Housing Channel, a local nonprofit developer, used its $5M allocation to implement a housing development program in collaboration with the City of Arlington and for-profit program partners to revitalize the designated East Arlington Promise Zone (EAPZ). The EAPZ has the highest unemployment rates, lowest literacy rates, highest number of public benefit recipients, and the lowest household incomes in the county.
The development area spanned five census tracts with poverty as high as 26.9%, MFI as low as 51.6% and unemployment up to 1.73 times the national average.The EAPZ plan details a significant need for quality affordable housing available to low- and moderate-income families in this urban neighborhood where the housing stock was primarily built between 1954 and 1970. Old housing with greater repair needs tends to be concentrated in neighborhoods with the lowest per capita incomes.
Developing housing in these neighborhoods is challenging because the cost to acquire and rehabilitate the properties exceeds the market value of the homes. Additionally, many of the homes in the neighborhood were identified by the City as dangerous, substandard and needing demolition. These properties were even more difficult to handle because the cost of acquisition, demolition and new construction is even costlier than rehabilitation.
With the subsidy made available by NMTCs, these homes could be developed while still keeping them affordable for low-income families. Housing Channel has committed to selling at least 20% of the homes funded with NMTC financing to individuals with an income at or below 80% of the median family income.