Monday, September 12, 2016
Westover Tenants Protest Gentrification, Call for Westover Tenants Organization
I live on North 10th Road in Westover and have become quite familiar with the affordable workforce apartments gentrification saga. Latest news is that two more apartment buildings in my neighborhood will be torn down for luxury townhomes.
Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) is no longer interested in buying older apartment buildings like those in my neighborhood. APAH is very interested in expensive and complex mixed-use redevelopment deals, like the Arlington Prysbeterian Church redevelopment. APAH's President and CEO is Nina Janopaul and the Chair of APAH's Board of Directors is John Milliken. Look them up on the Web. Majority of APAH's Board of Directors (working and retired) have major-league experience with expensive mixed-use redevelopment.
APAH has announced that APAH will purchase 8 apartment buildings in Westover for renovation. Deal is going to the Housing Commission this week. That ONLY occurred because of the anger over the apartment teardowns in my neighborhood several months ago.
It gets worse. The owner of the Westover apartment buildings that were torn down and the apartment buildings that will be torn down for luxury townhohouses offered to sell all his Westover real estate holdings to APAH in early Spring. APAH refused his offer. Moreover, APAH never bothered to approach other Westover apartment building owners with so-called "first refusal offers" so APAH has the right of first refusal when owners want to sell.
It gets evern worse. When APAH buys and expensively renovates older apartment buildings not only do rents typically increase by $200 per month but only people with a narrow range of incomes (typically $50,000 to $65,000) are allowed to live in APAH's renovated apartments
I looked at the historic designation proposal and that's another part of this big charade. County Government (i.e., the Arlington Democratic Party) wants to see our neighborhood gentrified and historic designation is how they divide the community between homeowners and renters. That's what we get from having one-party government for 35 years.
So I attended the Westover Community Meeting in Westover Park yesterday. Needless to say, no County Board member bothered attending, but I left before the event ended. Green Party was there. So I and other Westover tenants absolutely want to form a Westover Tenenat's Organization, for people who rent apartments, condos, and single family homes. That's something like 60% of Westover's population.
I also want the County's Independent Auditor to audit the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) to see where the money is going that's supposed to build affordable housing. I also want the HUD Inspector General to audit APAH. It's also time for Ms. Janopaul, Mr. Milliken and others who want to make APAH into a REIT to be replaced by people who want to build affordable workforce housing, not gentrification housing and millennial housing.
Thanks for your blog.
N. 10th Road Resident