• For more information on Green Party membership or to contact Green Party leadership, email info@greensofarlington.org Join the Arlington Greens on Wednesday Sept. 4 2019 at 7:30 pm at Ballston Firehouse Community Room (George Mason Drive & Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA)

September 9, 2019

Arlington carbon emissions rise in homes, but drop in commerce and government during 2010-18, with 4-percent overall drop

Development,environment — @ 4:32 pm

During 2010-18 in Arlington, the use of natural gas rose by 30 percent to 91 million therms while use of electricity fell by 9 percent to 3.1 billion kilo watt hours, according to data from the Arlington County Government. In terms of carbon emissions, total carbon emissions declined by about 4 percent during 2010-2018, but most of this occurred because of lower commercial and government use related to fewer office workers in Arlington.

Residential use of electricity and natural gas both rose in this period. Use of electricity in homes rose by 3 percent to 1.7 billion kilowatt hours, and use of natural gas by rose by 54 percent to 61 million therms. Combined carbon emissions in residences rose by 14 percent to about 1.1 million metric tons of carbon. Raw data were supplied by the county government and converted to carbon equivalents using EPA data.

The increased residential use was propelled upwards by a 9-percent rise in population of Arlington rising to about 226,000 in January 2019 from 208,000 in 2010. However the rise in energy use exceeded the rise in population indicating that residents are intensifying their use of energy in their homes.
For the commercial and government sectors which experienced a drop in gas and electricity use, the large increase in empty office space and the reduction in the number of federal employees located in Arlington triggered this decline.

With the expected entry of thousands of Amazon employees in Arlington over the next 5 years or so, it is likely that the commercial sector will return to its prior energy use as office space is filled and more office buildings are constructed.

The Arlington Community Energy Plan adopted in 2013 has thus yet to indicate a shift in the energy patterns in commerce, government and residential uses, and the slight 4-percent drop in carbon emissions is entirely related to increased office vacancies. A return to high office use and the entry of Amazon HQ2 is likely to lead to a rise in overall county emissions. This will make impossible Arlington County’s energy plan goal to attain a 50-percent drop in emissions in the next 20 years.

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September 6, 2019

Greens to School Board: Leave the Trees Alone around Reed School in Westover

environment — @ 11:15 am

Arlington Greens voted to oppose the removal of over 30 mature trees and paving that green space adjacent to the Reed School in Westover area of Arlington on September 4. The school board will demolish the existing Reed School and as part of that plan it would remove trees and greens pace, among the trees are a silver maple of 54-inch diameter and red maple 42-inch diameter that are over 80 years old. The plan calls for this area to be paved and thus increasing storm water run off in an area that was just flooded two months ago. The removal of the trees and paving is a landscaping plan and has no relation to the new school building.

Many local residents have objected to the removal of the trees which also shade and retain rain water which otherwise would flow into the school building site.

We urge Arlington residents to tell the Arlington School Board to leave the trees on the Reed School property alone and allow nature to co-exist with the elementary school as it has for the past 80 years. Children can enjoy the trees and green space. Email – school.board@apsva.us
U.S. Mail – Syphax Education Center, 2110 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia 22204
By Phone 703-228-6015 to leave a voice mail message.

Schools and nature and trees belong together. Trees also provide canopy and cooling to Arlington which has many urban hot spots today and only getting worse. We need more trees in Arlington. it will also cost the public funds to pave over and remove the trees.

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August 30, 2019

Greens meet on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, 7:30 pm at Ballston Firehouse

Arlington Greens will hold their September meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 7:30 pm at the Ballston Firehouse Community Room located at George Mason Drive and Wilson Boulevard, Arlington.

Major topics:

Affordable housing in Arlington–update on Westover preservation of apartments

Arlington Community Energy plan–update on revised plan

Virginia Pipelines–adoption of opposition to building new Virginia pipelines

November elections–discussion of candidates

All are welcome.

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August 1, 2019

Arlington Greens meet on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 7:30 pm at Ballston Firehouse Community Room

Arlington Greens next meeting will be held on September 4, 2019, Wednesday, at 7:30 pm in the community room of the Ballston Firehouse located at the corner of George Mason Drive and Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA, about 1 mile from the Ballston Metro station.

The public is cordially invited to attend, but only members may vote on issues. Any Arlington resident can join at the meeting; annual dues are $5.

Agenda for main topics:

Westover Apartments historic preservation

Arlington Community energy plan–how to reduce Arlington’s carbon output

November election update

Arlington rental housing vouchers expansion

Plan to attend.

Green Hour Cable TV program on Arlington Independent Media

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July 30, 2019

Lawsuit filed against Arlington County for Blocking Historic Preservation of Westover Village in Arlington

John Reeder, a longtime Arlington community activist and chairman of the Arlington Green Party, filed a lawsuit on July 30 against the Arlington County Board of Supervisors for their refusal to complete the historic preservation review of Westover Village Apartments begun three years ago. The lawsuit asks an Arlington County judge to order the County Board to complete the local historic review process, as required under Virginia’s historic preservation law. Local historic preservation would prevent any further demolitions of existing buildings.


