Hear from Alexandrians

Elevating our Neighbors' Stories

We've been proud to hear from so many of our neighbors who support abundant housing in Alexandria, and want to elevate the voices of these everyday Alexandrians speaking up for a more affordable and inclusive city.

While written comments provide a more accessible form of public input for busy people still working full time jobs, going to school, and raising the next generation, they are often given less attention by reporters on tight deadlines and policymakers who receive large packets of written comments at hearings.

We've created this page to highlight these voices from individual Alexandrians who may not have made it out to lengthy public hearings, but who still took the time to write personal messages to support more housing.

As a second generation American living in Old Town Alexandria. I am writing today in strong support. Despite working hard in school and now making a respectable income, I find that a significant portion of my paycheck goes towards rent, leaving little room for savings. I say yes to neighbors, yes to inclusive zoning, and yes to affordable housing. And I hope you will too. 

I love my neighborhood and the amenities it offers, and clearly recognize that those restaurants and businesses will only be successful if there is the neighborhood density and affordability to patronize them. My household income is nearly 200% of the AMI, and homeownership is not within reach for us in this neighborhood.

I moved from Boston, where the housing crisis is at a breaking point. One of the reasons I left was because the lack of safe and affordable housing was a serious threat to both my mental and physical health. So much of my paycheck was going towards rent that I was unable to pay my heating bill during some of the coldest days in the winter. I stayed in dangerous and unsanitary housing conditions because I had no choice. The condo we own now is in a wonderful multi-family development and I want to ensure others either living in or moving to Alexandria have the same opportunities that I did when I came here.

I keep hearing about preservation of structures and preservation of “character”. What seems to be missing is the preservation of the actual people that make our city wonderful.

My husband, a local small business owner, and I, a civil servant working in the nonprofit sector at the time, were extremely lucky to barely manage to buy a duplex in 2015. I would not be able to afford our own home at the prices similar duplexes in our neighborhood are selling for, despite our household income nearly doubling since 2015

My children attend The Butterfly House at Virginia Theological Seminary, and many of their teachers live far away (especially in Maryland) as a result of expensive housing in this neighborhood.

A long history of intentionally racist policymaking and planning in the US has meant that white people have had much greater access to homeownership and single family zoned areas. It is incumbent upon us to right this wrong and make our community more inclusive.

I worked very hard for many years to afford my Del Ray home. I'm very lucky to be able to manage this—none of my friends or family can afford to live here. Not in a single family house, not a townhome, not even a one bedroom apartment. Alexandria is just too expensive, and our restrictive zoning bears a lot of the blame.

I read through the zoning code for my street, and then checked it against measurements in the city's public maps data. I discovered that over 90% of the homes on my block do not conform to today's zoning code! My house, and the houses of most of my neighbors, could not legally be built again! 

My wife and I are oddities among our age group, as most of our cohort are unable to afford to purchase homes in Alexandria. I can count on one hand the number of friends my age who own a house. We could not afford our house today. I count myself lucky to own a home, and I want to ensure that all people have the same chances I did. 

Before we moved here we weren't sure where we wanted to live but it needed to be walkable (my wife doesn't drive). We love being in a neighborhood that's walkable, close to great restaurants, a grocery store, and has good transit connections. The problem is that over time I've seen the neighborhood get more and more out of reach for most people. 

I can't get away to speak in person, but I want to voice my support for expanding the initiative to provide as much housing as possible for Alexandria. The housing crisis requires monumental action. 

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to live in a neighborhood where I can walk most of my errands and and run into neighbors I know while I do it. Thanks for your work on this, and the new neighbors it will bring

Offering different types of housing is critical to a vibrant, diverse community.

I've lived in Alexandria for 18 years and have watched most of my friends have children and move away in search of cheaper homes to raise their families. I wish housing was more affordable in this city. 

I live in a 2 bedroom duplex, next to a mansion on one side and a bungalow on the other, across from the Del Ray Gardens apartments. We have a row of townhouses down the street. It’s fantastic – you can be a part of the neighborhood at many price points. 

As our kids reach college age, we are planning our future and thinking of theirs. We would like to have the option to downsize to a garden apartment or duplex or even a high rises apartment in a walkable and bikeable neighborhood in Alexandria. And we would like for them to have the choice to be able to afford to rent (let alone even buy) a small apartment here. Neither of those futures are possible right now.

As a young family, we were very lucky to be able to afford a place in Alexandria, even with relatively high incomes. We purchased a duplex in Del Ray back in 2017, and would not be able to afford the same house today. 

Young adults in their early 20s like me are one of the least common demographics in Alexandria. Even when we get college degrees and work hard for our competitive jobs in the DMV area, basic aspirations like owning a home and starting our own families seem completely out of reach due to the cost of living. 

By embracing Zoning for Housing, we can look forward to welcoming more neighbors, reducing housing costs, boosting local businesses, expanding access to public transportation, and improving our city. 

I am excited for new neighbors to move in, for old neighbors to be able to stay, and for our city to grow in ways that will enhance current residents' lives. We live in a popular, desirable city in a major metropolitan area, and we should embrace that we are an in-demand destination for people to move.

I am a 9-year resident of Alexandria. I love this city, and want more people to be able to live here and love it as I do. 

Thank you for conducting this important initiative to make Alexandria a more inclusive and affordable place to live and work. 

I am a native Alexandrian who has chosen to return to Alexandria after college to serve my community, and it was incredibly challenging to find housing that I could afford within the city I call home. I am a public servant working for the state government and I do not expect to ever be able to own a home in Alexandria, and I would love for that to change.

I'm a social worker constantly trying to help people in Alexandria find housing. Unfortunately, too often my best advice is to move out of Alexandria because there is very little affordable housing available for the people with whom I am working. These are often elderly or disabled clients living off of Social Security or Disability payments as their only forms of income. The lack of available housing for them means they must either leave the area, or end up on the streets.

I really enjoy living in Rosemont because of the diversity of housing stock, walkability, and access to transit, and I think it's pretty silly that much of Del Ray and Rosemont could not be built today under current zoning laws.

As a homeowner in Del Ray I have no reservations about moving forward with these changes. 

As a concerned member of this community, I believe that it is our collective responsibility to find solutions to this pressing issue. The proposed zoning changes offer a promising path forward. 

I love living here, and I would love it even more if being a millionaire weren't quickly becoming a prerequisite for residence and homeownership. I have aging parents who would like to move to be closer to us, and finding housing they can afford near my home has been impossible  

I think it is time to plan so more people can live in Alexandria, so our children do not move away because they cannot afford housing where they grew up. 

I am here as a proud property-owner in Alexandria, who lives in a diverse, multi-generational community that I fear cannot continue to be affordable. If we stay with the status quo, only millionaires will be able to live here. Land is not getting cheaper. We need to be bold and creative to not only protect what affordable housing we have but to create more.

Alexandria is in a housing crisis. Solidly middle class families such as mine (a military officer, my full time employed wife, our infant son, and our dog) are priced out of the city, especially the Metro accessible, walkable parts of town.

I support Zoning for Housing but can't make the hearing because I am busy working a night shift at Inova Children's Hospital. This is a very important issue for me and my family, especially me toddler and baby on the way.  

I would like others who do not have as much existing wealth to have a better opportunity of being able to live in Alexandria. 

Want to get involved in Alexandria? Here are two easy steps: