What is the Housing Master Plan?
Alexandria's Housing Master Plan is intended to guide future preservation and enhancement of affordable housing opportunities, community diversity, and economic sustainability in Alexandria.
On December 14, 2013 the Alexandria City Council unanimously approved the City’s
first Housing Master Plan, setting a 10-year goal of developing or preserving
2,000 affordable housing units through 2025. The Housing Master Plan approval
represents the conclusion of a multi-year public planning process of developing
the Plan to guide the City’s housing development and preservation
efforts. The Plan offers principles, goals, strategies, and tools to meet
Alexandria’s anticipated affordable housing needs over the next 20 years. Following approval of the Housing Master Plan, City Council
approved an amendment to grandfather parking requirements for affordable
housing projects that undergo a substantial renovation. In addition,
Council approved a staff recommendation to increase the level of predevelopment
funding provided to facilitate affordable housing through secured, repayable
Why does Alexandria need to plan for affordable housing?
As a result of the sharply increasing real estate costs and regional development pressures over the past decade, the City of Alexandria faces a severe shortage of affordable housing. Since 2000, there have been dramatic declines in market affordable rental units and in opportunities for affordable homeownership by low and moderate income individuals and families.
What are the Guiding Principles?
The following Guiding Principles are included in the Housing Master Plan and are intended to create an overarching vision for the Housing Master Plan and its future implementation to better meet Alexandria's anticipated housing needs through 2030:
- Facilitate a variety of housing options for households of all incomes.
- Expand housing choice for people of all ages and abilities.
- Be implemented through active partnerships with AHDC and other nonprofits, ARHA, and others to leverage City resources.
- Prioritize certain factors for distribution and preservation of affordable housing, including the location of affordable housing in transit-oriented, amenity-rich areas and the strategic preservation and/or production of affordable housing in large-scale developments and/or redevelopments, especially where existing market affordable multifamily housing is being impacted.
- Promote the integration of affordable housing as essential to the creation of successful and vibrant mixed-income communities.
- Be implemented in ways that recognize that affordable housing is an important component of Alexandria's economic sustainability.
How was the Draft Housing Master Plan Developed?
The Housing Master Plan planning process was designed to ensure participation by stakeholders through: a series of 15 public meetings; a bus tour of the City's existing affordable housing stock; and an allocation exercise which gave stakeholders the opportunity to consider future housing needs and locations.
The Housing Master Plan Advisory Group was composed of the City's Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC) plus an additional five appointees, including both public sector and private sector representatives. This group was charged with providing feedback on data presented and developed goals and objectives to guide the creation of the implementation plan.
On November 30, 2012, the City of Alexandria released its draft Housing Master Plan and the draft Housing Master Plan At a Glance for public review and comment. Two town hall meetings were held to receive questions and comments on the Plan. The first meeting was held on January 24, 2013 at Samuel Tucker Elementary School. Click here to review a summary of comments received at this meeting. A second Town Hall meeting was held on February 11, 2013 at Jefferson-Houston Elementary School 1501 Cameron Street. More information can be found here. The 90-day comment period on the draft Housing Master Plan ended March 1, 2013. Planning commission and City Council held work sessions on the draft plan. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the Revised Draft Housing Master Plan on December 3, 2013.
For more information, please click here.