From Alliance for Housing Solutions <[email protected]>
Subject AHS April Update: Affordable Housing Wins in the County Budget and Looking Ahead
Date April 28, 2023 1:00 PM
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A victory in protecting affordable housing programs in FY 2024 and planning for the future

** Notes from the Executive Director
Dear AHS Friends and Supporters,

The work continues after last month's historic vote for Expanded Housing Options. In April, AHS focused on ensuring affordable housing programs were protected in the county's FY 2024 budget. I am happy to say that AHS was heard. As detailed later in this newsletter, the County Board approved more funding for affordable housing programs than initially recommended by the County Manager.

You might be asking what's next for AHS? The answer is quite a bit as our Board of Directors is currently undergoing a strategic planning process to chart our way forward for the next three years and beyond. We're keeping housing advocates and the community at large informed through the AHS/AHS Show on YouTube, where we give our take on critical issues of the moment as they relate to building an Arlington for Everyone. Our Community Conversations continue to be impactful and timely for advocates, volunteers, and others concerned about affordable housing. The future of AHS is busy, bold, and bright because of your passion, dedication, and work in creating a community where housing reflects our values.

We'd love to hear from you! Say hi on email, or stop by our social media pages. We're also recruiting volunteer board members who are dedicated, passionate, and committed to the work of affordable housing. If that's you or someone you know, keep reading on how to get involved.

With Gratitude,
Make A Donation ([link removed])


** Arlington County Board Approves $83 Million for Housing Programs in Adopted FY2024 Budget
On April 22, the Arlington County Board adopted its FY2024 budget which includes over $83 million for various housing programs. AHS was pleased to see a wide range of programs supporting at-risk households and insuring safe and decent housing. Advocates also saw an increase in AHIF funding, but not at a level needed to meet the demand for Committed Affordable Units (CAFs).

The FY2024 budget includes the following:
* $14.4 million for the County’s Housing Grant program
* $5.4 million for the Permanent Supportive Housing program
* $4.6 million for Eviction Prevention
* $20.5 million for the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF), by including $5.2 million from the Columbia Pike Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District
* $150,000 reinstated to continue CAF Inspections for 2024

NOTE: While the figure of $20.5 million for AHIF is higher than in the draft budget, it does include the $5.2 million being extracted from the Columbia Pike TIF. That $5.2 million TIF funding is being used to help pay the debt service on the County's Barcroft Apartments loan. Therefore, net figure of AHIF funds available for affordable housing development/preservation for the coming year is actually $15.3 million, which is $5.6 million higher than the initial $9.7 million proposed in the draft budget. While this can be counted as a win, it could also be seen as a small victory given that between $40 million and $50 million is actually needed per year to reach our County's 2040 goals for CAFs.

** AHS/AHS: Episode 2: Election Season 2023
Election season 2023 is upon us and we're covering all things at the ballot box in Episode 2 of the AHS/AHS Show! This episode, we explore the importance of local elections, take a look at the recent CivFed candidates forum to hear what the seven candidates for Arlington County Board had to say about Expanded Housing Options, and introduce you to Arlington County’s new ranked choice voting method to be used during the June 20th, 2023 Democratic Primary election for County Board.

Make sure you like and subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest from the AHS/AHS Show for insights from our Executive Director Charles McCullough and guests!

Watch the latest episode ([link removed])
Watch the first episode ([link removed])

** APAH Receives $200,000 Gift from Arlington Presbyterian Church to Help Residents Struggling to Pay Rent
The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) recently received $200,000 in funding from Arlington Presbyterian Church to help low-income residents facing eviction remain in their homes at four APAH-owned properties along Columbia Pike. This funding will help eliminate outstanding rent balances for as many as 200 APAH residents and their families.

“These relief programs provided lifelines for vulnerable residents to ensure their housing needs were met, and right now, low-income households everywhere are experiencing hardship now that the safety nets are no longer available,” said APAH President and CEO, Carmen Romero.

Romero continued, “APAH is committed to ensuring that its residents have a stable place to call home and we are grateful to have a partner like Arlington Presbyterian Church who shares our mission. Our hope is that APC’s generosity inspires more community partners to join them in helping our neighbors remain housed.”

** EVENT: Arlington Fair Housing Conference
On Saturday, April 29th, the NAACP's Arlington Branch, along with the Equal Rights Center and HOME of Virginia will host the second annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference. The conference will examine the threats and opportunities to fair housing in Arlington and across the region. This is one event you won't want to miss.
Register at:[link removed]

** EVENT: Housing Affordability, Rent Control and Homelessness Conference
On Sunday, April 30th, affordable housing advocates from across the country will convene at the St. Gregory Hotel in Washington, DC to participate in the Housing Affordability, Rent Control and Homelessness Conference.

