Affordable Housing Policy
The Program Administration division works on affordable housing policy through the development and implementation of the Housing Master Plan and Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development. The division is responsible for the Administration of the City's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Staff is responsible for local compliance with federal, state and local rules and regulations governing housing and community development activities and administration of the City's Housing Trust Fund (HTF). Staff also monitors private-sector participation in affordable housing programs, and administration of City fiscal affairs pertaining to housing.
Staff works with non-profit and private developers to develop structure and finance projects that include significant components of affordable housing. Additionally, staff works closely with other City departments to review development proposals, including affordable housing plans that will yield set-aside affordable units and/or voluntary monetary contributions pledged by developers to the HTF and supports the Alexandria Housing Affordability Advisory Committee.
Housing Opportunities Fund (HOF) Application Guidelines and HOF Checklist and Certification and Disclosure Statement (updated January 2016)
Section 7-700 (Allowance for increases in floor area ratio, density and height and reductions in required off-street parking as incentive for provision of low- and moderate-income housing)
Current Affordable Housing Projects
St. James Plaza. St. James Plaza (previously referred to as the Fillmore) is a 93-unit affordable project on Fillmore Avenue north of North Beauregard Street. The City approved a loan of up to $5.7 million to the developer, AHC, Inc., from the City's Housing Opportunity Fund in January 2015 to help fund the purchase of the land and the construction of the affordable project. AHC also secured conventional financing and $19 million in low-income housing tax credit equity. The project is slated to be completed in late 2018. New! Click here to watch development progress on the site!
Gateway Apartments. Gateway Apartments is a 74-unit affordable project within the Gateway at King and Beauregard, a three-building mixed-use development with approximately 618,000 gross square feet of residential, retail, and office uses. The City approved a loan of up to $5.5 million to the nonprofit developer of the affordable project, AHDC, from the City's Housing Opportunity Fund in November 2015; this included a $350,000 predevelopment loan (approved in June 2015). The City's financial support has enabled AHDC to broaden the affordability levels within the project. Eight units will be affordable to households at 40% of the area median income (AMI), 29 will be affordable to households at 50% AMI, and 37 will be affordable to households at 60% AMI. 84% of the units will be family-sized with two to three bedrooms, and 10 percent will be accessible. The building will be affordable for 60 years. As part of its financing package, AHDC applied and was awarded low-income housing tax credit equity during the 2016 tax credit cycle. The project is slated to be completed in late 2018.
Carpenter's Shelter. The Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) and the Carpenter’s Shelter are working together to construct a modern shelter facility and 98 new affordable rental units. The ground-floor shelter facility will include space for day programs offered to shelter clients and related administrative and case management space, in addition to sleeping accommodations. The rental units will be affordable to households earning between 40% and 60% of the area median income (which ranged from $30,440 for a household of one to $65,160 for a household of four in 2016). 10 of the units will serve as permanent supportive housing with deeply affordable rents and case management services to help shelter residents transition into permanent housing. Along with the development application, City Council approved in December 2016 a rental subsidy grant program of $250,000 to make 10 units deeply affordable and a loan of up to $7.1 million to help with the construction of the affordable rental housing. Each dollar of the City's investment in the project is anticipated to leverage five dollars in public and private funding. AHDC is applying for low-income housing tax credits in March 2017 and is actively pursuing state and federal grants. The Carpenter’s Shelter redevelopment project meets several important Housing Master Plan goals, including supporting partnerships with and among non-profits, providing family-sized and accessible units, and locating affordable housing close to transit, jobs, and amenities.
Ramsey Homes. The Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) plans to redevelop the existing 15 public housing units at Ramsey Homes into a new four-story 52-unit mixed-income community through its development entity, Virginia Housing Development LLC. The project includes 15 new replacement rental units affordable to households earning up to 30% of the area median income (AMI) (which ranged from $22,850 for a household of one to $32,600 for a household of four in 2016) and 37 new units affordable to households earning up to 50% and 60% AMI. ARHA is applying for low-income housing tax credits in March 2017 to help finance the redevelopment. In February 2017 City Council approved a loan of up to $2.0 million to pay for required offsite infrastructure improvements and other amenities; the loan is funded from proceeds of ARHA’s repayment of the City’s 2008 Glebe Park loan.
