Housing Alexandria’s announces its Rent Ready program to lower barriers in the affordable housing leasing process

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In the City of Alexandria’s Small Area Plan for Arlandria-Chirilagua, a program to help households overcome the difficulties of the affordable housing leasing process was imagined. Housing Alexandria has answered the call and in 2024 has begun our pilot phase of Rent Ready, a renter education, preparation, and outreach initiative.

From months of engagement with our current residents, prospective residents, community members, service providers, and advocates, we identified several distinct issues that cause households who could rent a committed

affordable unit to lose out on the opportunity: a lack of clarity about the affordable leasing processes (and a lack of this clarity in other languages), difficulties with reporting non-traditional incomes such as the self-employed or gig workers, and the time pressure involved in accessing a high-demand product, among others.

Housing Alexandria’s Rent Ready team is carrying out a few key activities during this pilot phase:

  • Creating easy-to-use resources (workbooks, videos, calculators) to guide the rental application process for those enrolled in Rent Ready and provide solutions for households with complicated applications
  • Hosting webinars and group meetings about Rent Ready and affordable housing in our neighborhoods
  • Deepening relationships with community partners who work with those who would benefit from this program
  • Translating all of our materials and meetings for ease of access
  • Guiding interested applicants further with 1-on-1 support well in advance of leasing opportunities

As we start the pilot Rent Ready will operate alongside our Sansé/Naja development in Arlandria-Chirilagua, to help ensure that when this building is ready to lease up over 400 units that every household that qualifies can succeed in the leasing process. Beyond Sansé, we will apply our Rent Ready program to every Housing Alexandria community.

Rent Ready is envisioned as one of a spectrum of programs we are undertaking to increase access to housing in Alexandria, called our “Ready, Stable, Own” (RSO) initiative. In addition to Rent Ready, we are

  • helping current renter households build stability and community with social events, community produce gardens, credit building, eviction prevention measures, and participation in our Tenant Advisory Board, and
  • guiding interested households who are ready to take the leap into homeownership opportunities, such as with our shared equity homeownership development at Seminary Road.

This Rent Ready program is partially funded by the Alexandria Fund for Human Services. If you would like to help take Rent Ready to its maximum potential, or to support any of Housing Alexandria’s programs, would you make a gift to your neighbors today?

Donate to support innovative efforts to increase affordable housing access


Learn more about our Sansé and Naja development plans

Get in touch with our Rent Ready team

Learn all about how Area Median Income works

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