By Karen Goff
Multifamily housing is a growing trend, says the George Mason Center for Regional Analysis. But in order for it to continue to be successful, there needs to enough to appeal to residents at all price points.
The CRA recently issued a new report, Multifamily Housing in the Washington, DC Region: Demand and Supply Trends, which warns that although new rental housing construction has “increased in the region over the past three years, it has been increasingly high-end rental units located in particular submarkets.”
This may be food for thought for local developers who are eying Reston as a place for hundreds, even thousands, of multifamily units as Reston morphs into a transit-oriented community. . . .Click here for the rest of this article.
"Housing for all" is one of Reston's core planning principles and it is especially important that opportunities for families of all incomes and sizes be provided in Reston's urbanizing station areas. This is not now the case in Reston Town Center where the lowest currently available rental is about $1,600 per month and climbs to more than $5,000 per month according to local realtor advertising. Aside from the rental affordability issue, people who reside in Town Center or other parts of the station areas would not have to own an automobile (or at least more than one) because of the "livability" of the neighborhoods--all essential services within easy walking distance--and the availability of the Silver Line, bus transit, and improved pedestrian and bicycling access for commuting.
The new Reston Master Plan calls for a percentage of new residential development to be available for workforce housing--housing priced to accommodate middle-income households. It remains undetermined whether that commitment will be met or Town Center and other station area housing is designed for wealthier households, "gentrifying" Reston's urban core.
RCA submitted a proposal for the Reston Task Force report calling for mandatory construction of some of percentage "residential studio units (RSUs)"--very small studio apartments (~300-500 SF)--in the station areas under legislation that the County is now vetting. Although RCA's recommendation is watered down, the latest version of the draft Task Force report (February 7, 2014, p. 7) includes a reference to incorporating RSUs in station area residential development. Unfortunately, the Reston Master Plan just approved by the Board of Supervisors makes no such recommendation.