordable and workforce affordable housing, all within the same new structure.
On May 6, 2013, Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille presented a proclamation to Daniel R. Abramson, President of AHDC, and to CAN representatives Michelle Krocker, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance (NVAHA) and Heather Raspberry, Executive Director of the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND). The proclamation recognizes CAN’s work in promoting awareness of the value that housing affordability brings to families, communities and employers and highlights the fact that today’s affordable housing is well built, well maintained and is designed to fit into the fabric of existing communities. CAN’s Parade of Homes will provide an opportunity for the public and the media to visit affordable housing developments throughout the region.
For a complete list of properties participating in the Parade of Homes or to learn more about CAN, visit the webpage at www.caninitiative.org