Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Affordable Housing Developer Problems, Washington CityPaper, March 15, 2012

For my column this week on Arlington's efforts to court yuppies, I wanted to know: Why is it that all the new buildings going up these days seem aimed at a higher-income demographic, when there's clearly demand on the lower end of the spectrum?

The basic answer for that, developers tell me, is fairly simple: Land is expensive along transit corridors like Wilson Boulevard, so they build whatever will command the highest rents per square foot, and so far the market hasn't given them a reason to believe they won't lease.

Because for-profit developers aren't building for the majority of the population, non-profits have stepped into the breach. According to Nina Janopaul, director of the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, non-profits now own 14 percent of the county's rental housing stock. I asked her to explain why the market wasn't delivering the kind of housing that the folks she serves in Arlington really need. The answer is the same as it might be for a private developer: Regulations. . . .
For the rest of this article, click here.  

If we want balanced and diversified housing in Reston's TOD areas, we need to begin to work now to prevent this kind of problem.  

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