Arlington County Board -- More Than Just Subsidizing Housing?
The Arlington County Board has been using taxpayer money for many years to subsidize so-called affordable housing. For Fiscal Year 2007, for example, the adopted FY2007 budget shows the county will spend almost $40 million on various housing programs.
Now, however, the Manager is asking the County Board for authority to deal in condominiums, according to Scott McCaffrey writing in the September 28 Arlington Sun-Gazette. McCaffrey reports that “County Board members on Sept. 19 deferred until next month a proposal that would, if approved, result in the county government purchasing 30 units in condo projects along the Metro corridor at reduced rates, re-sell them at market rates, and plow the profits into affordable housing outside the corridor. The 30 affordable units had been included by developers of projects on Wilson and Clarendon boulevards and North Monroe, Kansas, Pollard and Nelson streets as part of a give-and-take with the county government and local residents. After the approvals, county staff concluded that the government's housing goals would be better served by being able to provide more units, particularly rental units, off the Metro corridor. The current proposal has been floating around for several months.”
We looked, but couldn’t find, the Manager’s detailed report (item #76) on the County Board’s September 19 agenda. The text that is there indicates the Manager is asking the Board to set-aside $2.5 million for the purchase of 30 units.