Digital Camera

Westover Village containing garden apartments, a shopping center, schools, a church, and small detached houses, was built mostly during the World War II era for Arlington residents working for the U.S. military and Government; most residents today are renters in the remaining about 700 moderate-cost garden apartments. The National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2006 designated the Village a national historic district, owing to its historic significance and architecture of the late 19th and 20th Century Revivals/Colonial Revival. In the past few years, a developer demolished eleven apartment buildings with about 90 units, and eliminated all adjacent mature old trees and green space.

The petition to initiate the local historic review of Westover Village was filed by Reeder in June 2016, and later supported by 160 Arlington residents. The county Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) then found that the proposed historic district met at least two of the required criteria for local historic designation. But then later, the HALRB halted any the review until the county board completed an unrelated zoning ordinance (the Housing Conservation Districts) that remains unfinished today. The proposed zoning ordinance was a pretext for delay, and unrelated to local historic designation which must strictly conform to the State of Virginia law on historic preservation.

The lawsuit asks for no monetary compensation, but rather for an order from the judge compelling the county board to expeditiously complete the historic review process after a 3-year delay as required by state law. Eleven buildings in the Village have been demolished to date, four since the petition was filed three years ago.

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July 17, 2019

Presidential Green Party candidate Dario Hunter spoke in Arlington on July 18

Presidential Green candidate Dario Hunter spoke at Arlington Central Library on July 16, Green Party members gathered to hear Ohio Green candidate Dario Hunter speak about his ideas for his presidential campaign to obtain the Green Party national nomination in 2020. He is an elected member of the Youngstown Ohio school board, an environmental attorney, rabbi, and son of an immigrant. Visit his website for more information www.dariohunter.com Dario is pictured in the photo (third from the left). Arlington Green member Kirit Mookerjee is on the far right.

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June 8, 2019

Arlington Greens Call for Ending Marijuana Prosecution in Arlington Virginia

Arlington Greens Call for Ending Marijuana Prosecution in Arlington Virginia

The Arlington Green Party in an open letter to the Arlington Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos have asked her to stop prosecuting people caught with small amounts of marijuana in Arlington. She has prosecuted over 300 individuals over the past few years for marijuana possession, most of them young black and Latino men. The life of a person convicted of a felony is often ruined–federal student loans and Pell grants are prohibited, and a criminal record makes finding a job very difficult.

Greens nationwide advocate decriminalizing marijuana. A recent opinion poll from the Pew Institute indicates that nearly two-thirds of Americans favor legalization of marijuana, with three-quarters of Millennials, two-thirds of Gen Xers, and a majority of Baby Boomers in favor. Arlington residents are of the same mind: they want an end to prosecuting possession of small amounts of personal marijuana. Marijuana has been legalized in many states and Washington, DC. The use of marijuana is purely a private act, and affects no one except the user.

Arlington police and prosecutors should concentrate on crimes of violence and significant felonies, and not waste our public dollars jailing and prosecuting mostly youth caught with a marijuana cigarette. It costs about a hundred dollars a day to jail someone, and then ties up court and prosecutor’s time to process a charge. The Arlington Commonwealth attorney should stop prosecuting, and ruining the lives of so many people caught with small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

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April 8, 2019

Study shows pesticide levels drop dramatically after 1 week of eating organic

environment — @ 3:15 pm

Organic Broadcaster https://mosesorganic.org/publications/broadcaster-newspaper/organic4all-study/

Study shows pesticide levels drop dramatically after 1 week of eating organic
By Kendra Klein, Ph.D., Friends of the Earth

Can eating organic really reduce levels of pesticides in our bodies? A new peer-reviewed study published in the journal Environmental Research found that switching to an organic diet significantly reduced the levels of synthetic pesticides found in all participants in just one week. On average, the pesticides detected dropped by 60.5% after six days of eating an all-organic diet.

The study was led by researchers from the University of California-Berkeley and Friends of the Earth. We found families that didn’t typically eat organic food in four cities across the country —Minneapolis, Baltimore, Atlanta, and Oakland. (MOSES was the partner organization for the Minneapolis study. The Birchwood Cafe, a local, organic restaurant, prepared organic meals for the family for the family’s week on an organic diet.)

The study lasted 12 days. During the first six days, each family ate only conventional foods and beverages. During the second six days, each family ate only organic food, all the way down to oils and spices. To ensure that they were able to eat a completely organic diet, each family wrote up a grocery list and research assistants shopped for them; dinners during the organic week were prepared by licensed chefs. All of the organic food was provided free of charge to the families.

Each participant provided a urine sample every morning. These were shipped to labs at the University of California at San Francisco and the Québec National Institute of Public Health. These labs looked for 18 different pesticides and the chemicals that pesticides break down to in our bodies, called metabolites.

Our study was designed to assess whether an organic diet could reduce exposure to pesticides, not to provide insight on the health risks associated with the pesticides in our diets. But we chose the pesticides we tested for because they’re among the most commonly used in U.S. agriculture and because they have been associated with harm to human health.

