Bus barn redevelopment is perfect for future affordable housing

Bus barn redevelopment is perfect for future affordable housing

By Maria T. Wildes, Alexandria
(File Photo)

To the editor:

Alexandria’s hotel and restaurant workers need an affordable place to call home. Now is the time for Mayor Bill Euille and city councilors to act on 2012’s campaign promises of support for affordable housing.

Last month, the Alexandria Times described a master housing plan with a goal of saving or creating 2,000 units by 2025 (“Roadmap to affordability,” January 23). Such a pitiful number to be achieved in the next 11 years can only be scoffed at when compared to the 12,500 homes lost in the past 12 years.

But it’s time to get past the wishful thinking and pursue the next opportunity to create housing.

In the same issue of the Times, it was reported: “City officials have established an ad hoc committee to guide the sale and redevelopment of the North Royal Street bus barn.” One can only hope that the director of the Alexandria Office of

Housing and city councilors will work to obtain this land and build attractive, affordable housing. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority may be more amenable to Alexandria’s purchase offer than was the Virginia Department of Transportation with Hunting Towers (now Hunting Point).

Euille and city councilors should know that we Alexandrians support earnest, meaningful efforts to include affordable housing in our city. Any elected official who dismisses past promises as campaign rhetoric will be sorely disappointed next year.