Housing News & Announcements
Draft City Fiscal Year 2024 Annual Action Plan Approved
The City's Draft One-Year Action Plan (“Draft Action Plan”) for Housing and Community Development for the period July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 was approved by City Council on April 25, 2023 following an open comment period.
Draft Regional Fair Housing Public Comment Period Has Closed
The public comment period for the Draft Regional Fair Housing Plan has closed. The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority were part of the regional effort lead by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) to create the Draft Plan. The Draft Plan describes current barriers to fair housing in the region and lists goals and strategies to overcome these barriers and make housing in the region more accessible to everyone. Sections of the Draft Plan are available for review below.
- Draft Regional Fair Housing Plan Executive Summary (English)
- Draft Regional Fair Housing Plan Executive Summary (Spanish - Español)
- Draft Regional Fair Housing Plan Executive Summary (Amharic - አማርኛ)
- Full Draft Regional Fair Housing Plan - City of Alexandria
The City held two in-person listening sessions to receive comments on the Draft Plan.
The first meeting was held on February 22 at Patrick Henry Recreation Center. Presentation
The second meeting was on February 23 at the Leonard Armstrong Recreation Center. Presentación en Español
A virtual meeting to receive comments on the Draft Plan was held on March 5 using the Zoom web platform. Recording
City Sponsored 13th Annual Northern Virginia Housing Expo
The 13th Annual Northern Virginia Housing Expo, a free regional housing fair, was held on April 1 at Dominion High School. The public event showcased both first time homeownership and rental opportunities and resources from throughout Northern Virginia. Visitors to this event were provided opportunities to speak with experts in the exhibit hall, attend a variety of informational workshops, and take advantage of free individual financial coaching from certified volunteer coaches.
The expo was made possible to a cooperative effort between representatives from the Cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Manassas Park; Virginia Housing; Prince William, Fairfax, Arlington and Loudoun Counties; the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (DC Regional Office); Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®; and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Laura K. Nickle, president of Communi-k, Inc., is the event manager; First Home Alliance of Woodbridge, Va., is the nonprofit partner for the event. Event Flyer Event Flyer (Spanish)
City Celebrates Grand Opening of The Waypoint
Wesley Housing, the City of Alexandria, Fairlington Presbyterian Church, and numerous partners celebrated the grand opening of The Waypoint at Fairlington with a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 28. Located on Menokin Drive, within walking distance of the Bradlee Center and multiple transit lines, the new 81-unit community offers three studio, 12 one-bedroom, 49 two-bedroom, and 17 three-bedroom apartments for households with incomes between 40% and 60% of the area median income; it also includes nine deeply subsidized apartments through the City's pilot rental subsidy program. Approximately 19 of the apartments are attributed to the project's application of the City's bonus density program which grants optional increases in density in exchange for the provision of affordable housing. The project is designed to meet universal design standards with nine units fully accessible. The project is also achieving a Green Building Silver Certification.
Residents will have access to free wireless internet, a community room, business center, and a shared courtyard plaza with the Fairlington Presbyterian Church, in addition to a menu of Wesley's established holistic supportive services. The project was made possible through a partnership with Fairlington Presbyterian Church, the support of Virginia Housing, and a $7.65M gap loan from the City.
City Approves Study on Co-Living
Learn about what co-living is, why the City studied this housing type, and what zoning changes were approved at the project website.
City Submits to HUD the 2022-2026 Consolidated Plan and 2022 Action Plan
The City's Five-Year Consolidated Plan for the period July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2025 and One-Year Action Plan for the period July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 for Housing and Community Development were approved by City Council on May 25, 2021. The Plans have been submitted to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for final approval.
The Five-Year Consolidated Plan is a comprehensive planning document that identifies the housing and community development needs of the City of Alexandria’s extremely low-to moderate-income, homeless and special needs populations, as well as of any target areas identified by the City, and outlines strategies for addressing the needs of these groups and/or designated areas over a five-year period. The One-Year Action Plan describes actions to be taken during City FY 2022 to meet housing and community development needs identified in the City's Five-Year Consolidated Plan and serves as the City's application for HUD Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2021 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds. For more information, please contact Kim Cadena at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.746.3104.
