PRESS RELEASE: Missing Middle May Be a Done Deal, But It’s Still a Major Campaign Issue

April 3, 2023.

I’m Audrey Clement, the Independent candidate for Arlington County Board. As a 19-year Westover resident, long time civic activist, and past member of the Transportation Commission, I’m running for County Board because the County has pushed harmful policies resulting in: 

  • overcrowded schools
  • gentrification
  • loss of green space
  • excessive runoff, and
  • a 10 year average annual effective tax rate increase that is almost twice the rate of inflation

I also oppose the so-called “Enhanced Housing Options (EHO)” a/k/a “Missing Middle” ordinance that the County rammed through on March 22, 2023. Missing Middle up-zoned single family neighborhoods throughout the county, despite massive opposition from homeowners and those like myself who believe it is nothing more than a concession to developers.

While two of the other contenders for County Board have also recently spoken out against Missing Middle, I’ve been vocal in my opposition to it since long before it was popular to speak out–February 22, 2020 to be exact.

Other County Board contenders are pushing for Missing Middle, while actively misleading voters about what it will do. They claim that Missing Middle will end de facto redlining even though in a February 1 letter to County Board, the local NAACP president reported that only 20% of Blacks in the county can afford to buy or rent a Missing Middle unit (p.3).

These County Board candidates also say that Missing Middle will provide a way for moderate income residents to get starter homes, even though most of the units will be rental.

At the March 28, 2023 annual budget hearing, Alice Hogan, a board member of Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH), stated that Missing Middle will not meet the needs of anyone earning less than area median income, [33:23 8:00:02] which is about $123,000 per year. Hogan and other Missing Middle proponents used this fact to lobby for more housing subsidies at the hearing. This sounds like they are gearing up to push for taxpayer subsidies of Missing Middle units to make them affordable.

If you object to subsidizing overpriced housing and the constant misleading hype about the supposed benefits of Missing Middle, then you should vote for Clement for County Board on November 7, 2023.

If elected, I pledge to:

  • Seek immediate tax relief for residents and businesses.
  • Demand full transparency in the deals the County cuts with developers.
  • Preserve Arlington’s cultural heritage. Stop permitting the destruction of historic structures.
  • Save our parks, streams and tree canopy. Stop clearcutting wooded areas on public property.
  • Say YES to real social justice reforms and NO to symbolic gestures.

If you share my agenda, then:

  • Spread the word about my candidacy.
  • Donate to my campaign.
  • Help make the “Arlington Way” more than an empty phrase.