• Next Meeting--Thursday, Nov. 6 7:00 PM at the Community Room of the Ballston Firehouse Station (located at Wilson Blvd and N. George Mason Drive).

April 22, 2014

Greens collect toiletries for Arlington homeless persons: bring to our May 1 meeting

We asking all Arlington Greens to bring new or unused sample toiletries to our next AGP meeting which will be held on Thursday, May 1 at 7:00 PM at the usual meeting place the Ballston Firehouse Community Room (Wilson Blvd and Geo. Mason Drive).

We agreed at our April meeting to collect as many as possible and give them to the ASPAN homeless shelter program which still support homeless people in the summer months thought their shelter is now closed. So if you have any sample sized shampoo, hand soap, shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. that you may have picked up while staying at a hotel or motel, please bring them on May 1.

You can also go to the dollar store or Shopper’s food warehouse and find full size bottles of shampoo, shaving cream, etc.

thanks

John Reeder

chairman – AGP

Current winter shelter

Current winter shelter

Tagged:

March 17, 2014

Adding solar panels on Arlington public buildings–start with new homeless shelter bldg

Open letter from AGP webmaster John Reeder to Arlington County Board, March 14, 2014

wintershelter building2
Dear County Board members:

Yesterday during a break while on jury duty at the Arlington Courthouse tenth floor, I looked out the window and recognized below the roof of the new county building that will house our long needed homeless shelter and county employee office.

Would it be possible given that this building and utility systems must be totally redone, to add solar panels on the roof and/or a green roof, both of which would reduce its carbon footprint and the cost of electricity?

Such a solar system would be a significant public example of the county government leading the way as an environmental model. It appears the roof of the building has unobstructed south view, perfect for solar panels.

By the way, I would like to add that I and the Arlington Green Party have long supported a year round homeless shelter, despite what individual Green members may have stated recently about their personal views. The year round shelter with the ASPAN office a long overdue step in our affordable housing program. I applaud the opening of this shelter as soon as possible, and would support keeping the current shelter building open until the new one is ready.

However, as you are aware, there are virtually no places in which to located many of the clients of the homeless shelter. Our group homes and group townhouses are totally full, and there are few if any vacancies in our committed affordable apartment (CAFs) and these will not accept previously-homeless people making well under $30,000 a year. There are seven vacancies in our CAF apartments this month, and the minimum income needed is around $34,000.

Moreover, many of the homeless have mental and/or addiction issues so that realistically they need to be placed in a specialized residential program outside the shelter. Right now these longer term residential programs are totally full. You need to fund more group homes and group town houses.

thank you for your attention to improving the new homeless shelter,

John Reeder
winter shelter building

Tagged:

January 9, 2013

Housing authority: Ten good reasons to support it in Arlington County in 2013

Why Arlington Needs a Housing Authority

Virginia law provides housing authorities with unique powers to help preserve affordable housing. Unlike Alexandria and Fairfax County, Arlington doesn’t have one. Please sign the petition to place a referendum on the ballot next November asking Arlington voters to approve a housing authority. Here’s why:

1. Preserve Existing Affordable Units
Since 2000 more than two-thirds of Arlington’s affordable rental units have disappeared. The Arlington Housing Authority will reverse this trend by purchasing rental properties and keeping them affordable.

2. Provide Housing for Public Employees
Most Arlington firefighters, police and teachers can’t afford to live here. The Housing Authority will set aside housing for public employees to buy or rent. This will make Arlington a better place to live and work.

3. Leverage Money for Affordable Housing
The Housing Authority will leverage money for affordable housing by issuing long-term tax-exempt bonds to finance low income housing.

4. Act as a Land Trust
The Housing Authority will preserve historic apartment complexes and their surroundings.

5. Operate Subsidized Housing Units
The Housing Authority will receive federal funding to build and operate subsidized housing.

6. Consolidate Low Income Housing Programs
County housing staff are now scattered among a lot of agencies. Under the Housing Authority, staff will report to one voluntary board of directors appointed by County Board. This will assure a unified approach to public housing.

7. Condemn Substandard Housing
The Arlington Housing Authority can condemn, acquire and renovate substandard properties slated for demolition or redevelopment, saving paying tenants from eviction.

8. Qualify for HUD Loans and Grants
The Housing Authority will qualify for federal loans and grants not available to Arlington’s existing non-profit housing providers. HUD provides extensive funds for U.S. housing authorities.house_sketch

9. Provide Economies of Scale
The Housing Authority will either contract directly or negotiate with existing non-profits to purchase and/or renovate properties at the most affordable price.
10. Advocate for Affordable Housing
The Arlington Housing Authority will advocate for affordable housing on a par with schools, recreation centers and libraries.

Tagged: