The County Employee Housing Initiative considers rental and homeownership opportunities for Arlington’s local government workforce. As home values in Arlington County continue to rise, the County workforce struggles with the financial feasibility of living close to work. A staff working group is examining national and regional best practices, analyzing needs through data and conducting an employee survey. The Housing Division will lead the development of recommendations intended to address housing needs, with an emphasis on public safety employees and Arlington Public Schools (APS) employees.
Process and Goals
Housing incentives that are generally most appealing to eligible ACG and APS employees have included rental and homeownership Live Where You Work (LWYW) grants, Moderate Income Purchase Assistance (MIPAP) loans and homebuyer interest rate reduction (for loans through the Virginia Housing Development Association/VHDA). In addition to these County-managed programs, Housing staff plan to leverage community relationships, such as partnerships with local lenders, to build opportunities for employees.
National examples of teacher housing and co-located ownership or rental housing for school district employees include building housing on current and future school sites. Housing staff will continue research and evaluation of these types of models.
Current findings: In December 2018, at the request of the County Manager, an employee housing survey was conducted to identify opportunities for development of employee housing incentives. A total of 1,921 employees responded to the poll, including 869 AC employees and 1,052 ACPS employees.
This initiative supports the access and sustainability goals of the Affordable Housing Master Plan. This initiative may also contribute to a more sustainable environment, as the socioeconomic, transportation network, and environmental impacts of long, car-based commutes affect the entire community.