Letter: County Board support of Arlington affordable housing remains critical – InsideNoVa.com – February 19, 2015
Arlington, VA — Editor: As the volunteer chair of the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) and an Arlington resident for almost 35 years, I am writing to thank Arlington County leadership for taking a progressive role to maintain housing affordability in our award-winning community.
I moved to Arlington and raised my family here because living in a diverse and inclusive community was important to my wife and me. Recently, I have witnessed the slow transformation of our county into a less inclusive community as a result of successful county development policies with an unfortunate side effect of pricing some residents out of their apartments.
APAH is working with the County Board to help stem that tide so that all Arlington residents can benefit from the extraordinary economic growth we have had. APAH is seeking board approval for the 229-unit Columbia Hills Apartments, which will house families earning between roughly $20,000 – $64,000 a year.
This much-needed housing will be built on APAH’s own land in the Columbia Forest neighborhood at the western end of Columbia Pike.
The proposed new property will fully comply with the Columbia Pike Form-Based Code and the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Area Plan. The new property will have virtually zero land cost, because we are building on our own land. This creates a cost-effective means of funding new, quality apartments. Underground parking and elevators will improve accessibility for people are disabled and allow residents to age in place. The property will also include three-bedroom units for families.
Arlington is a very desirable place to live. The private market provides many housing options for higher income households but falls short when it comes to people who work at lower paying jobs – teacher’s aides, hospital workers, bus drivers, custodians and wait staff – people we see and depend on every day.