Will Alexandria Lose Affordable Housing At Hunting Towers? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Will Alexandria Lose Affordable Housing At Hunting Towers?

Play associated audio
Residents of the Hunting Towers in Alexandria enjoy a rare view of the Potomac.
Ed Cabic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/edcabic/3589945372/
Residents of the Hunting Towers in Alexandria enjoy a rare view of the Potomac.

Hundreds of residents of a low-income apartment complex in Alexandria, Va., are worried about the the future.

The twin buildings of Hunting Towers rise above a spot south of Old Town once known as Broomilawn. It's a spot known in the 19th century as a pleasure garden. These days the area is home to an affordable apartment complex, one of the last spots where residents can snag low-end housing in a high end area.

Olga Calahorra has lived in the area for three decades. She says she can't imagine finding another place like Hunting Towers, situated at the southernmost tip of the District of Columbia, where George Washington laid the first boundary marker of the capital city.

"We have the river. We have the place to walk. We can walk to Old Town, and it's a nice place to live," Calahorra says. "That's the reason I live here for more than 30 years."

Others are more circumspect. Nick Miles has lived here for four years. Unlike many residents of this complex, he says he's not concerned that his landlord, the Virginia Department of Transportation, has sold the building the Chicago based Laramar Group.

"I would just find somewhere else," Miles says. "It's perfectly nice. But, you know, I could always find another apartment."

Many residents here are hoping they can persuade the new owner to maintain the towers as affordable housing. Rob Alderman has lived here for ten years.

"It has a lot of residents on edge, obviously, because once their leases expire, we anticipate there being an increase in the rent," Alderman says.

That could mean hundreds of people might be kicked out of this slice of Old Town, yet another loss of affordable housing.

"People on fixed incomes and the elderly make up a good portion of the building and, you know, add a lot of flavor and color to Old Town," Alderman says. "And we're afraid they would be pushed out of here."

City officials say they are in talks with the new owner to preserve as many affordable units as possible.

NPR

MacArthur Fellow Terrance Hayes: Poems Are Music, Language Our Instrument

Hayes, a professor of writing at the University of Pittsburgh, was recognized for "reflecting on race, gender, and family in works that seamlessly encompass both the historical and the personal."
NPR

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And The Risk Of Diabetes

There's a new wrinkle to the old debate over diet soda: Artificial sweeteners may alter our microbiomes. And for some, this may raise blood sugar levels and set the stage for diabetes.
NPR

House Passes Bill That Authorizes Arming Syrian Rebels

Even though it was backed by both party leaders, the vote split politicians within their own ranks. The final tally on the narrow military measure was 273 to 156.
NPR

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.