- Resident Summary (updated May 3, 2021)
Affordable Housing Partners Announce Acquisitions in Arlandria
In February 2022, the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) announced its acquisition of Parc Vue Apartments, a 196-unit building in Arlandria. AHDC recently completed its due diligence and is pleased with Parc Vue's state of repair and operation. Initial financing for the purchase is being provided to AHDC through a loan from Amazon's Housing Equity Fund. Rents will be maintained at approximately 60% AMI, pending permanent refinancing, when affordability levels will be fixed and potentially broadened.
In January 2022, Wesley Housing announced its acquisition of Parc Square Apartments, a 66-unit six-building property in Arlandria. One of the buildings, which is located near Four Mile Run, is being considered for future rehabilitation and conversion to affordable for-sale housing. Wesley's acquisition of Parc Square ensures that rents will be maintained at no more than 60% of the area median income pending redevelopment, when Wesley hopes to introduce a range of affordability below 60% AMI consistent with identified housing need in the community. While Wesley will manage the properties, the nonprofit is partnering with its neighbor, Community Lodgings, Inc. (CLI), to provide services, including educational support, to residents and their children.
The acquisitions mark an important milestone in the implementation of the recently adopted Arlandria-Chirilagua Small Area Plan and its commitment to expanding housing affordability and stability in the community.
Fair Housing Certification Training Held for Property Management and Real Estate Professionals
The Landlord-Tenant Relations Board and the Office of Housing hosted a virtual training opportunity to property management and real estate professionals. The free informative and interactive three-hour seminar was taught by Mahalia “Mally” Dryden-Mason, Fair Housing Training Specialist on source of income protections which became effective in Virginia in July 2020. The seminar met the requirements for real estate continuing and post license education, and fair housing certification.
Ramsey Homes Symposium
The Ramsey Homes Symposium on Historic Preservation, Community, and Architecture of Public Housing in Alexandria was held virtually on February 11, 2011. The symposium discussed the innovative construction of the World War II era Ramsey Homes and their African American residents. Originally built as temporary housing for African American war industry workers in the 1940s, the homes later served as permanent affordable housing for Alexandria residents for 65 years. Symposium panelists explored the history of public housing, genealogy of early residents, and the building’s unique construction and place in architectural history. The symposium concluded with a virtual experience of the new Lineage community on North Patrick Street. Recordings of final two sessions can be accessed here.
City Receives 2020 Audrey Nelson Community Development Award
The City of Alexandria’s Office of Housing was awarded the National Community Development Association’s (NCDA) prestigious Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award for its support of the construction of The Bloom/Carpenter’s Shelter. The project, an innovative partnership between the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) and Carpenter’s Shelter, colocates 97 units of affordable housing with a shelter that can accommodate up to sixty individuals experiencing homelessness. Ten of the affordable units are designated as permanent supportive housing for persons exiting homelessness. The property also features a playground, three outdoor terraces, a 1,600 square foot food production garden, and TransitScreen technology, along with a modernized day shelter, David's Place, and winter shelter.
AHDC was offered the opportunity to obtain the air rights above Carpenter’s Shelter property in exchange for building a new shelter. The development of The Bloom was funded by Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity, Virginia Housing loan funds, City of Alexandria Housing Trust Fund, federal Home Investment Partnerships Program funding, and additional loans from the City of Alexandria. The Bloom was also the first development in Alexandria to receive Virginia and National Housing Trust Fund awards in 2018.
This project is an example of how federal funding administered through local governments can support innovative partnerships between diverse kinds of housing organizations to the benefit of all. Working together, AHDC and Carpenter’s Shelter have created a unique development that provides housing for low-income families, as well as emergency shelter and supportive services for those experiencing homelessness.
In 2018, the City of Alexandria, Community Lodgings, Inc. (CLI), and HomeAid of Northern Virginia were awarded the Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award for their collaboration the substantial renovation of CLI’s multifamily building located at 607 Notabene Drive.
Alexandria Nonprofit Expands Affordability at Parkstone through Innovative Partnership
On January 28, 2020 the Alexandria-based Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) purchased Parkstone Alexandria (formerly called Avana Alexandria Apartments), a 326-unit rental property at 3001 Park Center Drive. Made possible through an innovative partnership among AHDC, JBG SMITH’s Washington Housing Initiative Impact Pool, the Virginia Housing Development Authority (now Virginia Housing), and the City of Alexandria, the acquisition of the property will help preserve and expand an important affordable and workforce housing resource to support the City’s and region’s growing labor force.
