Arlington officials have been discussing strategies to improve access to reliable housing for the county’s 225,000 residents. Arlington County has had an abundance of housing for upper middle class citizens, but has struggled to keep up with demand for working class families moving to the area. They have recently started replacing old restaurants and vacant single family homes with apartments and townhouses.
500 Multifamily Housing Units Are Being Constructed
Patricia Sullivan of the Washington Post recently wrote that Arlington County is in the process of constructing over 500 multi-family apartments and townhouses. These units are taking the place of a restaurant, church and a number of abandoned single family homes.
The new initiative is part of Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund. The developer working on the project was required to spend $2.2 million to provide housing access to low income families.
This is among the first of many attempts Arlington officials are making under a new plan to bring housing to a growing base of low income people. The Arlington County Board adopted the first Affordable Housing Master Plan on September 19 and has been trying to implement it over the last couple of months.
Another developer was hired by the county to replace four houses that were nearly a century old. The site will be used to construct 12 townhouses by early next year.
Dozens of new apartments and townhouses will be marketed to elderly citizens on fixed incomes, while others will be reserved for citizens with disabilities. County officials are confident that facilitating construction will benefit countless families and elderly adults.
County Board Lauds New Housing Units
The County Board is confident that the new apartments and townhouses will alleviate the challenges many working class families have faced trying to find a place to live in Arlington County. Board Chairwoman Mary H. Hynes is among the members that praised the recent contract.
“Ballston is in the midst of an important transformation that is bringing more housing and retail to the neighborhood along with new public gathering spaces,” Hynes told the Washington Post.
While progress is encouraging, the new housing units are only the beginning of a long-term plan. The Arlington County Board will also be issuing $18 million in loans to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing. The county intends to meet with the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing and various contractors in the coming year to discuss solutions to the affordable housing problem.