Groundbreaking ceremonies for the first federally subsidized housing cooperative for low- and moderate-income families in Arlington County took place last week, with Rep. Joseph L. Fisher (D-Va.) and Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Frankland presiding. (

The $1 million project at 1500 N. Rolfe St., dubbed Summer Hill, will have eight two-bedroom units, including one equipped for the physically handicapped, and six three-bedroom units, all townhouse-style, when it opens next fall.

Built by the Arlington Housing Corporation, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and increasing housing for low- and moderate-income residents, the development is just a few blocks from the county courthouse and its adjacent Metro station.

The frame dwellings will have front and back entrances, patios, bay windows, carpets, electric ranges, refrigerators, disposals, heat pumps, play areas for children and parking facilities.

Lou Ann Frederick, executive director of the Housing Corporation, said the property was purchased with federal Community Development Block Grant funds. A construction loan and permanent mortgage have been financed by the county from the sale of tax-exempt bonds.

The cooperative is to receive Section 8 funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a program that guarantees housing subsidies. Under the program, the buyer of a cooperative would pay no more than 25 percent of his or her monthly income, and HUD will cover the difference on the total housing payment.

To qualify for ownership, a family of two may earn no more than $17,300 annually; a family of three, $19,450; a family of four, $21,600; a family of five, $22,950 and a family of six, $24,300. First preference will be given to Arlington residents.

Down payments will total $650 for two-bedroom units and $750 for three-bedroom units. Applications may be obtained from the Arlington Housing Corporation, 2055 N. 15th St., Arlington, 22201.

Frederick said a second, similar development is being planned at the vacated Kemper School site in the Nauck section of south Arlington. In addition, the Housing Corporation expects to have 75 cooperative units at Arlington View Terrace at S. Rolfe Street ready for purchase next summer. The Housing Corporation also is negotiating to buy 75 units at Colonial Village for cooperative housing.

Melody Bawden, supervisor for rental assistance and development in the county's housing division, said other subsidized housing in the county consists of 750 units for the elderly and 510 Section 8 units.