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Alexandria Mayor, Virginia Congressman, HUD Secretary Meet To Address Affordable Housing Crisis

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, Congressman Don Beyer, and Alexandria Mayor Justin Wislon (L-R) pictured at The Spire in Alexandria, where they discussed affordable housing. (Photo courtesy City of Alexandria)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Spire is a newly-built affordable housing complex in Alexandria, which opened in the spring. Earlier this month, Mayor Justin Wilson, Congressman Don Beyer, and HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge toured the property and addressed the nationwide housing crisis.

During the visit, the three also highlighted the Biden administration’s Build Back Better Agenda, a plan to help the country recover from the pandemic. It proposes the creation of two million new affordable housing and low-income homes. Construction will be supported through the expansion of financial resources, made possible by private investment in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program.

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“Low-income and affordable housing was a problem before COVID, but it is even a bigger problem now,” observed Fudge. “There is no place in this country today where a person making minimum wage can afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment. We know, we hear, and we understand what’s happening in this country. And I want to thank everybody who had anything to do with this project.”

The Spire is one of six affordable housing developments in the city. Work is underway to meet the Housing Master Plan target of 2,0000 affordable housing apartments by 2025. Upon completion, a regional goal set by the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments will be achieved. It calls for the production and preservation of an additional 2,500 affordable and workforce-level homes by 2030.

While the work will not solve Alexandria’s housing needs entirely, the city, in a press release, called the efforts “an acceleration of Alexandria’s historical rate of affordable housing production.”

A plan for The Spire began in 2014, when the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection gave land to Affordable Housing Community, Inc. (AHC), a nonprofit developer based in Arlington and founded in 1975. Over the years, AHC has developed more than 7,500 apartment units in DC, Virginia, and Maryland.

“It was an honor to welcome Secretary Fudge to Alexandria and have the opportunity to highlight a project that demonstrates the value of community partnerships,” added Wilson. “Affordable housing continues to be a priority for the City and is integral for the success of our community as a whole.”

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