What was removed from City Councils agenda last Tuesday night was nearly as important as what was discussedthe discussion about a $5.7 million loan to the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority to retire the mortgage on Glebe Park.
The item was deferred until September. We just feel that we need more time to work with ARHA on several issues before we can bring a recommendation to Council, said Mark Jinks, assistant city manager for finance.
ARHA plans to redevelop the decaying 152-unit housing development on West Glebe and Four Mile Run in the citys Arlandria neighborhood. As proposed, Glebe Park, James Bland and James Bland Addition would be redeveloped as one project with mostly public housing units at Glebe Park and a mix of subsidized and market-rate units at the other two properties. Sale of the units at James Bland would have financed the redevelopment of Glebe Park.
In April, when the project was denied tax-credit financing by the Virginia Housing Development Authority, ARHA went to Council for financial assistance. Also, the project was widely criticized by neighbors of the Glebe Park project who wanted more market-rate units than were originally proposed.
ARHA has a $5.7 million mortgage remaining on Glebe Park, which is costing around $65,000 a month, money the agency does not have. Also, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ordered ARHA to return the Glebe Park units that are now off-line because of mold, to service.
Before we are willing to provide a bridge loan, we want city staff and ARHA to spend the summer working out the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding, said Councilman Rob Krupicka, a member of the ARHA Work Group, comprised of Mayor William D. Euille, ARHAs Board Chair and Vice Chair.
A. Melvin Miller is ARHAs Board Chairman said, I think we can work out the financial terms but the MOU goes way beyond that, he said. The MOU deals with the over-all operation of the Agency and the ARHA Board needs to have that discussion with Council. City and ARHA staff cannot work out those details, Miller said.
In the meantime, the clock is ticking on HUDs requirement to return the public housing units to service. We have already missed one milestone when the low-income tax credits were denied, Miller said.