AHDC’s plan makes 130 units at the property affordable to households with incomes up to 60% of the area median income (AMI). In addition, 114 units have become affordable to households with incomes up to 80% AMI. The remaining 82 apartments at Parkstone are continuing to rent at market rates. Income restrictions on the building were phased in over time, and no tenants were displaced.
The project would not have been possible without a complex layering of funding. JBG SMITH is providing a $15.1 million mezzanine loan from its Impact Pool, the financing component of JBG SMITH’s Washington Housing Initiative. The Initiative is a transformational market-driven approach to preserve and create affordable workforce housing throughout the DC metropolitan region. The Initiative’s focus is on “the missing middle“, i.e., households who earn too much for traditional rental assistance, but who still struggle to pay for housing.
The purchase also represents the first use of a new financing tool offered by Virginia Housing as part of its commitment to invest in housing infrastructure in response to Amazon’s decision to locate HQ2 in Northern Virginia. As part of its dedication of $15 million per year for five years to help Northern Virginia jurisdictions meet housing challenges related to economic development, VHDA provided $5 million in grant funds to preserve Parkstone at the City’s request. VHDA is also providing a senior loan of $82.5 million for the project. An $8 million City of Alexandria loan completes the funding package.
Mayor Justin Wilson noted that “AHDC’s plan reflects Alexandria’s deep commitment to enhancing and preserving affordable housing, community diversity and economic sustainability, and it showcases the type of creative financing and partnerships envisioned by our Housing Master Plan."
“We Believe Your Past Does Not Define Your Future"
Friends of Guest House, an established Alexandria nonprofit that helps formerly incarcerated women reenter the community, celebrated the opening of its second residential program in October 2019. With contributions from HomeAid Northern Virginia, Craftmark Homes, and a $145,000 loan from the City’s Housing Trust Fund, Friends of Guest House renovated a former office building in Old Town expanding the organization’s capacity by 20 percent (from 26 to 31 participants) and consolidating several of its scattered units. In addition to new living spaces, the site features an on-site computer lab, counseling areas, and accessible accommodations. Since its founding in 1974, Friends of Guest House has helped more than 4,000 women through an intensive and supportive six-month program break the cycle of incarceration, reunite with their families, and reintegrate into their communities and the workforce.
National Landing Selected for Major New Amazon Headquarters
Amazon.com, Inc, announced on November 13, 2019 that it has chosen Arlington County to establish a major new headquarters. Arlington and the City of Alexandria, after working together for the last year in a unique and unprecedented regional partnership, are announcing that Amazon will locate in National Landing, a newly branded neighborhood encompassing parts of Pentagon City and Crystal City in Arlington and Potomac Yard in Alexandria. The Commonwealth’s announcement also includes news of a new partnership with Virginia Tech to develop a revolutionary Innovation Campus to fill demand for high-tech talent in National Landing and beyond. Click here to learn more. Please also see the links below to learn about the City's housing response.
Housing affordability: Challenges coming to Arlington County and the City of Alexandria as a result of hi-tech initiatives in the region
How will National Landing impact me and my neighborhood? ¿Como me afectara National Landing a mi y a mi comunidad?
A seminar on how National Landing may impact the City's housing market was held on April 16 at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. Click here to download the presentations by Jeannette Chapman, Deputy Director and Senior Research Associate at The Stephen S. Fuller Institute at George Mason University and Helen McIlvaine, Director of the Office of Housing at the City of Alexandria.
Learn about opportunities to participate in the Arlandria-Chirilagua Plan Update! Click here to learn more.
City Hosts Fair Housing Public Forum
The City of Alexandria hosted a virtual public meeting to gather community input on housing discrimination, barriers to housing access, and fair housing issues in Alexandria on December 9. The meeting featured a presentation by the Urban Institute on existing housing and demographic conditions in Alexandria and included breakout rooms where participants could discuss specific housing issues related to fair housing and how they and their community are affected by them. Information gathered at the public meeting will be incorporated into the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Regional Housing Equity Plan, which will help direct federal funds in ways to make housing more equitable and accessible to individuals and families in Alexandria and our neighboring jurisdictions.
