4A — June 18 - July 22, 2021 — Creative Financing — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


C reative F inancing

Part of long-term plan to preserve affordable housing in Alexandria Center The AlexandriaRedevelopment &Housing Authority winsHUDapproval for 1st three property conversions


the entire public housing port - folio in Alexandria to be funded under this higher formula. Importantly, ARHA will retain ownership of these properties through its own nonprofit sub - sidiary. “The outstanding facet of this subsidy conversion is that ten - ant protections will remain in place,” Pettigrew said. “Tenant share of rent will not change, and our mission of serving poor and extremely poor households will be strengthened. Our goal is to preserve housing for vul - nerable populations and im - prove the quality of life for our current residents.” Higher operating subsidies will allow ARHA to rebuild each property more aggres- sively. At each redeveloped site, ARHA will be able to provide amenity spaces and a management office, and ensure strengthening the social fabric of a community is an integral part of the redevelopment. “Redevelopment is not just about brick and mortar. Our goal is to ensure that, as an agency, ARHA invests in the personal development of each resident and assists them in reaching their individual goals,” according to the plan approved by the ARHA Board of Commissioners. Plans for each site will in - clude a mix of incomes. The recently completed construc - tion on the property of the former Ramsey Homes, built in 1942, to the new Lineage at North Patrick exemplifies the approach that ARHA and its partners can take on any site. The Lineage transformed 15 public housing units into 52 affordable units in a beautiful new building. The building includes 15 replacement units for low-income households and adds 37 more affordable units for workforce households. Pettigrew notes there is no difference in accommodations whether a household earns $17,000 a year or $70,000. “Once our board embraced this agenda, we held seven community meetings to ex - plain our plan to residents,” Pettigrew said. “With these first three HUD approvals and more to come, our plans are quickly becoming a reality. Our partners in the city’s housing office and the community at large can look forward to seeing ARHA play a leadership role in a market in desperate need of affordable housing.” MAREJ

213 units. The rents at other public housing sites will be converted through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, again chang - ing the funding source from public housing to an increased funding stream. “These tools will increase the cash flow at each site,” said ARHA CEO Keith Pettigrew . “There is a tremendous back - log of maintenance at public housing communities across the nation, including Alexan - dria, and these conversions will allow us to catch up, stay ahead and ensure that our

residents live in high-quality, well-maintained buildings.” These subsidy changes re - sult from a 2018 HUD policy allowing housing authorities to change the funding stream and work under less restrictive regulations for a portion of their public housing units. Through two programs called Section 18 and RAD, ARHA expects to convert 504 current public housing units to higher funding rates. When that mile - stone is reached, the remaining 250 units will automatically be approved for Housing Choice vouchers, clearing the way for

housing properties. Funding for vouchers is sig - nificantly higher than public housing subsidies, and the ap - provals represent a major step in accomplishing ARHA’s ambi - tious redevelopment activity. By using changes in HUD funding, ARHA is laying the foundation for the agency to ultimately upgrade and sustain its entire 754 units of public housing, plus build new work - force and market rate housing. The first three properties approved for conversion are Ladrey High-Rise, Park Place, and Saxony Square, a total of

LEXANDRIA, VA — The Alexandria Re- development and

H o u s i n g Author i ty (ARHA) has won approval from the De- p a r tme n t of Housing and Urban D e v e l o p - ment (HUD)

Keith Pettigrew

to convert three sites from public housing funding to Housing Choice Voucher fund - ing, kicking off plans to rede - velop all of the agency’s public

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