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M Krocker (user 325) - Comments by Date

Thank you for this opportunity to provide comments on the City’s Draft Housing Master Plan. As a coalition of affordable housing developers, homeless service providers, community-based organizations and advocates who serve extremely low and moderate income individuals and families, we are unanimous in our support of the fact that securing safe, affordable housing is the greatest challenge facing the families we serve, so we applaud the City for addressing this issue in a thoughtful, comprehensive way.

Upon review of the draft, we would like to offer the following recommendations:

• While significant data was referenced in the Plan regarding the need for affordable housing, no goals or targets for developing units were identified. We recommend that a process to establish annual goals or targets be developed, as well as an annual review to assess whether those goals are met;
• Strategies to provide revenue for housing production and preservation should be adopted. In particular, a dedicated revenue stream would provide certainty for developments that seek public financing as a portion of a project’s source of funds. We support the City’s recommendation to increase developer’s fees on residential and commercial development to support affordable housing;
• Ensuring housing opportunities for households of all incomes is a regional challenge and one in which the entire metro area should be actively engaged. We support the City’s outreach to neighboring jurisdictions to share and learn best practices on preservation, regulatory and financial tools and land use planning to address unmet housing needs in Alexandria.

With the loss of over 10,000 market affordable units in the last decade, rising rents, and redevelopment of the Beauregard corridor, lower income families are being priced out of Alexandria. This Plan is an important first step to ensure that sufficient housing options help Alexandria remain a successful, diverse and sustainable community with fair and equitable opportunities for all of its citizens. We look forward to working with City staff and Council to refine the draft Plan and adopt a document that contains the implementation strategies and oversight mechanisms as well as the financial tools necessary to address the City’s housing needs.
Alexandria Housing Development Corporation
ALIVE! (Alexandrians Involved Ecumenically)
Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless
Community Lodgings
Friends of Guest House
Governing Board of the Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness
New Hope Housing
Nonprofit NoVA
Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance
Offender Aid and Restoration
Rebuilding Together Alexandria
Wesley Housing Development Corporation

M Krocker (325) | User | February 7, 2013 - 1:40 PM | Alexandria Housing Master Plan