City Initiates Study on Co-Housing
Learn about what co-housing is, why the City is studying this housing type, and how to become in engaged in the discussion by visiting the project website. Join us at the April 20th Virtual Open House.
The Spire Announces Opening Date on March 26: Apply Today!
The Spire, a brand-new apartment community located at 2857 N. Beauregard, is now leasing affordable and accessible apartments ranging in size from one to three-bedrooms. To apply, please visit the leasing webpage. For questions, please contact email@example.com.
The community has 113 apartment homes with rents affordable at 40% to 60% of the area median income. The apartments feature upgraded appliances and spacious floorplans; community amenities include a fitness center, community room, laundry facility, and covered parking.
This exciting project serves as one of three City-sponsored “leveraged” projects envisioned by its 2012 Beauregard Small Area Plan and will help the City fulfill its pledge to work with nonprofits and private developers to deliver 800 long-term committed affordable units in the Beauregard Corridor over the next few decades to address the potential loss of market affordable units in that area of the City. As part of the redevelopment, the Church has constructed a new smaller building on the southern portion of the site.
In addition to creating twelve fully accessible units and twelve deeply affordable units, the project incorporates Universal Design features, achieves LEED Silver certification, and provides structured parking and streetscape improvements. Strategically located immediately adjacent to the future West End Transitway, the Spire will be well positioned to provide convenient access to jobs, amenities, schools and services that will benefit those who make their home there. The nearly $50 million project has secured funding from numerous sources, including competitive tax credit equity, commercial financing, a $1.12 million grant from the National and State Housing Trust Fund, and $9.9 million loan and a $350,000 rental assistance grant from the City.
Accessory Dwelling Unit Recommendations Approved with Amendments
Learn about the City's ADU Study recommendations and City Council amendments.
City Receives 2020 Audrey Nelson Community Development Award
The City of Alexandria’s Office of Housing has been awarded the National Community Development Association’s (NCDA) prestigious Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award for its support of the construction of The Bloom/Carpenter’s Shelter. The project, an innovative partnership between the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) and Carpenter’s Shelter, colocates 97 units of affordable housing with a shelter that can accommodate up to sixty individuals experiencing homelessness. Ten of the affordable units are designated as permanent supportive housing for persons exiting homelessness. The property also features a playground, three outdoor terraces, a 1,600 square foot food production garden, and TransitScreen technology, along with a modernized day shelter, David's Place, and winter shelter.
AHDC was offered the opportunity to obtain the air rights above Carpenter’s Shelter property in exchange for building a new shelter. The development of The Bloom was funded by Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity, Virginia Housing loan funds, City of Alexandria Housing Trust Fund, federal Home Investment Partnerships Program funding, and additional loans from the City of Alexandria. The Bloom was also the first development in Alexandria to receive Virginia and National Housing Trust Fund awards in 2018.
This project is an example of how federal funding administered through local governments can support innovative partnerships between diverse kinds of housing organizations to the benefit of all. Working together, AHDC and Carpenter’s Shelter have created a unique development that provides housing for low-income families, as well as emergency shelter and supportive services for those experiencing homelessness.
In 2018, the City of Alexandria, Community Lodgings, Inc. (CLI), and HomeAid of Northern Virginia were awarded the Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award for their collaboration the substantial renovation of CLI’s multifamily building located at 607 Notabene Drive.
Update on Revised Draft 2021 Annual Action Plan for Housing and Community Development
The comment period on the Draft City Fiscal Year (CY) 2021 Action Plan has closed. A public hearing on the Revised Draft Plan was held on April 18, and the Plan was approved by City Council. Due to the Governor's Executive Order #55 in response to COVID-19, hardcopies of the approved Draft Plan are available upon request only. To request a hardcopy or to obtain the document in a format accessible to persons with disabilities, please email Kim Cadena.
On January 28, the Alexandria-based Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) purchased Parkstone Alexandria (formerly called Avana Alexandria Apartments), a 326-unit rental property at 3001 Park Center Drive. Made possible through an innovative partnership among AHDC, JBG SMITH’s Washington Housing Initiative Impact Pool, the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), and the City of Alexandria, the acquisition of the property will help preserve and expand an important affordable and workforce housing resource to support the City’s and region’s growing labor force.
