The Financial Tools Initiative seeks to expand and further leverage County resources for affordable housing. Components of this initiative include identifying resources developers may access directly as well as exploring new tools for the County such as:
- Attracting private capital to County programs and projects
- Using existing County funds in new ways to stretch dollars further
- Identifying additional sources to increase available funding
The County currently provides funding from several different sources for multifamily and single-family loan programs. Learn more about existing Financial Tools.
- Local Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF)
- Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds
- Federal Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds
- Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing (TOAH) fund
Funding ideas from the community are welcomed to make this initiative successful. Have an idea? Send ideas and requests for more information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Process and Goals
Strategies include researching and identifying tools that affordable housing developers can access directly to reduce the need for County funds. Below is a sampling of financing tools identified that are available to affordable housing developers. Additional information for these sources, including how to apply, is available on the Financial Tools webpage:
- PNC Preservation Fund
- Enterprise Local Impact Fund
- Opportunity Zone Investments
- Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE)
- Virginia Housing Trust Fund
- Washington Housing Initiative’s Impact Pool Fund
- Metro Industrial Areas Foundation Fund
- Kaiser Foundation Housing Impact Fund
- Federal Home Loan Bank Financing
- Capital Magnet Fund Grants
Affordable Housing Ordinance Review
As part of Housing Arlington, the County conducted an analysis of the Affordable Housing Ordinance provisions to determine how it has performed over time, and whether to update the formula used for the affordable housing contribution in light of current conditions. The analysis found that the cash contribution required from developers is significantly less than the estimated value of providing on-site units. Given amendments to the Ordinance require legislative action at the state level, staff recommends identifying the appropriate time in the future to proceed with a potential amendment.
The Affordable Housing Ordinance corresponds to section 15.5.8 of the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance.
Read the Affordable Housing Ordinance Report here(PDF, 526KB).
Strategies to Expand and Re-think Existing County Resources
Status: research and implementation
Strategies include identifying ways to grow current County resources for affordable housing and/or applying new approaches to existing resources. The County is exploring ways to attract private capital to County programs/projects and how to use County funds in different ways to stretch investments. In addition, staff will work to identify additional sources via tax tools or other funding mechanisms to increase available resources for affordable housing. Examples may include:
- Attract community grantors and investors
- Identify new resources available through industry groups
- Leverage existing County resources through industry partners
- Explore a green financing program
- Utilize County loan funds for interest rate write-downs or debt reserves
- Identify pension fund investments
- Consider tax-increment financing (TIF) districts
- Seek dedicated tax revenue
- Consider bond financing
VHDA Affordable Housing Pledge
Status: Planning phase
In addition to County resources, the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) has pledged $15 million over a 5- year period to support affordable housing development in Arlington, Alexandria and northern Virginia. The details of this pledge, made as part of the State’s financial incentive package to support Amazon’s commitment to create 25,000 jobs in Crystal City and Pentagon City, are to be determined.
The funds could be used for affordable rental or ownership units for households with low and moderate incomes. While developers would likely apply for these funds directly through VHDA, County funds could be used in conjunction with VHDA’s investment.
While these tools may expand available resources that support housing affordability in Arlington, these areas are for exploration; not all may be feasible for Arlington County.