Affordable Housing Taking Center Stage at First-Ever Alexandria Housing Summit

Affordable housing is the focus of the first-ever Alexandria Housing Summit this weekend.

The full day of activities, which will be held Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Nanny J. Lee Recreation Center (1108 Jefferson St.), will feature bus tours of potential development areas, panel discussions with experts and city leadership and a keynote speech by Andrea Brennan, the director of Housing Policy & Development in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Minneapolis has received national attention for its aggressive approach of loosening zoning restrictions in order to expand its housing stock and keep a lid on the cost of housing.

Alexandria has been challenged to significantly increase its own affordable housing stock over the next decade. The city’s low cost, market-affordable (non-subsidized) rental housing fell 88 percent between 2000-2018, and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has set a goal for the region to produce 320,000 affordable housing units from 2020 to 2030. 

Helen McIlvane, the City’s director of housing, said that Alexandria is on track to meet its goal of producing or developing 2,000 affordable housing units by 2025, and an additional 1,950 units by 2030.

“We’re looking at ways to make sure that we are doing big and small things to ensure that we have opportunities to create housing where we’re not doing that now,” McIlvane told ALXnow.

The event will also provide an update on the progress and implementation of the city’s 2013 Housing Master Plan, which will be updated in 2025. 

Additionally, Audrey Davis, executive director of the Alexandria Black History Museum, will speak about the city’s housing history.

Registration for the event is free.

Related: Planning Commission To Consider More Affordable Housing in Eisenhower East

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