AHDC’s plan will make 130 units at the property affordable to households with incomes up to 60% of the area median income (AMI) (equal to approximately $51,000 for a household of one and $73,000 for a household of four). In addition, 114 units will become affordable to households with incomes up to 80% AMI (equal to approximately $68,000 for a household of one and $97,000 for a household of four). It is estimated that approximately 15,000 low- and moderate-income renter households in Alexandria spend more than 30% of their gross household income on housing and face challenges paying for necessities, such as groceries, daycare and healthcare, building savings, and investing in education (ACS 2013-2017 5-Year Estimates). The remaining 82 apartments at Parkstone will continue to rent at market rates. Income restrictions on the building will be phased in over time, and no current tenants will be displaced.
The project would not have been possible without a complex layering of funding. JBG SMITH is providing a $15.1 million mezzanine loan from its Impact Pool, the financing component of JBG SMITH’s Washington Housing Initiative. The Initiative is a transformational market-driven approach to preserve and create affordable workforce housing throughout the DC metropolitan region. The Initiative’s focus is on “the missing middle“, i.e., households who earn too much for traditional rental assistance, but who still struggle to pay for housing.
The purchase also represents the first use of a new financing tool offered by the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) as part of its commitment to invest in housing infrastructure in response to Amazon’s decision to locate HQ2 in Northern Virginia. As part of its dedication of $15 million per year for five years to help Northern Virginia jurisdictions meet housing challenges related to economic development, VHDA provided $5 million in grant funds to preserve Parkstone at the City’s request. VHDA is also providing a senior loan of $82.5 million for the project. An $8 million City of Alexandria loan completes the funding package.
Mayor Justin Wilson noted that “AHDC’s plan reflects Alexandria’s deep commitment to enhancing and preserving affordable housing, community diversity and economic sustainability, and it showcases the type of creative financing and partnerships envisioned by our Housing Master Plan."
“We Believe Your Past Does Not Define Your Future"
Friends of Guest House, an established Alexandria nonprofit that helps formerly incarcerated women reenter the community, celebrated the opening of its second residential program in October 2019. With contributions from HomeAid Northern Virginia, Craftmark Homes, and a $145,000 loan from the City’s Housing Trust Fund, Friends of Guest House renovated a former office building in Old Town expanding the organization’s capacity by 20 percent (from 26 to 31 participants) and consolidating several of its scattered units. In addition to new living spaces, the site features an on-site computer lab, counseling areas, and accessible accommodations. Since its founding in 1974, Friends of Guest House has helped more than 4,000 women through an intensive and supportive six-month program break the cycle of incarceration, reunite with their families, and reintegrate into their communities and the workforce.
Amazon.com, Inc, announced on November 13 that it has chosen Arlington County to establish a major new headquarters. Arlington and the City of Alexandria, after working together for the last year in a unique and unprecedented regional partnership, are announcing that Amazon will locate in National Landing, a newly branded neighborhood encompassing parts of Pentagon City and Crystal City in Arlington and Potomac Yard in Alexandria. The Commonwealth’s announcement also includes news of a new partnership with Virginia Tech to develop a revolutionary Innovation Campus to fill demand for high-tech talent in National Landing and beyond. Click here to learn more. Please also see the links below to learn about the City's housing response.
A seminar on how National Landing may impact the City's housing market was held on April 16 at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. Click here to download the presentations by Jeannette Chapman, Deputy Director and Senior Research Associate at The Stephen S. Fuller Institute at George Mason University and Helen McIlvaine, Director of the Office of Housing at the City of Alexandria.
Learn about opportunities to participate in the Arlandria and Del Ray Plan Updates! Click here to learn more.
The City Releases The Spire Environmental Assessment - June 6, 2019
- Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact and Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds
- Environmental Assessment - The Spire
The proposed amendment allows ARHA to submit a disposition plan to allow the repositioning of its public housing properties.
Rooftop Roots Urban Gardens at The Station at Potomac Yard in the News!
In partnership with Rooftop Roots, the Alexandria-based affordable housing developer, AHDC, advanced its community gardening program in response to a 2017 resident survey which identified “health and wellness” as an important resident service. With the assistance from 72 Spring2ACTion donors, AHDC was able to finance the conversion of the Station at Potomac Yard’s rooftop terrace garden from a bucket-based system to one with four raised planter beds dramatically increasing production capacity. Once a week during the growing season, harvested vegetables go directly to residents along with a recipe card. Events such as “movies and smoothies” nights demonstrate the versatility of the vegetables, and community classes turn simple ingredients into nutritious meals. AHDC plans to continue to expand this program; once construction has been completed, AHDC will install gardens at Lacy Court and The Bloom (the former Carpenter’s Shelter). Click here to view the news clip.