Join Club

Report: 374,000 New Homes Needed to Alleviate Housing Shortfalls

(Updated on 9/11/19) The D.C. area needs 374,000 new homes in the region to keep up with population growth and prevent a Bay Area-like increase in housing prices, according to a new report.

Local leaders will vote on a resolution expanding their housing goals at the next Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) meeting in D.C. on Wednesday, September 11. The vote comes after the Urban Institute’s 130-page report on the region’s housing needs, which predicts 220,000 families could be at risk of displacement if the goals are not met.

Senior Research Associate Leah Hendey, one of the report’s authors, said there exists a “window of opportunity available right now” for leaders to fix the housing unit shortage before it displaces more residents and makes business difficult.

In Arlington, the study noted 20,000 households may be at risk of displacement. Rising housing prices in the wake of Amazon’s arrival combined with the county’s dwindling stock has long worried advocates that lower-income residents could be pushed out.

“The arrival of new businesses, jobs, and residents could intensify today’s housing challenges unless the region’s leaders come together to address them,” noted the report.

“Overall 29% of Arlington residents are cost-burdened,” Hendey told ARLnow today (Friday). “So they’re paying more than 30% of income.”

However, the report also found that many renters could afford higher rents, but chose to live in lower-rent housing units — which likely further exacerbated the affordable housing squeeze for those at lower income levels.

“That didn’t really surprise us,” said Hendey. “People want to minimize their housing costs so they have money for other things.”

The Urban Institute’s data indicates that Arlington would need 9,700 more housing units renting at under $800 a month, and 4,100 units under $1,300 a month, to meet its needs. On the other hand, the report pointed to a surplus in higher-end units: 18,600 more units than needed in the units in the range of $1,300-$3,500 or more a month.

Henley summarized the report’s recommendations for meeting affordable housing needs as a “three-prong framework” to focuses on preserving existing stock, producing more of the right kind, and protecting renter and buyers from displacement.

The authors recommend not just ramping up construction of additional housing stock, but also finding ways to streamline permitting processes and make use of public land and vacant lots.

The report also recommends allowing more multi-family projects on properties zoned for single-family housing, through the use of accessory dwelling units. It found that 73% of Arlington’s residential space is zoned for single-family houses, which is lower than D.C.’s 80%, and Fairfax County’s 95%.

The report itself was funded with grants from the Greater Washington Partnership and JPMorgan Chase.

Earlier this month, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair at Large Phyllis Randall remarked that area residents needed to start understanding affordable housing as meaning suitable housing for the elderly, people with disabilities, and debt-ridden college graduates.

“I want them in the area,” Randall said of her children seeking housing they could afford. “Not in my basement.”

“I think that people view the word affordable housing as only for poor people, or of people with extremely low incomes, but I think that everyone need housing that is suitable for them.” Henley said. “We need the housing market to work for everyone.”

Graph via Urban Institute

Recent Stories

A Woodbridge man is facing a litany of charges after an attempt to flee from police ended in a crash with injuries. Arlington County police say the 26-year-old was driving…

It’s going to be a windy Wednesday night. The National Weather Service just issued a Wind Advisory for Arlington and other parts of the Washington region. It’s set to take…

There’s more evidence that Arlington is an expensive place to live. The county has moved to No. 7 on a list of the priciest rental markets in the country, up…

Construction on the planned pickleball courts for the Walter Reed Community Center is expected to begin by the end of this year. The Arlington County Dept. of Parks and Recreation…

Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool for children 16 months and older. Rooted in a play-based philosophy, we focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.

Located in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a flexible parents’ day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school daily. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!

Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences–including enrichment programming such as science and movement.

CWP has been an integral part of the community for over 50 years and last year was recognized by Northern Virginia Magazine for the fourth time as the Best Preschool.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

The Potomac Roasting Company is a local micro-roaster specializing in artisan coffee. We precision roast high-quality specialty beans sourced from small farms in Latin America that are owned and operated by women. Your coffee will be roasted the way you want it and delivered fresh.

As two former Peace Corps volunteers who served in Guatemala, we founded Potomac Roasting to pursue our passion for great coffee and purpose-driven work. In addition to ethically sourcing our beans, we also donate a portion of our profits to Laila’s Legacy Animal Rescue, a DC-based nonprofit that finds homes for homeless dogs and cats.

Our current roasts come from prime coffee-producing regions of Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. We will be adding new roasts soon. If you are local, there’s a good chance we can deliver to your door. Look for us at local farmers’ markets beginning this spring. In the meantime, check us out now for better coffee and good karma in a cup. You can use the code Community and save 10%.

Submit your own Announcement here.

Self-led Decision Making – An IFS Approach

Whenever we feel indecisive, it’s usually because different parts of ourselves see things differently and are motivated by different priorities and concerns. In fact, it’s usually the friction between these different “camps” that makes us feel stuck.

We can mediate

Free Right-Sizing Workshop – How to Get Rid of Your…

Cody Chance and Dick Nathan of Long & Foster are hosting a free workshop on the topic of “down-sizing” at their office on Cherry Hill Rd. (formerly Lee Highway) in Arlington on Thursday, February 29 from 5:30PM-7:00PM.

Every great endeavor

×

Subscribe to our mailing list