Not everyone will benefit directly from the redevelopment taking place around the Metro Stations in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.
Lou Ann Frederick, executive director of the Arlington Housing Corp., a nonprofit organization concerned with providing housing assistance to low- and moderate-income families in Arlington, worries that such families will be pushed out of the Metrorail area by redevelopment. And these are the people, Frederick says, who need public transportation the most.
Mary Kirkbride, chief of comprehensive planning for Arlington, agrees there is a problem. "The moderate-income housing, as you might expect, is disappearing," he said. "It's either being torn down or converted to condominiums."
Kirkbride also voiced other concerns, however. "We have to weigh that against other goals; the goal of economic development and of encouraging a certain amount of housing," he said. "There are a lot of competing goals."
The AHC is attempting to alleviate the housing problem for low- and moderate-income families through its cooperative housing program.
Using funds provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the county government, the AHC develops cooperative housing units in which these families can live in exchange for a quarter of the family's income each month. HUD picks up the tab for the difference. If a family's income exceeds the maximum allowable limits ($21,000 per year for a family of four), the fair market value for the housing must be paid.
Unfortunately, Frederick said, not everyone is receptive to having cooperative housing in the neighborhood.
Frederick points out that existing AHC projects are well-kept and that the types of people selected for residence in these projects are not likely to contribute to increased crime in the area.
"We're aiming at people such as divorced mothers who have one or two children and are making only $13,000 a year," Frederick said.