The City Celebrates April as Fair Housing Month
In recognition of Fair Housing Month this April, the City of Alexandria is sponsoring activities to promote the awareness and understanding of fair housing. April was declared National Fair Housing Month by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to recognize the anniversary of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and to remember the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which occurred a week before the Act was signed. The Act stands as the final great legislative achievement of the 1960s Civil Rights era.
- The City is hosting the Fourth Annual Fair Housing Poster Contest to educate youth on how fair housing laws protect all Alexandrians against illegal housing discrimination. All students in grades K-5 are eligible to enter the contest. Entries must be original artwork and represent this year's theme, "Fair Housing Lives in Alexandria." Submissions will be accepted by the Office of Housing from Monday, April 1 - Friday, April 12, at 5 p.m. For more information, please contact Caridad Palerm at the Office of Housing or email email@example.com.
- In partnership with the law firm of MercerTrigiani, a free training, “Understanding Fair Housing Compliance for Condominium and Community Associations”, was held on April 6.
- Office of Housing staff can host talks and make presentations to teachers or program directors and their classes about the Fair Housing Act and housing discrimination. To coordinate a presentation, please contact Dr. Goodman Okpara at the Office of Housing or email Goodman.Okpara@alexandriava.gov.
Fair Housing Month is celebrated as an opportunity for re-commitment to the goal of eliminating housing discrimination and the creation of equal opportunity in every community. Under federal, state and local laws and regulations, all residents have equal access to housing regardless of sex, race, color, religion, age, familial status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or national origin. To identify problems and promote compliance with fair housing laws, the City conducts fair housing testing to determine the presence of discrimination in mortgage lending and in rental and sales housing markets in Alexandria.
Draft FY 2020 Action Plan for Housing and Community Development Released
The Fiscal Year 2020 Action Plan will serve as the City's application to HUD for an estimated $941,853 in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2019 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and $536,873 in Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds. The comment period on the Draft One-Year Action Plan closes on April 29. To submit written comments, please email, mail, or deliver them to the Office of Housing at 421 King Street, Suite 215, Alexandria, VA 22314. The City held a public hearing on the Draft Plan on April 13. For additional information, contact Cindy Metcalf at 703-746-4990 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Notice of Public Hearing and Notice of Availability of the Draft 2020 One-Year Action Plan
- Draft Citizen Summary
ARHA Announces April 17 Public Hearing on Draft Amendment to 2019 Annual Agency Plan
- Notice of Public Hearing
- Draft Amendment to ARHA’s 2019 Annual Agency Plan—The proposed amendment allows ARHA to submit a disposition plan to allow the repositioning of its public housing properties.
Amazon.com, Inc, announced on November 13 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. To learn more about the City's housing response, please see the links below.
- NEW! Housing affordability: Challenges coming to Arlington County and the City of Alexandria as a result of hi-tech initiatives in the region
- NEW! How will National Landing impact me and my neighborhood? ¿Como me afectara National Landing a mi y a mi comunidad?
- NEW! 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.
9th Annual Housing Expo on March 30
On Saturday, March 30, 2019, the City co-sponsored the 9th Annual Northern Virginia Housing Expo at Arlington's Washington Lee High School. There were dozens of exhibits featuring rental and home-buying opportunities, mortgage information, housing resources, and much more. Additionally, helpful free workshops and one-on-one financial consultations were offered. The Housing Expo is an annual event hosted by First Home Alliance in cooperation with representatives from the City of Alexandria, the counties of Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William and Loudoun, the City of Falls Church and the Town of Herndon, as well as the Virginia Housing Development Authority.
South Patrick Street (Route 1 South) Housing Affordability Strategy
Housing needs questionnaires were mailed to each household at Olde Towne West III and The Heritage in late January 2019. Please contact Caridad Palerm with any questions at 703-746-4990 or stop by our informal on-site drop-in sessions in March. If you would like to coordinate a one-on-one meeting or require interpretation, please do not hesitate to contact us!
The South Patrick Street (Route 1 South) Housing Affordability Strategy was approved by City Council on September 15. Click here to read the final plan. To learn about the planning and implementation process, please contact Tamara Jovovic at 703-746-3097.
Vacancies on Housing Committees and Boards
The Alexandria Housing Affordability Advisory Committee has three vacancies: one vacancy for a person designated by, but who need not be a member of the Commission on Persons with Disabilities; one vacancy for a financial professional with knowledge and experience in the field of finance; and one vacancy for a representative of the City's small business community, including the retail, restaurant, or hospitality sectors. The Committee typically meets at 7:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month. For information on the committee, please contact Tamara Jovovic, Housing Planner, at 703-746-3097 or email@example.com. To apply, click here.
