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.
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.
- 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.
Energy Masters Now Accepting Applications for 2019-2020 Training Program
Energy Masters, an award-winning program that promotes a more energy efficient and sustainable community, is now accepting community and student (age 16 or older) volunteer applications for the 2019-2020 training program, which begins in October. Volunteers complete a training course on energy efficiency and water conservation techniques to equip them to deliver community education and outreach programs in affordable housing communities in Northern Virginia. To date, more than 220 volunteers have been trained and performed thousands of hours of community service to improve energy efficiency in the homes of more than 950 families living in affordable housing in Arlington County and the City of Alexandria.
For more information about the program, including an overview of the program requirements and fall training dates, or to begin the application process, visit www.ecoactionarlington.org/community-programs/energy-masters or attend an informational happy hour on Thursday, July 25 from 6:00-8:00 pm at O’Sullivans Irish Pub in Arlington (3207 Washington Blvd). Apply before July 31 to receive a $25 early bird discount on the program fee. The application period closes on September 15, or earlier if the class has filled.
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 and mid May. Please contact Tamara Jovovic with any questions at 703-746-3097. 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.
More Housing Updates
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 City Released its Draft FY 2020 Action Plan for Housing and Community Development
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 closed on April 29.
- Notice of Public Hearing and Notice of Availability of the Draft 2020 One-Year Action Plan
- Draft Citizen Summary
The proposed amendment allows ARHA to submit a disposition plan to allow the repositioning of its public housing properties.
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. The project is expected to be completed in 2020.
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.