September 13, 2013

Despite County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada’s professed commitment to more affordable housing in Arlington [“Thousands apply for 122 affordable housing units,” Metro, Sept. 7], his refusal — along with other board members — to support the establishment of a housing authority shows that his support is simply rhetoric.

The report that more than 3,600 people applied to rent 122 units built in connection with the Arlington Mill Community Center elicited this observation from Mr. Tejada: The demand for rentals “is amazing, no question about it.” No wonder it’s amazing: The county has permitted developers to tear down older, affordable apartments and replace them with far more expensive ones.

Furthermore, the county’s requirement that developers provide some small number of affordable units does nothing to chip away at the huge backlog of persons needing them. The only way Arlington will demonstrate its commitment to affordable housing is by supporting the establishment of a housing authority.

Diana H. Wahl, Arlington