Monica Morin has no dreams of living in Arlington long-term. “That would be futile,” she said, “especially with the Amazon effect on the market.”
Monica is a Virginia Beach native who moved to Arlington in 2013. She worked at Dulles but wanted to be closer to D.C. in hopes of finding a different job. Two years ago she landed a position at American University. She’s a full time senior administrative assistant, supporting faculty and students, managing a budget, executing events, and handling scheduling for five majors and six minors.
Her first paycheck of the month covers the rent with just $70 left over. She moonlights at Trader Joe’s in Clarendon to help cover expenses.
“Wage growth has not kept up with housing cost growth,” Monica said. She shares a three-bedroom home with two other renters who, like Monica, found the place on Craigslist. She figures if her landlord decides to sell the house it’ll be her cue to leave Arlington.
“I save a lot of money by not owning a car,” Monica said. But she’s still paying off her electric bike and figures if she leaves her second job she’d have to cut back on a number of things, including donating to charity and saving for retirement.
In spite of hard reality that she will eventually be priced out of Arlington, Monica loves living here. Her home is right on the Custis Trail and in addition to her bike (on which she can haul $90 worth of groceries), she uses public transportation.
Monica is a fan of density because “density supports transit.” She previously lived in Prince William County on a “useless golf course” with bus lines that ran one-way during rush hour.
“I love living close to so many bus lines that can take me to Shirlington, Tysons, Farragut, Rosslyn—everywhere," she said.
So for as long as she’s here, Monica will be getting around by bike, bus, car2go, and carpool with generous co-workers.
We support an Arlington for Everyone, in which people from all walks of life are welcomed to live and fully participate in our community.
We believe that Arlington is a greater place because of its openness to inclusivity and dedication to social and economic diversity.
We recognize that creating and maintaining a variety of housing options and a commitment to long-term affordability in Arlington is essential to this diversity.