Draft 2021 Annual Action Plan Released for Housing and Community Development
The Draft City Fiscal Year (CY) 2021 Action Plan is available for public comment from Thursday, March 19 through Monday, April 20. A public hearing will be held before City Council on Saturday, April 18, beginning at 9:30 am, at City Hall, 301 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia. Due to the Governor's Executive Order #55 in response to COVID-19, hardcopies of the document are available upon advance request only. To submit comments on the Draft Plan or to obtain the document in a format accessible to persons with disabilities, please email Kim Cadena at email@example.com or mail comments to the Office of Housing (attn. Kim Cadena), PO Box 178, Alexandria, VA 22314.
On January 28, 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 (VHDA), 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 will make 130 units at the property affordable to households with incomes up to 60% of the area median income (AMI) (equal to approximately $51,000 for a household of one and $73,000 for a household of four). In addition, 114 units will become affordable to households with incomes up to 80% AMI (equal to approximately $68,000 for a household of one and $97,000 for a household of four). It is estimated that approximately 15,000 low- and moderate-income renter households in Alexandria spend more than 30% of their gross household income on housing and face challenges paying for necessities, such as groceries, daycare and healthcare, building savings, and investing in education (ACS 2013-2017 5-Year Estimates). The remaining 82 apartments at Parkstone will continue to rent at market rates. Income restrictions on the building will be phased in over time, and no current tenants will be 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 the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) 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
Draft Amendment to ARHA's 2020 Annual Agency Plan
Written comments may be submitted to the Alexandria Redevelopment & Housing Authority (ARHA) on the agency's proposed amendments to the FY 2020 Annual Agency Plan at 401 Wythe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com through March 20th, 2020. The following amendments are being proposed: two amendments to ARHA’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCVP) Administrative Plan (a new chapter adding the Mainstream Voucher Program and an amendment to update the HCVP waiting list preferences) and one amendment to ARHA’s Admissions and Continued Occupancy Program (ACOP) Plan to update the Public Housing waiting list preferences. Click here to download proposed amendments.
A hard copy of the amendments to the Annual Agency Plan Draft can be obtained at 401 Wythe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 and at the Beatley Central Library at 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria VA. For further information or requests for reasonable accommodations, please contact Denise Kaffka, Quality Assurance Specialist II at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703.549.7115, extension 176.
“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.
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. Please also see the links below to learn about the City's housing response.
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.
New! Join us at an upcoming meetings for the Arlandria and Del Ray Plan Updates! Click here to learn more.
More Housing Updates
The Spire Celebrates Groundbreaking
On June 18, AHC Inc. in partnership with the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, and along with members of City Council, broke ground on The Spire, a 113-unit affordable housing development located on land owned by the Church. The Spire will provide one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments affordable to households with incomes ranging from 40 to 60 percent of the area median income (which in 2019 ranges from $34,000 for a 1-person household at 40% AMI to $72,780 for a 4-person household at 60% AMI). Located at 2280 North Beauregard Street, the project serves as one of three City-sponsored “leveraged” projects envisioned by its 2012 Beauregard Small Area Plan and will help the City fulfill its pledge to work with nonprofits and private developers to deliver 800 long-term committed affordable units in the Beauregard Corridor over the next few decades to address the potential loss of market affordable units in that area of the City. As part of the redevelopment, the Church will construct a new smaller building on the southern portion of the site.
In addition to providing twelve fully accessible units and twelve deeply affordable units, the project will incorporate Universal Design features, achieve LEED Silver certification, and include a community room and landscaped terrace. Structured parking and streetscape improvements are also planned as part of the redevelopment. Strategically located immediately adjacent to the future West End Transitway, the Spire will be well positioned to provide convenient access to jobs, amenities, schools and services that will benefit those who make their home there. The nearly $50 million project has secured funding from numerous sources, including competitive tax credit equity, commercial financing, a $1.12 million grant from the National and State Housing Trust Fund, and $9.9 million loan and a $350,000 rental assistance grant from the City.
The City Releases The Spire Environmental Assessment - June 6, 2019
- Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact and Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds
- Environmental Assessment - The Spire
The proposed amendment allows ARHA to submit a disposition plan to allow the repositioning of its public housing properties.
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.