Arlington’s affordable housing challenge is stark. The proof is in the MARK.
Market-rate Affordable Housing, or MARK as Arlington calls it, are units affordable to households earning up to 60 or 80 percent of the area median income not because the government requires it, but because of a property’s age, location, condition and/or amenities.
Those units, largely found in garden-style and mid-rise communities, are disappearing at an alarming rate.
In 2000, there were 19,740 countywide MARK units affordable to 60 percent AMI households. By the close of 2016, according to a recent Arlington staff report, the number of MARKs in the 60 percent AMI category ($65,520 annual income for a four-person household) was down to 2,780, a loss of 86 percent over 16 years.
The number of units affordable to 80 percent AMI households ($87,360 annual income for a four-person household) was 7,284 as of 2016, but the vast majority of those — all by 1,457 — were not affordable for the 60 percent category.
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