With panels moderated by AHS Executive Director, Charles McCullough, and former Arlington Thrive Executive Director, Andrew Schneider, experts and advocates will illustrate how they have successfully campaigned for solutions to the affordable housing and homelessness crises at the local, state, and national levels and how they are passing legislation and ballot initiatives to address homelessness, enact and expand rent control, and increase low-income housing.

To register for this free conference, click here ([link removed]) .

* Sunday April 30, 2023

* 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT (doors open at 12:30 p.m.)

* St. Gregory Hotel Ballroom – 2033 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036

* Christian F. Nunez, President, National Organization for Women
* Donald Whitehead, Executive Director, National Coalition for the Homeless
* Susie Shannon, Policy Director, Housing Is A Human Right
* Hon. John Nolte, City Council Member, Pomona, CA
* Michael Kane, Director, Mass Alliance of HUD Housing
* Alan Minsky, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America
* Roderick Wilson, Lugenia Burns Hope Center (IL)
* Margaret Kaplan, President, Housing Justice Center (MN)
* Yesenia Miranda-Meza, Founder, Pomona United for Sustainable Housing (CA)
* Bobbi Lopez, Affordable Housing Now – San Francisco (CA)

If you’re interested in protecting tenants to prevent gentrification, preserving existing affordable housing, and producing new affordable housing units, this is the conference to attend.

** Meet the AHS Board: Jane Green
Our April AHS Meet the Board spotlight is on Jane Green. Jane has been involved with AHS through volunteer work and board service since 2018.

What drove your interest in AHS?

I got involved with AHS as a volunteer in early 2018, advocating for lowering the parking mandate for residential buildings and the new development at the Red Cross site. I was drawn to AHS because they not only believe in "Arlington for Everyone" but actively work to achieve a vision of affordable housing for all people at all stages of life. Volunteering with AHS taught me how to be civically engaged in Arlington, and has made me feel more connected to my new home. I've now lived in Arlington for eight years and I wouldn't feel as rooted without the community I met through AHS.

What are your AHS goals for 2023?

The Housing Arlington initiative will continue after the successful passage of Missing Middle zoning reform. I am most interested in working on the Multifamily Reinvestment Study. This initiative will draft updated zoning rules and incentives that seek to preserve housing for low-income families when aging properties are developed. If we are bold, Arlington can create a win-win scenario where redevelopment of older properties can both preserve and protect housing for low-income residents, while increasing the overall housing supply and replacing outdated buildings with new ones.


** AHS Seeking New Board Members
We're closing in on the end of April, but it's not too late to be part of National Volunteer Month. AHS is looking for committed and dedicated board members who want to lead the way in creating an Arlington for Everyone. Let us know if you have the time and interest in helping AHS advocate for affordable housing by completing the Volunteer Board Member Interest Form on our website, which you can accesshere ([link removed]) !

Looking Forward

** Plan Langston Boulevard
Get Ready! The draft Plan for Langston Boulevard is being formulated now to reflect community and commission input collected to date. It will include the vision, goals, policy recommendations, and short- and long-term strategies for Langston Boulevard.

Additional public engagement and affordable housing advocacy opportunities will take place once the draft is released this year. AHS will share details and dates as soon as they are set.

Go to: [link removed] to learn more about the plan and view video presentations on Plan Langston Boulevard.


** Join an AHS Group

** Learn and Share in Policy Discussions
Become a member of the Alliance for Housing Solutions community on the platform to learn, share ideas, and be part of policy discussions. We currently offer the following groups:

** Housing Action Arlington ([link removed])

This coalition of housing and service providers and advocates meets online monthly to share information, plan strategies, and advocate on a range of housing issues in Arlington. Join here ([link removed])

[link removed]

** Missing Middle Network ([link removed])

Join a group of people committed to increasing the diversity of options and price points of housing in Arlington. Join here ([link removed])

[link removed]

** Accessory Dwelling Discussion Group ([link removed])

In this group, homeowners, architects, and realtors ask questions, share best practices, and provide support for those interested in developing accessory dwellings. Join here ([link removed])

[link removed]
Increasing the supply of affordable housing through education, policy, advocacy, and innovation.
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Arlington, VA 22207
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