Affordable Housing Education Week starts now and runs through Sept. 21, and the Arlington Alliance for Housing Solutions has events lined up to discuss the issue from a few different angles: housing and economic growth; housing design and affordability; and the issues facing “Gen. Y” young adults.
“We have housing support programs of which we should be proud,” said AHS’s Mary Rouleau at the county board meeting Saturday. “But we also face considerable affordability challenges.”
According to a brochure by AHS, 37 percent of Arlington’s apartments are “Market Rate Affordable”--called MARKs--for people making up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income. Because they are not “committed” affordable--CAFs--there is no guarantee they will remain affordable.
The challenges as laid out in the brochure: preserve MARKs or convert them to CAFs; figure out where Gen.Y will live (other than their parents’ basements); and make the best use of limited resources.
Saturday morning, County Board Chair Mary Hynes mentioned a three- to five-year housing study the county is conducting. A meeting about the scope of the study will be held this Saturday at Wakefield High School. It’s a longer-range plan that looks at gaps in the needs versus the services, Hynes said.
Although a housing discussion was not part of the agenda, board members Walter Tejada and Chris Zimmerman pounced on the length of that study. They fear that a housing study will delay action. County Manager Barbara Donnellan said staff could handle both active pursuit of housing and a study.