Affordable Housing Study

Latest News

  • County Board adopts first Affordable Housing Master Plan
    September 19, 2015 – The Arlington County Board adopted the County’s first Affordable Housing Master Plan as an element of the County’s Comprehensive Plan. The plan, a culmination of a three-year community effort, will prepare Arlington for the next generation of sustainable, affordable housing that supports our people, improves our neighborhoods and strengthens our economy. The plan’s Implementation Framework, an accompanying document, was accepted by the Board as administrative guidance. Read the complete news release.
  • View the Affordable Housing Master Plan
  • View the Implementation Framework


Visit the Affordable Housing Study Documents page for:

  • Key Reports & Study Findings
  • Meeting Materials
  • Survey Results
  • Previous Drafts
  • Study Scope Documents
  • Additional Resources

About the Study

Arlington has a rich history of affordable housing leadership. The County’s affordable housing legacy began as the first modern wave of federal employees searched for a home close to their work in downtown DC or the Pentagon during World War II. This legacy evolved over the last half century as Arlington planned for and opened the Orange and Blue Metro rail lines, precipitating more multi-family housing and bringing tens of thousands of additional jobs.

Over the years, Arlington adopted a series of housing policies and tools to support housing programs. These efforts resulted in the production and preservation of nearly 7,000 affordable units.

In 2012, the County Board recognized that market forces continued to raise the cost of housing and threatened a continued loss of affordable units. Therefore, it initiated the Affordable Housing Study to evaluate existing policies; assess current programs and resources; and identify needs and gaps in provisions for affordable housing.

The County Manager appointed an 18-member Working Group to help shape the community’s affordable housing vision. Together with County staff, the group drafted the plan based on research, a thorough needs analysis, in-depth forecasting, surveys, working group meetings and extensive community outreach and input. View the Study’s key reports, findings and meeting documents.

Study Timeline

July 2012 – December 2013

  • Hold community forum on Housing Study Scope and Process
  • Develop Charge for the Study and report to County Board
  • Establish staff Technical Working Group
  • Develop Community Engagement Plan
  • Develop Stakeholder Network
  • Complete Preliminary Data Report
  • Develop updated affordable housing principles
  • Hold community forum on Preliminary Report and Housing Principles

January 2014 – August 2014

  • Conduct housing needs survey; compile and analyze results
  • Begin assessment of current strategies/program approaches; determine evaluation criteria and methodology
  • Review best practices
  • Complete preliminary report on housing needs, with community review
  • Complete assessment of strategies/program approaches, with community review

September 2014 – September 2015

  • Develop draft Affordable Housing Master Plan and draft Affordable Housing Implementation Framework
  • Implement community review of draft documents
  • Develop final draft Affordable housing Master Plan to be adopted by County Board as Affordable Housing Element of Comprehensive Plan