With hundreds of Committed Affordable Units gained through the proposed Marbella affordable housing redevelopment, I’m particularly excited about 125 of those units being for senior residents.
Marbella is currently a cluster of three-story affordable housing buildings managed by Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing just south of Rosslyn and Courthouse in the Radnor/Fort Myers neighborhood. Currently it’s home to 134 individuals and families. It’s hopefully going to be redone into two 12-story residential buildings allowing for far more residents.
Senior residents are a demographic that is growing rapidly and is particularly vulnerable to all kinds of housing insecurities due to a wide range of health issues, loss of physical mobility, property tax increases, rent increases, and other financial shocks.
Right now, Arlington has about 24,000 residents that are 65 years or older – about 10% of our population. And from 5 years ago to about 10 years from now, the number of adults aged 80 or over is expected to double. It’s a population in need that’s often avoided in affordable housing programs because of the extra on-site health and wellbeing services needed for them.
Although I’m disappointed in the reduction of proposed units for older residents as this planning process has gone on (from 132 down to 125), as well as worried about them being in the later Phase 2 stage (risking construction problems delaying delivery), I still give a big thank you to APAH for being sure to include senior affordable housing units in this plan.
I hope that the Arlington County Board not only approves this site plan in their upcoming February 12th meeting, but also continues to place affordable housing for seniors as an extremely high priority in all areas and neighborhoods of Arlington County.
Yesterday I gave similar public comments as the above to the Arlington County Planning Commission, which can be seen here (at 29:55):
Take a quick minute to check out some of my high-level positions on the need to Make Housing Affordable. More to come!