Arlington County Housing Authority Referendum (2009)
The question voters would have been asked to decide is, "Is there a need for the redevelopment and housing authority to be activated in the County of Arlington?"
If the referendum is approved, an Arlington County Housing Authority would be established. It would have its own separate board, consisting of between 5-9 members. They would be appointed by the Arlington County Board. The Arlington County Housing Authority would have the right to choose its own executive director and staff, and its own legal representation.
The Housing Authority, if it is established, would be responsible for:
- "The elimination of blight and redevelopment of blighted areas."
- "The prevention of further deterioration and blight"
- The "promotion of the availability of affordable housing for all citizens of the Commonwealth and in particular to provide safe, decent, and sanitary housing for those citizens with low or moderate incomes."
Support and opposition
- The Green Party of Arlington was an early supporter of the idea of a housing authority in Arlington County.,
- The Arlington County Democratic Party opposed a similar referendum that was on the November 2008 ballot.
Arlington County attorney Stephen MacIsaac has asked an Arlington County judge to decide whether the referendum is entitled to a spot on the November 3, 2009 ballot. His contention is that the referendum falls short of the provisions of Virginia House Bill 1890 (2009), which was sponsored by Virginia House of Delegates member Bob Brink, unanimously passing through both the Virginia State Senate and Virginia House of Delegates before being signed by governor Tim Kaine in February 2009.
If MacIssac's 112-page brief carries the day, a judge will disallow the petition on the grounds that it doesn't have enough signatures and that it repeats a question that voters considered in 2008. An important legal consideration is that session laws in Virginia ordinarily don't take effect until July 1, when a new fiscal year begins in the state.
When the same question was on the November 2008 ballot, it failed. About 33,000 people voted for it, while about 66,000 voted against it.
- The Sun Gazette, "Court Showdown Set on Housing-Authority Referendum", June 28, 2009
- Washington Post, "Public Housing Authority Proposed for Arlington", November 8, 2007
- Housing Authority: Yes or No?
- Sun Gazette, "Democrats Say 'No' - Emphatically - to Housing Authority", August 7, 2008
- Arlington Greens, "Arlington Housing Referendum Fails"
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