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The Great Divide: Vanishing Affordable Housing

Along the U.S. 1 corridor in Alexandria, Va., there’s an explosion of apartment and condominium construction. The local economy is on an upswing and housing prices on the rise. At the same time, the City of Alexandria's Office of Housing reports half of its affordable housing units were lost in the past ten years. Land scarcity, rising housing prices and the new building boom have decimated Alexandria’s affordable housing stock. Prices for those new condominiums start at $600k and the townhomes at $1 million. The city’s lower and middle-income families are feeling the squeeze as a tightening housing market is pushing rents up. 

The reality is, there are market forces at work, here in Alexandria and across America, that are further separating us as a society.  The poor are driven out in the name of progress and profit. There’s a great divide underway in our society that will leave us unrecognizable as a nation in the years to come.  

This project is intended to serve as a bridge of understanding into the lives of those who are being impacted. During this last year, I have met many families who may face leaving Alexandria. Most were born here and are now considering leaving their hometown. Their options are few.