Lacy Court. Lacy Court is a 44-unit garden-style apartment complex in the Del Ray neighborhood; 18 of the rental units are affordable to households earning at or below 50% of the area median income (AMI) (which ranged from $38,050 for a 1-person household to $54,300 for a 4-person household in 2016), with the remaining 26 units affordable at 60% AMI (which ranged from $45,660 for a 1-person household to $65,160 for a 4-person household in 2016). The City provided Housing Opportunities Fund loans to RPJ Housing to acquire the property, along with Arbelo and Longview Terrace Apartments, in 2007 and 2009 to preserve the units as dedicated affordable housing. The property was subsequently transferred to the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC). Despite being constructed in the early 1950's, Lacy Court has never undergone substantial renovations. AHDC is applying for low-income housing tax credits in March 2017 to help finance the replacement of/upgrades to all building systems, including roofs; upgrades to unit interiors, including kitchens and bathrooms; improvements of hallways and common areas, as well as exterior enhancements and landscaping. City Council approved AHDC's refinancing plan in January 2017.
ABC/Giant Edens Project. This project is redeveloping the site of the former ABC and Giant stores in Old Town North into a mixed-use development with approximately 51,272 square feet of retail and 232 residential units. The developer is providing nine dedicated affordable rental units (seven studios and two 1-bedroom units) as part of the project. The project in anticipated to be completed in 2018.
Recent Affordable Housing Projects
Lynhaven Apartments. New! The refinancing and renovation of Lynhaven Apartments is one of three Virginia success stories featured in the National Low Income Housing Coalition's Annual Report released in early March. To read the full report, click here. Lynhaven Apartments, owned by Wesley Housing Development Corporation, has undergone substantial interior and exterior rehabilitation. In September of 2013, the City Council approved a loan consisting of federal HOME dollars along with matching local dollars for the rehabilitation of the 28-unit property. In addition to the City’s $1.078 million loan, Wesley Housing used tax-exempt bond financing along with 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits to complete the renovation and preserve the affordability of the units for households earning up to 60% of the area median income (AMI) with half reserved for households at or below 50% of AMI. The rehabilitation comprised the replacement of all kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, and heating and cooling systems and exterior renovations to the façade, doors, windows, and roof.
Wesley Housing Development Corporation celebrated the completed rehabilitation with a “dedication and dessert” event on July 26, 2016. Special City guests included City Council members Del Pepper and Willie Bailey, Vice Mayor Wilson, City Manager Mark Jinks and Deputy City Manager Emily Baker, as well as many residents and community members. Vice Mayor Wilson offered remarks emphasizing the importance of affordable housing preservation as a City priority and Housing Master Plan goal.
Jackson Crossing. During FY 2013, the City approved $2.5 million in funding along with a city-owned parcel for the development of a 78-unit affordable housing property to be built by AHC Inc. at the corner of East Reed Avenue and Jefferson Davis Highway. A Development Special Use Permit was also approved by City Council, and Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) approved a tax application. The project was completed in December 2015.
Arbelo and Longview Terrace Apartments. The Arbelo and Longview Terrace Apartments are garden style apartments in Alexandria, consisting of 74 units. The City provided Housing Opportunities Fund loans to RPJ Housing to acquire the properties in 2007 and 2009 to preserve the units as dedicated affordable housing. The properties were subsequently transferred to the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC). AHDC secured tax exempt bonds and 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits for the renovation of all 74 units. Renovation of the units was completed in 2015.
Notch 8. Notch 8 (also referred to as the Giant site at Potomac Yard) is a mixed-use development located at 2801 Main Line Boulevard. The City permitted the developer to use the bonus density provisions of the City’s zoning code, which created 12 dedicated affordable rental units (including two 3-bedroom units) within the 253-unit building. The project was completed in 2015.
Station 650 at Potomac Yard. Station 650 (also referred to as Potomac Yard Landbay J), located at 1800 Main Line Boulevard at the south end of Potomac Yard, is a mixed-use development containing 183 dwelling units and approximately 2,500 square feet of ground floor retail. The City permitted the developer to use the bonus density provisions of the City’s zoning code, which created eight dedicated affordable rental units (including three 3-bedroom units) within the 253-unit building. The project was completed in 2015.
The Bradley. The Bradley (previously referred to as Braddock Metro Place) is located at 1261 Madison Street across from the Braddock Road Metro Station. The City permitted the developer to use the bonus height provisions of the City’s zoning code, which created ten dedicated affordable rental units within the 165-unit building. The project was completed in 2015.
Parc Meridian at Eisenhower Station. Parc Meridian is located at 750 Port Street in Eisenhower East. The City permitted the developer to use the bonus density provisions of the City’s zoning code, which created 33 dedicated affordable rental units (including six 2-bedroom units) within the 505-unit building. The project was completed in 2016.