Submit Content

What’s Next: Expanding homeownership stock

What’s Next with Nicole is a biweekly opinion column. The views expressed are solely the author’s.

Homeownership is one of the fundamental pillars of building wealth in the American economy.

In Arlington about 60% of our housing stock is renter occupied and new housing stock is almost all in rental housing development, with almost no new development of ownership housing stock.

The Missing Middle housing initiative has the opportunity to provide expanded home ownership stock. The current Missing Middle draft lacks intentionality around homeownership and even pushes back against the concept. My hope is that this changes in future drafts.

Arlington has the highest median home sale price in the D.C. metro region from 2020:

  1. Arlington: $670,000
  2. D.C.: $630,000
  3. Alexandria: $600,000
  4. Fairfax: $575,000
  5. Montgomery County: $483,000
  6. Prince George’s County: $345,000

When the topic of homeownership was requested during multiple public meetings, it was largely shutdown as illegal based on “discrimination by tenure.” This is a term I have been unable to find in any fair housing laws and contrary to the fact that Arlington County is currently discussing dedicated home ownership exclusive units on Columbia Pike right now.

Homeownership is important for millennials, people aged 25-40, who are in their prime home-buying years and dominate the U.S. workforce. Millennials hold just 4.6% of U.S. wealth and have 56 million in the workforce, whereas Boomers are 10 times wealthier and hold 53% of U.S. wealth and have 41 million in the workforce.

When Boomers were in the current age-range for millennials, they held 21% of U.S. wealth or four times what millennials hold today. Since homeownership is a key to wealth building, this gap in purchasing opportunities is fundamental for the economic outlook of future generations.

We know that Missing Middle-type housing, when available for purchase, is lower-cost than single-family homes, while this rental type is not necessarily more affordable. For example, in 2021 average assessed value of homes were:

  1. Single-family detached: $1,000,300
  2. Attached townhouse: $846,800
  3. Condo townhouse: $686,800
  4. Multi-unit condos: $447,700
  5. Cooperatives: $158,400

Additionally, if we are planning to reduce ownership housing stock in single-family houses, we should have a plan to replace it with ownership housing. We have plans to produce thousands of additional rental units throughout the county and no plan for additional ownership opportunities, and the Missing Middle Housing initiative should be exactly where we seek to do so.

Nicole Merlene is an Arlington native and former candidate for Virginia State Senate. She has served as a leader in the community on the boards of the Arlington County Civic Federation and North Rosslyn Civic Association, as an Arlington Economic Development commissioner, in neighborhood transportation planning groups, and as a civic liaison to the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.

Recent Stories

The pandemic, now nearly 2.5 years old, has bent time in weird ways. For many, a prolonged period of mostly staying at home — particularly in 2020 — made time…

A man allegedly got mad and drew a gun when an employee at a local car wash asked him to move his vehicle. The incident happened around 10:15 a.m. Tuesday…

(Updated, 8:50 p.m.) The company behind several Arlington bars is launching a membership service that aims to position its portfolio as a casual social club, of sorts. The D.C.-based hospitality…

October is National Arts & Humanities Month and Arts Focus highlights the NAHM 2022 Poster Competition now accepting submissions.

Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, stress, grief, trauma or anger? Are
you ready to make a change?

Lauren K. Nickum, LCSW, CSAC from Peaceful Mind Solutions is now taking new
clients for psychotherapy. Lauren has over 10 years of experience treating
mental health disorders and general life stress in adults and adolescents. For
more information visit
peacefulmindsolutions.com.

Submit your own Community Post here.

As the summer winds down, it’s a great time to look forward to a creative fall! Art House 7 has a terrific selection of classes, for preschoolers to adults. Our fall session, starting September 6, offers painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, ceramics (including the wheel) and sewing. We have specialty classes such as Suminagashi, the ancient art of Japanese water marbling.

If you’re looking for a shorter commitment, we also have a full schedule of workshops, Art Nights, and Morning Art Socials. If you haven’t discovered Art House 7, please check us out! We offer classes throughout the year, taught by a range of fantastic teachers. You can buy art supplies next door. We’re near the Lee Harrison shopping center, and free parking is outside our door.

Art House 7
5537 Langston Blvd.Arlington VA 22207
https://arthouseseven.com/

Submit your own Community Post here.

Rental Property Investing: Part One

Have you ever considered purchasing a rental property but weren’t sure where to start? This free webinar will go over the basics of how to invest in real estate, how to choose rental properties, and a market overview. Our Director

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Todd Riley (Comedy Central)

A night of live standup comedy, with some of the best comedians from the DMV and beyond!

Todd Riley – Headliner

From the moment Todd Riley stepped onto that stage in 2008, he knew comedy is what he wanted to

×

Subscribe to our mailing list