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Sunday, September 25, 2022
ArlingtonOpinionLetter: How will Missing Middle be managed, now and in future?

Letter: How will Missing Middle be managed, now and in future?

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Editor: Arlington has been consumed for quite a while now with “Missing Middle” and how to generate more housing in neighborhoods now zoned for single-family properties.

While arguments continue to be made in favor or opposition, what seems to be missing most is the a Missing Middle management methodology – namely, how is this transformation to be undertaken, when, by whom, in what neighborhoods and for how long?

What about the role of homeowners and buyers, builders, bankers, real-estate companies and land-use attorneys, to name a few, not to mention a variety of county-government offices?

And while the Missing Middle battle rages, little is mentioned or emphasized about the plight of the left out and “Leaving Lower,” those families with limited incomes that already have been displaced or at risk of imminent departure.

The Missing Middle initiative, according to the county’s current proposal, will require a minimum income at or above 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), about $113,000, far greater than the income of renters making 30 percent of AMI, or $42,000 for a family of four.

While true that not everyone can afford to live in Arlington, at least let’s hold harmless those families that already live here and have, in many cases, for generations. A low-income housing bond would go a long way to build, renovate and provide rent support for families who cannot afford Missing Middle housing, so that more remain staying and prospering rather than leaving.

Mark Riley, Arlington

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