Button up your flannel and grab your messenger bag! Arlington County is hosting an affordable housing event – “Housing 4 Hipsters ” – on March 14. Let’s get a few things out of the way: I don’t think this event is actually targeted at hipsters (“door prizes, such as Redskins tickets and interior design services, will be given away” – come on), nor do I think that you can do a whole lot to attract hipsters to your city. This has been extensively talked about in economic development… is it possible to attract “creative” classes of people to help pioneer neighborhood revitalization? Most experts would say no, or at least, not with any degree of precision.
Ok, now that we’ve dealt with the confusing title, I think the purpose of the program is interesting:
“We want people to understand there is housing assistance available across a wide range of incomes… When people see government assistance, they often think it must be for low income or they won’t qualify.”
Myrick said there are 6,500 units in Arlington that qualify for a rent price based on an individual’s income. There are also income-based deals available on mortgages with lower interest rates, in addition to money lending programs to help with down payment and closing costs.
This is a great example of how local governments can advocate for greater homeownership, which can have a variety of external social and community benefits. Neighborhood stability is probably the foremost positive effect, and so it’s no surprise that a rapidly-growing county like Arlington would want to encourage young people to invest in the future of neighborhoods through homeownership.
Many thanks to my friend Ranya for bringing this event to my attention.