When we were in grad school, I convinced my soon-to-be wife, Renee, to come across the river to Arlington. Twenty years later, we've lived in 3 locations, moving from a high-rise in Rosslyn to a garden apartment, and ultimately to a small bungalow, near the Metro, which we expanded as our family grew to 5 plus a dog and a cat.
Housing affordability was key to my own story and remains a critical component of the progressive values which I espouse. I’ve seen its importance from many perspectives. As an employer, I've seen the challenge that housing affordability presents to my employees. As a member of the Doorways for Women and Families board, I know that finding affordable housing is the critical first step for victims of domestic violence who are restarting their lives. As the son watching his mother struggle to find single-floor living, I understand the challenges seniors face with an extremely limited supply of aging-friendly homes and apartments. And, as a father, I hope my daughters will have the option of calling Arlington home when they put down roots.
But I’ve also seen housing prices across all housing types climb here in ways that seem unbelievable. Arlington IS a great place to live, but it's getting harder and harder to both put down roots here and stay rooted if a smaller home is what you need as your family shrinks.
As a County Board member, I will:
- Build a coalition of residents, home builders, planners and government to promote the creation of the medium density "missing middle" along our major commercial corridors.
- Build support for ordinance updates that modernize the definition of “family” and enable home sharing.
- Continue to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of the Tax Increment Financing policies on Columbia Pike and Countywide.
- Collaborate to identify changes to our zoning ordinance to make it easier for seniors to age-in-place.
- Tirelessly support the goals of the 2015 Affordable Housing Master Plan.
- Continue annual funding for the Affordable Housing Investment Fund and Housing grants.
- Continue the strong partnerships with nonprofit housing providers as well as others in the non-profit community who provide services to those who live in affordable housing.
- Explore "right-sizing parking requirements” for affordable housing projects.
- Strengthen regional cooperation in order to pool funding resources targeted to increase the region-wide Affordable Housing supply and leverage additional funding.
- Work with our state delegation to create a special property class for Affordable Housing buildings that would lower the tax-burden for these properties, thereby making them more affordable.
- Encourage and support the community-centered Arlington Villages program that leverages additional community assets to support aging-in-place for low and medium income seniors.