The city is going through a process of opening up some limitations on co-living — units with up to six individual suites that all share communal amenities.
Co-living is a little different from most apartments; typically having more residents than apartments and at a lower cost. Co-living is currently allowed in Alexandria, but requirements to go through a development special use permitting process and public hearings, among other restrictions, have been hurdles city staff are hoping get rid of. The new policy would certain development in residential zones to build up to two co-living units — with up to six-total suites — by-right, meaning without the need for public hearings and the city’s extensive permitting process.
The goal of encouraging more co-living development in Alexandria is increasing the supply of market-rate affordable housing, which has been in a downward spiral for years. But while most of the public comment at meetings has been supportive of the changes, Alexandria Living Magazine also noted that there are some public concerns that the co-living housing could become “flop houses,” a term typically denoting squalor in crowded living spaces.
Photo via Nathan Van Egmond/Unsplash
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