It is my hope that Amazon will commit a significant portion of their $2 billion Housing Equity Fund to households that are low income or have an income that is under 50% area median income (AMI).
If a fund is being created and advertised as creating affordable housing it should do that, instead of primarily providing average market rate rental housing. Amazon’s recent commitment at Crystal House was primarily for those making 60-80% AMI. That is a housing supply that we have in abundance (see image 1). Additionally, this is middle class housing, not affordable housing.
For renters in the 60-80% income bracket participating in the affordable housing program, there is a maximum rent allowed of $1,935. That is higher than our natural market rate average rent of $1,908 for a 1 bedroom apartment in Arlington (see image 2). If funds continue to be invested in housing development that primarily produce 60-80% AMI units, it would be inaccurate to qualify their investment as a philanthropic community benefit, as it is higher than the market average.
Our community is lacking in both <30% AMI rental units and 30-49% AMI units, compared to the population that exists in those income brackets (see image 1).
In Amazon’s press release, their stated goal was for the Fund to support their commitment to affordable housing and to ensure moderate to low-income families can afford housing in the communities that they operate. While their commitment to moderate income housing in Crystal House and other local investments is appreciated, it is necessary to provide investment towards low-income populations in their next round of distributed funds.
If Amazon is to fully commit to providing affordable housing, they should do so for the population most in need — those making under 50% AMI. If the Housing Equity Fund does not increase focus towards their stated commitment to low-income families, this should be viewed as failing to achieve their goal.
Nicole Merlene grew up in Arlington County and has been a civic leader in both policy and political arenas. She has been an Economic Development and Tenant-Landlord Commissioner; Community Development Citizens Advisory Committee, Pentagon City Planning Study, Rosslyn Transportation Study, and Vision Zero member; Arlington County Civic Federation and Rosslyn Civic Association Board Member. In 2019 she sought the Democratic nomination for the 31st District of the Virginia State Senate. Professionally Nicole is an Economic Development Specialist where she works to attract businesses to the region. She lives in an apartment with her dog Riley and enjoys running and painting.
As Arlington County continues collecting feedback on the preliminary concept plan to turn Langston Blvd into a “Green Main Street” over several decades, a few disagreements have emerged. Some say…
RSVP to learn about the Forestry and Natural Resources Plan during the virtual open house tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Within the first five minutes of Netflix’s new series Partner Track, Arlington native and Yorktown High School graduate Alexandra Turshen already has her “boss” moment by telling the new paralegal…
The Arlington Art Truck is back this fall starting October 1 with an exhibit focused on Arlington’s birds.
Now you can have fun with your family and friends when deciding where to eat!
Just hop aboard The Lunch Train and set the destination for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or nightlife!
– No app necessary. Simply go to the website if you’d like!
– No account necessary
– Use your current location or a desired location
– Add restaurants you’re interested in, invite your friends, and play the game!
Lyon Park & Ashton Heights’ biennial home & garden biennial tour is back. The tour will include contemporary custom homes, older historic bungalows as well as renovated properties. One of the stunning homes on the tour is pictured above. In addition to beautiful & unique homes, the Villa & Vistas ’22 event will conclude with a festive reception at the Lyon Park Community Center at 414 N Fillmore Street, Arlington VA 22201. What could be better right?
All proceeds from this event will go to the Lyon Park Citizens Association (LPCA) towards our neighborhood jewel & hub, the Lyon Park Community Center (LPCC).
When: Sunday, October 2nd, Noon – 4 PM.
Where: Meet to get your tickets and the tour map at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N Fillmore Street) We will have a table with information outside.
Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved. Join ACFCU for our Homebuying