Housing News & Announcements

Obtain updates on new programs and initiatives related to affordable housing in Alexandria. You can also subscribe to the City’s eNews alerts to receive regular news updates about Affordable Housing Opportunities.

Page updated on Jul 15, 2016 at 3:37 PM

The City and AHC Inc Celebrate the Groundbreaking for St. James PlazaSt James Plaza Groundbreaking July 66, 6066(6)

On July 13th, AHC Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing developer, partners and City of Alexandria officials celebrated the groundbreaking for St. James Plaza, 93 new affordable apartments adjacent to Alexandria’s Beauregard neighborhood. The project, located on a portion of a three-acre site previously owned by the St. James United Methodist Church and the Bi-District Office of the Northern Virginia Methodist Church, expects to welcome residents in late 2018. The remainder of the site will have a public landscaped mews and 31 new market-rate townhomes.

St. James Plaza will include a mix of efficiencies, one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes. Amenities will include underground parking and a community space where a full day pre-kindergarten program will be offered by the Campagna Center for residents’ children as well as children from the neighborhood. Rents will be affordable to households with incomes ranging from 40% to 60% of the Area Median Income.

“The St. James Plaza project will provide a valuable affordable housing resource – including deeply subsidized apartments – for Alexandria residents,” said Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg. “We are particularly pleased to be working with AHC to create long-term committed affordable units for households in the Beauregard Plan area who may be displaced by future redevelopment. These units will be affordable for at least 60 years.”

In addition to the City of Alexandria, which is providing a loan of $5.7 million to AHC for the project, St. James Plaza partners include Capital One Bank, Hudson Housing Capital, and NeighborWorks of America. Demolition of the existing buildings is scheduled to begin in the next couple of weeks, with construction of St. James Plaza to start later this year. Designed by Cunningham-Quill Architects, St. James is being built by Harkins Builders.

Own a Home in Alexandria–Introducing Cambria Square

The City of Alexandria Office of Housing is now marketing Affordable Homeownership Units at Pulte Homes’ Cambria Square community.  Cambria Square is a new condominium and townhome development in Alexandria’s West End. It is close to shopping, transit, parks, and other neighborhood amenities. In total, 4 three-bedroom units will be available to income-eligible first-time homebuyers at this new community which is located at 120 S. Picket Street. The set-aside affordable housing units will be priced at $275,000. Monthly community fees are projected to be $184.  

The first unit is expected to be ready in September 2016 with the remaining three units becoming available December 2016 through March 2017.  In order to be considered for these purchases, applicants must be first-time homebuyers (no ownership interest in the most recent three-year period), live or work in the City of Alexandria, and have a gross annual household income below the following limits: 

Household Size         2016 Annual Gross Household Income Limits for Homebuyers of City Set-Aside Sales Units
 1-person $76,020
 2-person $86,880
 3-person $97,740
 4-person $108,600
 5-person $108,600
 6-person $108,600

The City can provide up to $50,000 in no-interest, deferred payment closing cost and downpayment assistance toward the purchase of these units through its Flexible Homeownership Assistance Program (FHAP). Additional information on income eligibility and FHAP assistance amounts can be found here

The City will accept applications for these units beginning June 27.  Because of anticipated high demand for these homes, it is expected that purchasers will be selected through a random lottery among all eligible homebuyers. Please note that larger households (3 or more people) will be given priority status for these homes. Interested buyers not selected for the first available unit will remain in the pool of eligible buyers for the three remaining units. The drawing for the first available unit will be held on July 22.  It is currently anticipated that the second lottery will be held in October 2016.

To be considered for the lottery, interested buyers must submit the following documents:

Additional information on the City's Affordable Set-Aside Sales Units Program, including basic eligibility requirements, buyer selection process, and purchaser requirements can be found here.  

Selected homebuyers should be prepared to offer an earnest money deposit of $2,000 at the time of signing the purchase agreement. Purchasers are expected to secure mortgage financing from one of the lenders currently participating in the City’s programs. Click here for a list of participating lenders. 

Homebuyers may visit the sales office to learn more about the available homes. Pulte Homes, the developer of Cambria Square is marketing the units from a sales office located at 2606 Main Line Boulevard, Alexandria, VA 22301.

For more information about the basic requirements, the lottery process, and obligations of the homebuyer, contact Brandi Collins at the Office of Housing at 703.746.4990 or visit www.alexandriava.gov/housing

Office of Housing Holds Beauregard Area Tenant Meeting

On June 29th the Office of Housing held its third meeting with tenants affected by the Beauregard Small Area Plan. Staff provided information about the affordable efficiency and one bedroom units at Southern Towers (available to tenants on the Beauregard Area Plan waitlist) and the City's Flexible Homeownership Assistance Program. Commonwealth One Federal Credit Union presented a short introduction on financial literacy. The Office of Housing provided snacks and fun activities for children attending the meeting with their parents. The next Beauregard Tenants Meeting will take place at the William Ramsey Recreation Center in November. For more information, please contact Caridad Palerm at 703-746-3079 or at caridad.palerm@alexandriava.gov.     

Virginia Housing Development Authority Announces Enhancements to Accessibility Programs 

The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) has announced a number of changes to its Rental Unit Accessibility Modification (RUAM) Program, an initiative which offers grant funding to assist lower income Virginians with disabilities in completing residential accessibility modifications. The program now offers two tiers of assistance grants—lower income households can receive up to $2,800 for accessibility retrofits, while qualified individuals holding Intellectual Disability  or Developmental Disability waivers may be eligible for a grant of up to $10,000 for such improvements. The City’s Office of Housing serves as a Community Agent for the RUAM program and assists residents with the application, contractor selection and reimbursement process. To learn more, click here or contact Brandi Collins at 703-746-4990.

Learn about the City's Housing Services and Programs in One Handy Guide

A summary of our homebuyer, homeowner, renter, and homelessness prevention services and programs is now available in one handy resource guide! Click here to learn about the housing services and programs offered by the Office of Housing and its sister agencies and partners. Our new guide includes contact and eligibility information, in addition to links to the Department of Community and Human Services, the Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority, the Office of Human Rights, the Virginia Department of Social Services, Rebuilding Together Alexandria, and area shelters. 

Also download the guide in SpanishArabic and Amharic

Buying Your First Home? Check out the Power of Mortgage Credit Certificates!

Buying your first home? VHDA is now offering Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCCs)—a dollar-for-dollar credit against your federal tax liability. The credit is equal to 20% of your annual mortgage interest and is effective for the life of the mortgage, as long as you live in the property. You must request the MCC prior to purchasing your property. Watch this informative video for more details. You can also click here to learn more about VHDA’s  MCC program.

Learn about the Impact of City's Housing Trust Fund!

The City's Housing Trust Fund (HTF) has played a critical role in providing affordable housing opportunities and choices to Alexandria residents and workers. Since the first contributions were pledged almost 30 years ago, the HTF has leveraged over $150 million dollars in private and public financing to construct and preserve more than 1,100 affordable units and prepare Alexandrians for homeownership. It has enabled homeowners and renters to remain in their homes by funding necessary repairs and improvements and has assisted families struggling with the threat of homelessness. To learn about its history and past accomplishments, please read our new report—The City of Alexandria’s Housing Trust Fund: From the 1980’s to Today.