Arlington Mill Residences in Arlington, VA has won a 2015 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Metropolitan/Urban Housing category.

Photo Courtesy of Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing

Located in Arlington County, Virginia, Arlington Mill Residences offers 122 units of much needed affordable rental housing in a desirable community that has good access to public transit and services. With only 26 square miles and a shortage of developable land, Arlington has high market rents and a dramatically decreasing supply of affordable housing options. By 2011, only 26 percent of rental housing was considered affordable. More than 3,000 people applied for a home at Arlington Mill Residences, underscoring the overwhelming unmet need for affordable housing in Arlington County. 

Arlington Mill Residences, developed by Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, was completed in February 2014. All residents are considered low-income or very low-income earning just over $40,000 on average. To assist those residents, Arlington Mill Residences provides an onsite bilingual resident services coordinator (RSC) who provides programs that improve workplace skills and financial stability, promote well-being, and build community. In 2014, a total of 83 programs were held with one third of residents attending at least one program. The RSC supports residents at risk of homelessness through proactive eviction prevention outreach and one-on-one assistance to connect residents to services and programs offered by Arlington County, faith-based organizations, and other nonprofits. The adjacent Arlington Mill Community Center includes a full gym as well as day and evening programs for residents of all ages such as head Start, after school, teen and seniors programs, and weekly food distribution.  

Arlington Mill Residences is built according to EarthCraft Virginia standards for energy conservation, sustainability, and healthy living. It was also awarded the 2014 EarthCraft Virginia Multifamily New Construction Project of the Year award. The 15 SEER HVAC systems, gas tankless hot water heaters, wood panelized construction, EnergyStar rated windows and appliances contribute to energy conservation. All units meet visitability standards and 10 percent are barrier-free units. 

Arlington Mill Residences has received tremendous community-wide support including letters of support from neighbors, Arlington County Citizens Advisory Commission of Housing, and nonprofits such as the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, and Buyers and Renters Arlington Voice. Additionally, the development was awarded Best Housing Development in Virginia through the 2014 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference and was a finalist in the Best Urban Development and Best Overall Development categories in the 2014 Affordable Housing Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards. 

Total construction costs for Arlington Mill Residences was approximately $3.1 million. The funding package included first mortgage financing from the Virginia Housing Development Authority and Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Bridge financing from the County’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund was utilized to fund a share of the parking garage costs. Additionally the property received a homeless-reduction grant from the Virginia Housing Trust fund to support onsite permanent supportive housing programming administered by the County of Arlington. Total per-unit costs were $253,000 or $302 per square foot, 35 percent lower than similar new construction in Arlington. 

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