More Housing Updates
The Spire Project Awarded $1.12 Million from Virginia DHCD
The Spire project was awarded $1.12 million through the state's competitive Affordable and Special Needs Housing Loan program in February 2019. Administered by DHCD, the program combines state and federal resources—the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the federal National Housing Trust Fund, and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund—to support affordable housing projects and help expand permanent supportive housing options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Click here to learn more.
ARHA Breaks Ground on Ramsey Homes Redevelopment
On December 19, 2018, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) hosted a groundbreaking to celebrate the financial closing and redevelopment of Ramsey Homes on N. Patrick Street. Demolition, site development and archeologic studies began a few months ago.
The former 15-unit public housing property is being redeveloped into a 52-unit multifamily residential building with rents affordable to households earning from 30% to 60% of Area Median Income (AMI). As Daniel Bauman, Chair of the ARHA Board of Commissioners, stated, the redevelopment will be “mixed-income and [while] still providing deep affordability; also provides homes to a broader spectrum of people who need affordable housing.” The property is in a high amenity area proximate to Charles Houston Recreation Center, Alexandria Black History Museum, Braddock Interim Park, Braddock Road metro station, and neighborhood retail establishments. On-site amenities include at-grade open space and underground parking. The Ramsey Homes redevelopment represents continued progress in ARHA’s mission to transform its aging housing stock into high quality mixed-income affordable housing in Alexandria. This project is the result of community consultation, historic investigation, and collaboration with ARHA residents, including those impacted by the project.
To fund the project, ARHA was awarded Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, a competitive funding source administered by the Virginia Housing Development Authority. In addition to ARHA financial support for the project, the City of Alexandria provided ARHA a $3.6 million gap loan for Ramsey Homes, along with predevelopment grant funding. For more information, please contact Martin Lucero, ARHA Director of Development, at 703-549-7115.
The City of Alexandria Celebrates 2018 Housing Heroes
The City honored its 2018 “Housing Heroes” at a ceremony on November 13. The Housing Heroes program was launched by the Office of Housing in 2017 to recognize significant pro bono professional and corporate contributions to support City housing affordability programs and those they serve in our community. The Heroes honored this year were Danny Abramson of Abramson Properties, Cindy M. Clare of Bell Partners, Inc. (formerly with The Kettler Companies), Stephanie H. Oliver of Monument Title Company, Inc., Vanessa J. Rodriguez of RE/MAX Executives of Del Ray, and The Kettler Companies. At the ceremony, Mayor Silberberg and Councilman Chapman and Councilman Lovain presented a proclamation to the Heroes celebrating their contributions.
Housing Director Recognized for Contributions to Public Service
On October 18, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement awarded Alexandria's Office of Housing Director, Helen S. McIlvaine, with the Phyllis Campbell Newsome Public Policy Leadership Award for her contributions in public service. Annually, this honor recognizes four public officials who have demonstrated exceptional partnership with the nonprofit sector to ensure more vibrant communities.
During Ms. McIlvaine’s tenure, the City has successfully partnered with non-profit housing providers, faith organizations, and service providers to provide critically needed affordable housing in Alexandria. Partners have included Carpenter’s Shelter, Alexandria Housing Development Corporation, Community Lodgings, Inc., AHC, Inc., Wesley Housing, Church of the Resurrection, and the Harambee Community Development Corporation whose projects are delivering housing opportunities to hundreds of Alexandria households across the city.
Prior to her work in Alexandria, Ms. McIlvaine was Director of Real Estate Development for the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia, and Executive Director of Catholics for Housing. Click here to read the news release.
Rooftop Roots Urban Gardens at The Station at Potomac Yard in the News!
In partnership with Rooftop Roots, the Alexandria-based affordable housing developer, AHDC, advanced its community gardening program in response to a 2017 resident survey which identified “health and wellness” as an important resident service. With the assistance from 72 Spring2ACTion donors, AHDC was able to finance the conversion of the Station at Potomac Yard’s rooftop terrace garden from a bucket-based system to one with four raised planter beds dramatically increasing production capacity. Once a week during the growing season, harvested vegetables go directly to residents along with a recipe card. Events such as “movies and smoothies” nights demonstrate the versatility of the vegetables, and community classes turn simple ingredients into nutritious meals. AHDC plans to continue to expand this program; once construction has been completed, AHDC will install gardens at Lacy Court and The Bloom (the former Carpenter’s Shelter). Click here to view the news clip.