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March 10, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Arlington plans for affordable housing shortage

AFFORDABLE HOUSING
County planners in Arlington are dealing with the reality that, if current trends continue, market-rate affordable housing could disappear by 2020. The County Board hopes to adopt a viable Affordable Housing Master Plan in July. (ARLnow, 3/10)

In 2000, 19,740 apartments owned by for-profit property owners in the county were affordable for someone making up to 60 percent of the region’s area median income, according to findings from the county’s three-year Affordable Housing Study. In 2013, there were 3,437 “MARKs,” as they’re called.

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While affordable, market-rate housing is drying up, the county could try to kick-start committed affordable housing development to balance the scales. The county currently has 6,731 committed affordable units (CAFs) rented or leasing, with another 220 being developed, less than 10 percent of total apartment stock.

The draft master plan sets a goal of making 17.7 percent of all housing units in the county affordable at 60 percent AMI. If county projections hold true, that would mean asking developers to build 15,800 CAFs in the next 25 years.

FOOD | WRAG’s Washington Regional Food Funders consultant Lindsay Smith discusses some of her takeaways from the recent National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference and why more must be done to protect federal nutrition programs. (Daily, 3/10)

EDUCATION | A report finds that disparities in District schools go beyond the classroom. A number of school libraries in the city were found to have an inadequate book inventory, making access difficult for some students. (WaPo, 3/9)

As of January 2014, 22 percent of D.C. public school students attended a school with a library that had fewer than 10 books per student, and 17 percent of students went to schools with more than 30 books per student, according to an analysis of a school-by-school report on library collections obtained by The Washington Post. An oft-used national standard is 20 books per student.

HOMELESSNESS/LGBT | Next week, one of very few homeless shelters in the U.S. dedicated to transgender youth is set to open in the District. Recently, the Department of Housing and Urban Development also announced measures making it illegal to turn homeless individuals away from gender-specific shelters that cater to the gender they identify with. (WaPo, 3/9)

IMMIGRATION
– Last year, the region saw unprecedented numbers of undocumented minors from Central American countries fleeing to the area. NPR catches up with a local teen who fled violence there, as he describes his experiences so far, and the trauma he and his family hope to leave behind. (NPR, 3/9)

– Undocumented immigrants in the District are able to obtain a driver’s license, but many are finding that examinations and materials only available in English make it nearly impossible for them to pass. (WAMU, 3/9)

Related: On Tuesday, March 31 at 9:00 AM, WRAG members and invited guests can attend a funder briefing on Immigration Relief and the Impact on the D.C. Region. The special event will be moderated by Rose Ann Cleveland of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and  includes remarks by Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; a panel with Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA; DJ Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Services & Education Consortium; and Maya, immigrant leader and potential beneficiary.

YOUTH/POVERTY | The Numbers Add Up To This: Less and Less Opportunity for Poor Kids (NPR, 3/10)


As if it weren’t already bad enough, it turns out daylight-saving time may be ruining relationships.

– Ciara

 

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