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Arlington County Board Sets Course on Affordable Housing

At its monthly meeting this morning, the Arlington County Board voted to advertise public hearings in September by both the Planning Commission and the Arlington County Board on the Affordable Housing Master Plan (AHMP) and the accompanying Implementation Framework (IF). (Item #43 on the June 13, 2014 agenda)

Citizens can watch the portion of the Board meeting devoted to whether the public hearing should be advertised to the affordable housing master plan. From the link above, go to the agenda, and then click-on the title of item #43.

We growled about the AHMP and IF on June 7, 2014, after the Civic Federation voted to adopt them. We also growled on June 11, 2014, about two op-eds discussing AHMP and IF, which appeared earlier that day on the local news site, ARLnow.com. The second op-ed suggested the need for a detailed analysis of the plan on other community services and on taxes as well as a balanced conversation of the plan's impact. The author suggested that final action on these plans be deferred until after the November election.

Well, the County Board met the community halfway, at least in deferring the public hearings. It set the pubic hearings in September. More details can be found in the county's post-meeting press release. Also, on questioning by one Board member, staff admitted they "haven't produced a cost estimate for the plan." However, they said it would be possible to produce a "low- medium- high-" cost estimate for particular tools available to the Board, e.g., the AHIF loan program.

As we previously noted, the Manager admits she is unable to estimate the cost of all the affordable housing promised by these plans, using the phrase "no immediate financial commitment." Consequently, we urge the Board to adopt the recommendations of the second op-ed writer mentioned above.

We will growl much more about this issue between now and the hearings in September. Residents of Arlington wishing to keep up to date should contact ACTA. You should also contact members of the Arlington County Board. The only voice expressing concern about the effect that implementation of AHMP and IF will have on Arlington County comes from Arlington Yupette (AY), on June 3, 2015, the day after the Civic Federation's June meeting. AY suggested the county will become more urban and expensive as a result of the three items discussed by Federation delegates -- one of which was the AHMP and IF.

Given the fiscal implications for taxpayers of Arlington County, we urge Growls readers to review not only the two policy documents -- 1) Affordable Housing Master Plan and 2) Implementation Framework -- but also the R&E committee's report cited in the second ARLnow.com op-ed, and then contact members of the Arlington County Board. You can reach them by clicking-on the link below, or call them:

  • Call the County Board office at (703) 228-3130

And tell them ACTA sent you.

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