The Arlington County Board this weekend approved loaning $8.3 million to the nonprofit Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing to purchase and preserve 101 apartments in the Long Branch Creek Community.
Built in 2001 as part of a larger redevelopment effort, the Arna Valley View apartment complex at 2300 25th St. S. was legally obligated to remain affordable for low-income families for 15 years. With that window closing, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing plans to buy the 101-unit complex in February and keep them affordable for another 60 years.
"This project is a win for the County and for the tenants," Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada said in a statement.
Over the years, Arlington County has increased the time commitment negotiated with developers to keep certain properties affordable for families making 40 percent to 60 percent of the area median income. It's a reflection of a broader policy of maintaining and increasing the number of affordable units in a county that has seen substantial increases in housing costs.
Sixty percent of area median income for a family of four is $64,500 in Arlington. Rent considered affordable for that family would be $1,452 a month for a two-bedroom apartment or $1,870 a month for a four-bedroom.
County officials are tapping into three programs to help finance the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing deal.
About $4.5 million will come from the county's Affordable Housing Investment Fund, a low-interest loan fund for developers. Another $1 million will be available through the federal Community Development Block Grant program, and the final $2.8 million will be drawn from the federal Home Investment Partnership Program, also called HOME.
As part of the purchase, the current owner of Arna Valley View will repay $5.8 million to the county's Affordable Housing Investment Fund, which will make the county's net new funding $2.5 million, according to a county staff report.
In 1999, Arlington County officials approved the demolition of 700 units in the former Arna Valley, Arna Valley View and Rucker apartments.
That redevelopment led to the construction of 943 new units in two communities — 842 apartments at Avalon at Arlington Square and 101 at the new Arna Valley View, according to the staff report.
Through negotiations at the time, Avalon at Arlington Square agreed to provide 64 committed affordable units scattered throughout its community, while Arna Valley View was entirely a Low Income Tax Credit project.
The 64 units at Avalon at Arlington Square are not part of the new deal and at this point are obligated to remain affordable until 2030.