Resident Information

Resident-Information-Banner.png

What is Affordable Housing?

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), housing is considered affordable when rent or mortgage, plus utilities, is no more than 30% of a household’s gross income. As housing costs have risen dramatically in Arlington and throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area, many people who live and work here can no longer afford adequate housing. The County works to preserve Affordable Housing in the community and to provide rental assistance to help low-income residents afford housing.

Types of Affordable Housing

There are two types of affordable units in Arlington.

  • Committed Affordable Units (CAFs):  These units are guaranteed by agreement with the federal, state, or County Government, or through mechanisms such as tax-exempt financing, to remain affordable to low and moderate income households for a specified period of time; generally 30 to 60 years. Rents in most cases are affordable to households earning 60% or less of the Area Median Income, although some CAFs have rents affordable to households earning up to 80% of median.
  • Market-Rate Affordable Units (MARKs): These units are owned by the private market and tend to have higher monthly rents. Affordability fluctuates with factors impacting housing market conditions, including employment trends, economic stability and basic supply and demand. Rent prices are at 50-60% and 60-80% of Area Median Income.

The County works to expand the supply of Committed Affordable Units (CAFs) for low- and moderate-income households. There are more than 8,000 built or approved CAFs in 70+ apartment complexes located throughout Arlington, nearly 15 percent of all apartments in the County.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates median family incomes each year, and these determine eligibility limits for affordable housing units. View the current income and rent limits for Committed Affordable Units in Arlington.

Committed Affordable Units (CAFs)

Committed Affordable Units are units built, acquired, or renovated with public funds and are designed to remain below market rates. These units are placed under agreements to beset aside for low or moderate-income households that meet certain income requirements.

Arlington’s low vacancy rate can make it difficult for families with limited financial resources to find housing. However, affordable housing is available at numerous apartment complexes in Arlington. Most of the complexes listed below were built, acquired or renovated with public funds as part of their financing, or else had units set aside as affordable through a special exception site plan process.

Tips for securing an affordable unit:

  • View this month’s list of available affordable units.
    • Disclaimer: This information is provided by property owners. Specific units may no longer be available by the time inquiries are made.
CAF Strategies report is now available.

Arlington County is committed to helping ensure residents have safe and high-quality living environments. This document describes opportunities for Arlington County to strengthen its oversight of committed affordable unit (CAF) properties and provide improved tenant support as appropriate for its role in CAF communities. The document includes recommendations for long-term strategies and outlines staffing and resource needs, as well as projected timelines for implementation. 

View the report here.
Printable version.

The County has adjusted its model since publishing the CAF Strategies report to enable more proactive oversight of CAF units and more intentional efforts to support residents living in CAFs. The April 2023 Report highlights some of the significant progress that has been made, and work that will continue through 2023 and beyond.

View the April 2023 Report here(en español)

FAQs

Where are rental CAFs located?

Although there is no public housing in Arlington County, there are several privately owned apartment complexes where rents are subsidized. To aid households in locating affordable housing, Arlington County publishes a monthly Committed Affordable Unit vacancy list. It is compiled from information obtained from landlords who have vacancies. Call 703.228.3765 to request a copy via email at housingdivision@arlingtonva.us to request the link to receive the list via email every month. The list is available on the 10th of every month.

What are the income requirements?

Many units have a maximum income allowed that is equal to 60% of the area median income. This amount varies by the number of people in the household, and some properties have lower limits. Please contact the apartments to inquire about income requirements.

What if I have maintenance issues?

  1. To report maintenance issues, you can contact the owner/management company in writing by submitting through the landlord's online maintenance request portal or other methods provided (email, paper form, etc.). A reasonable time for repair is between 3-14 days.
  2. If you haven't received a response after two weeks, call the Housing Information Center at 703-228-3765 between 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Bilingual staff is available. If you call after 5:00 pm, please leave a message.
  3. If you've contacted the County AND the owner/property manager still has not responded to your written concerns after 30 days, you can report the issue to the Tenant-Landlord Commission (TLC). Sign up to speak at virtual TLC meetings or submit written comments: bit.ly/ARLTLC4. If you are experiencing a maintenance emergency, please report to the owner/ property manager immediately. You also may contact the County's Office of Code Enforcement to request an inspection.

* Emergencies include:

  • No heat in winter
  • Drain blockages
  • Water leaks
  • Flooding caused by frozen water pipes
  • Gas odors No hot water

What do I do if I have an issue with my landlord or tenant?

Staff is available to provide Arlington County tenants and landlords information and referrals regarding tenant landlord law in Virginia to resolve their individual issues.

What homeowner resources are available?

The County assist eligible buyers through low-interest mortgages, down payment assistance, and with the purchase of properties at affordable prices. Special events and classes are available for first-time home buyers. The County also offers resources for existing homeowners, including:

  • assistance with foreclosure prevention
  • grant-funded program that provides accessibility modifications to homes occupied by disabled and 55+ homeowners
  • condo education series
  • real estate tax relief program for qualified homeowners

Rental and Housing Assistance Programs

The Department of Human Services offers emergency and ongoing rent assistance (Housing Grant and Housing Choice Voucher), utility assistance, and referrals to homeless shelters.

Housing Grants
The Housing Grants program provides supplemental housing assistance payments to low-income seniors, persons with disabilities and working families with children. For additional information contact the Department of Human Services at 703-228-1350.

Housing Choice Voucher
A federal rental assistance program that provides vouchers to eligible households to seek housing. Households pay approximately 30% of their adjusted gross income toward rent with the remainder of the rent paid directly to the landlord by the program. For additional information and availability, contact the Department of Human Services at 703-228-1350.

Learn more: Department of Human Services (DHS)  | 703-228-1350  |  dhs@arlingtonva.us

Tenant - Landlord Services

The Housing Division provides information about the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords to assist with resolution of tenant-landlord disputes. These documents outline the laws governing rental housing and provide information about different aspects of the rental process.

View the Tenant Landlord Guide

Useful Terms

AREA MEDIAN INCOME (AMI)
The midpoint of a specific area’s income distribution that is calculated on an annual basis by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The area median income for a family of four for the Washington Metropolitan Area for 2023 was $120,560.
COMMITTED AFFORDABLE UNITS (CAFs)
These units are guaranteed by agreement with federal, state, or County government, or through mechanisms such as tax-exempt financing, to remain affordable to low- and moderate-income households for a specified period of time; generally, 30 to 75 years. Rents in most cases are affordable to households earning 60% or less of the area median income, although some CAFs have rents affordable to households earning up to 80% AMI.
MARKET-RATE AFFORDABLE UNITS (MARKs)
These units are privately owned but are still affordable because of factors such as apartment type, location, or amenities. Affordability fluctuates with factors impacting housing market conditions, including employment trends, economic stability, and basic supply and demand. The affordability of these units ranges from 50-80% AMI.

Arlington County Government provides accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act. To arrange for an accommodation: Call 703-228-3765 or email housingdivision@arlingtonva.us.