Alexandria Council Votes To Rezone In West End, Displacing Thousands | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Alexandria Council Votes To Rezone In West End, Displacing Thousands

Play associated audio
Developers will replace 2,500 market-rate garden units with 6,600 units of mostly luxury apartments in Alexandria's West End.
Michael Pope
Developers will replace 2,500 market-rate garden units with 6,600 units of mostly luxury apartments in Alexandria's West End.

Thousands of low-income families on the West End of Alexandria, Va., are facing a new sense of uncertainty about their future after the Alexandria City Council voted 6 to 1 last weekend to rezone the area to make way for luxury apartments.

Many of the families in residence don't know what the future holds. Hazam Khammash, 15, is from Jordan, one of many residents in the area from around the globe.

"It's kind up upsetting, you know, because my mom works really work and, you know, she has to work harder," Khammash says.

This blue-collar neighborhood is full of taxi drivers and restaurant workers and hotel janitors. Now the area is ripe for redevelopment, especially now that city leaders have opened the door to a massive redevelopment effort that will eventually demolish all of the garden apartments here.

"It's like a disaster," says Heber Banegas, from Honduras. "I mean, you know, many families don't know where to go. I mean, this is their home."

Supporters say the plan calls for 800 units of dedicated affordable housing units, but opponents say that's little consolation for the thousands of families who currently live in the 2,500 units of market-rate affordable housing now.

"It destroyed what I planned, because I wanted to be stable here for about two years, but if this happens in the next year, this is not good for me. Not good," says Iraqi Salam Jawad.

City officials say they will do everything they can to make sure that residents who currently live in these apartments are able to stay, if they qualify for one of the dedicated units.

Demolition is slated to begin next year.

WAMU 88.5

Audiences Get A Modern Look At A 19th Century Opera

Opera as seen through the lens of Google Glass? Wolf Trap is giving audiences the chance to mix technology with Bizet’s classic "Carmen" this month.
NPR

Can You Trust That Organic Label On Imported Food?

A new book claims the organic label can't be trusted, especially on food that's imported. Yet there is a global system for verifying the authenticity of organic food, and it mostly seems to work.
NPR

Democrats Make New Bid To Require Donor Transparency

The latest version of the DISCLOSE Act, which would force donor disclosure on outside organizations that engage in election politics, is facing now-familiar opposition from Republican lawmakers.
NPR

A Plan To Untangle Our Digital Lives After We're Gone

In the digital age, our online accounts don't die with us. A proposed law might determine what does happen to them. But the tech industry warns the measure could threaten the privacy of the deceased.

Leave a Comment

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