Affordable Housing 101

Dec 12, 2017

Credit Flickr, photo by Fumigene

Charlottesville is undergoing an affordable housing crisis. So the non-profit organization IMPACT (Interfaith Movement Promoting Action by Congregations Together) invited Dave Leibson, the Vice President of Alliance for Housing Solution in Arlington to provide an “Affordable Housing 101” crash course at the Church of the Incarnation in Charlottesville.  WMRA's Marguerite Gallorini reports.

Dave Leibson has been managing and supporting affordable housing in the U.S. and abroad for 40 years, so he knows why it matters.

LEIBSON: If you're concerned about education: the success of our children - very much wrapped up in the housing, in the neighborhoods they live in.

About 40 people came to listen carefully to his talk. The goal: to provide the community with some tools to be effective advocates for affordable housing. He underlined the importance of partnerships and government help.

LEIBSON: You're going to need help, whether you're trying to develop something or whether you're just advocating on policies. You can't do affordable housing without government help. The numbers just don't work.

He also underlined the importance of negotiations when planning new affordable housing projects.

LEIBSON: Just to illustrate for example in Arlington, people who manage the budget don't want to do a bond for housing. But, what if they did a bond to do some of the infrastructure that's required for the housing? Suddenly I can take some of the cost off that project, the finance people don't have to say the taxpayers were doing housing finance: win-win.

And it’s not just about the current crisis: it’s also about the future.

LEIBSON: Twenty years from now, you're going to be as dense as Arlington is, I know it, and you should be planning and building your tools for that now.