Alexandria, Virginia, is experiencing an affordable housing crisis. Less than 6 percent of Alexandria’s housing qualifies as affordable, according to a report by the City of Alexandria. Furthermore, 90 percent of the city’s disappeared between 2000 and 2017. Before, the inventory was 18,218 units. Now, the inventory totals 1,749 apartments.
In order to create more housing affordable for households earning up to 60 percent of the area median income, a group of religious and community leaders formed a non-profit organization, called Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE).
Recently, VOICE submitted a $1 billion proposal to the Alexandria City Council in order to ask for affordable housing to be built on Metro property in Alexandria, Virginia.
According to WAMU, Councilman Justin Wilson supports the proposal, but calls it ambitious. He said, “The reason that Metro is looking at redeveloping these sites is they’re desperate for cash. So, anything that we take away from their ability to leverage those properties for cash — it hurts Metro financially and we would have to come to the table with those additional resources.”
Metro board member Christian Dorsey told WAMU that he saw the proposal as “spot on,” but was unsure as to how Metro could follow through on the proposal.
“How do we solicit partners and structure deals that do provide needed revenue to Metro, but can also encourage density, and that not only provides market income opportunities, but dedicated affordable opportunities?” said Dorsey.
• Report [City of Alexandria]
• Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement [Official Website]
[UPDATE 8/11/17: A previous version of this article stated that the VOICE organization was formed recently. It was actually formed in 2008.]