HUD Secretary Fudge, Congressman Beyer, and Mayor Wilson Visit The Spire
On August 13, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge, Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08), and Mayor Justin Wilson visited The Spire, as part of a larger discussion about the nationwide affordable housing crisis. “We are one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the world, and certainly in America, one of the best educated, and yet there are still many people struggling and living in poverty among us,” said Beyer. “Thank goodness we are choosing as a community to use our resources to invest in housing and other services for these people.”
In Alexandria, The Spire is one of a half-dozen newly built affordable housing developments. The City is working to meet both its Housing Master Plan target of 2,000 committed affordable rental apartments by 2025, as well as its portion of the 2030 regional housing goal set by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, which would require production or preservation of an additional 2,250 affordable and workforce level homes. While this will not meet all the affordable housing needs in the City, it represents an acceleration of the City’s historical rate of affordable housing production.
After touring The Spire’s community spaces and an accessible two-bedroom unit, officials provided remarks on the project and highlighted the Biden administration’s Build Back Better Agenda. As part of this recovery initiative, the creation of two million new affordable and low-income homes is proposed, along with expanding financial resources, including private investment through the low-income housing tax credit program, to support the goal. “Low-income and affordable housing was a problem before COVID, but it is even a bigger problem now,” observed Fudge. “There is no place in this country today where a person making minimum wage can afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment. We know, we hear, and we understand what’s happening in this country. And I want to thank everybody who had anything to do with this project.”
“It was an honor to welcome Secretary Fudge to Alexandria and have the opportunity to highlight a project that demonstrates the value of community partnerships,” added Mayor Wilson. “Affordable housing continues to be a priority for the City and is integral for the success of our community as a whole.”
The Spire opened its doors to residents this spring, seven years after its inception. In 2014, the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection generously offered nonprofit housing developer, AHC Inc., a parcel of their property as part of their commitment to expanding housing affordability for neighbors in the Alexandria community. Located in the Beauregard neighborhood, The Spire’s 113 apartments offer affordable homes to households with incomes ranging from 30% to 60% of the area median income.
“We are so grateful that Secretary Fudge, Congressman Beyer, and Mayor Wilson came to The Spire to discuss this critical issue that affects so many in our community,” said Interim AHC CEO Susan Cunningham. “We hope projects like The Spire encourage other communities to join together to create affordable housing and pave a way forward for families in need.”
City Receives ULI Robert C. Larson Award
The City of Alexandria was honored by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in 2021 with its Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Award. The Larson Award recognizes “exemplary state and local programs, policies, and practices that support the production, rehabilitation, or preservation of workforce and affordable housing.” In selecting Alexandria, ULI acknowledged the City’s residential multifamily (RMF) zone as an effective tool to incentivize the production or preservation of deeply affordable housing in exchange for the provision of density.
The 2019 amendment to Alexandria’s zoning ordinance that created the RMF zone resulted from the South Patrick Street Housing Affordability Strategy, a community planning process undertaken jointly in 2018 by the Department of Planning and Zoning and the Office of Housing to identify tools, strategies and resources for the preservation of more than 200 existing units of deeply affordable housing at risk of loss due to expiring federal housing assistance contracts and real estate market pressures that make replacement of multifamily development with by-right townhome development a feasible alternative.
Planning Director Karl Moritz and Housing Director Helen McIlvaine accepted the award on the City’s behalf at the ULI annual conference. A local ceremony to recognize funder Virginia Housing as well as City staff who worked on the Housing Strategy and the RMF zone, which culminated in the national award-winning initiative is planned.
City Releases Report on Impact of Affordable Housing on Nearby Residential Property Values
The Office of Housing is pleased to announce the release of the 2022 report “Assessing the Impact of Affordable Housing on Nearby Property Values in Alexandria, Virginia” from the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization. In response to community inquiries, Urban Institute conducted a study of the impact of affordable housing on nearby residential property values. The report concludes that affordable units in the City are associated with a small but statistically significant increase in property values of homes within 1/16 of a mile (a block) of a development. These results were found to be robust to other radii and comparison groups, including comparisons of homes between one-half and one mile away. Access the full report here.