The most significant declines in our study involved organophosphates, a class of highly neurotoxic pesticides linked to brain damage in children. We found a 95% drop in levels of malathion, a probable human carcinogen, a nearly two-thirds reduction in chlorpyrifos, and a 70% drop in DAPs metabolites that represent exposure to organophosphates as a class. Organophosphates are so toxic to children’s developing brains that scientists have called for a full phase out.1 Organophosphate exposure is associated with endocrine disruption, autism, learning disabilities, reduced IQ, attention disorders, delayed motor development, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, decreased sperm quality, and cancers.2,3,4,5,6

The neonicotinoid pesticide clothianidin dropped by 83%. Neonicotinoids are among the most commonly detected pesticide residues in baby foods.7 They are associated with endocrine disruption and changes in behavior and attention, including an association with autism spectrum disorder.8,9,10 Neonicotinoids are also a main driver of massive pollinator and insect losses, leading scientists to warn of a second “silent spring.”11,12
Levels of pyrethroids were halved. Exposure to this class of pesticides is associated with endocrine disruption, adverse neurodevelopmental, immunological and reproductive effects, increased risk of Parkinson’s and sperm DNA damage.13,14,15,16

Finally, 2,4-D dropped by 37 percent. 2,4-D is one of two ingredients in the Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange. It is among the top five most commonly used pesticides in the U.S.17 and is associated with endocrine disruption, thyroid disorders, increased risk of Parkinson’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, developmental and reproductive toxicity and damage to the liver, immune system and semen quality.18,19

Small Exposures Matter
Although we used to believe that “the dose makes the poison,” in recent decades, science has shown that even extremely small exposures to pesticides matter. Consider the fact that chemicals prescribed by doctors to alter behavior, like the drug Ritalin, are active at levels that are the same or lower than some pesticides detected in children’s bodies. We now know that small amounts of pesticides can act like drugs and alter our brain development, hormones, immune systems, and more. Chemicals that affect our hormone systems, called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, can be especially problematic at very low doses.

We’re also increasingly understanding that even if the level of each pesticide is below legal limits, mixtures of pesticides can have an additive “punch” in total toxicity. Various studies have sought to assess this cumulative exposure, including one that looked specifically at organophosphates and found that if you consider the totality of U.S. children’s exposure from diet, approximately 40 percent may be exposed to levels that exceed benchmarks for neurological harm like ADHD and learning disabilities.20

Other recent studies show that reducing pesticide exposure by choosing an organic food can improve health, suggesting that the pesticide residues on our food matter. One study found a 25% reduction in cancer risk for participants who ate the most organic food.21 Another study found fertility benefits for women who ate organic food.22

Organic For All
Organic works. But the U.S. government’s food policy favors pesticide-intensive agriculture while failing to provide adequate incentives to farmers to transition to organic practices. As a result, pesticide-intensive agriculture is subsidized to the tune of billions of dollars while organic programs and research are woefully underfunded. This misdirection of public dollars makes pesticide-laden food the norm and is a significant reason why many people across the country still don’t have access to, or can’t afford, organic food.

Friends of the Earth, along with over 40 organizations across the country, believe that we all have the right to food that is free of toxic pesticides. The farmers and farmworkers who grow our nation’s food, and their communities, have a right to not be exposed to chemicals linked to serious health problems. And the way we farm should protect rather than harm the biodiversity, soil and water that sustain all life.

We can work together to pass laws in our cities, states and nationally that decrease pesticide use and expand organic farming. We can change the national Farm Bill and can advocate for policies that support fair pricing and fair contracts for family-scale farmers in order to support the increase in organic farming that we need to provide organic food for all. We can tell food companies and grocery stores to end the use of toxic pesticides in their supply chains and expand organic offerings. And we can support farmers markets, CSAs, and independent retailers and food companies that source from local, organic growers.

Together, we can demand that our leaders step up and shift support, research, and policies to create a system where organic is for all. The solution is here— we just have to grow it. For more information and ways to take action, go to www.OrganicForAll.org.

Kendra Klein is senior staff scientist for Friends of the Earth.

1 Hertz-Picciotto, I., Sass, J.B., Engel, S., Bennett, D.H., Bradman, A., Eskenazi, B., Lanphear, B. and Whyatt, R., (2018). Organophosphate exposures during pregnancy and child neurodevelopment: Recommendations for essential policy reforms. PLoS medicine. 15(10), p.e1002671.
2 Ibid.
3 UC Berkeley. Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children in Salinas. Online.cerch.berkeley.edu/research-programs/chamacos-study
4 Le Couteur, D.G., McLean, A.J., Taylor, M.C., Woodham, B.L. and Board, P.G., (1999). Pesticides and Parkinson’s disease. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy, 53(3), pp.122-130.
5 World Health Organization. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Monograph 112: Evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides. Online. www-prod.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/MonographVolume112-1.pdf
6 Recio‐Vega, R., Ocampo‐Gómez, G., Borja‐Aburto, V.H., Moran‐Martínez, J. and Cebrian‐Garcia, M.E., 2008. Organophosphorus pesticide exposure decreases sperm quality: association between sperm parameters and urinary pesticide levels. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 28(5), pp.674-680.
7 Cimino, A.M., et al. (2017). Effects of Neonicotinoid Pesticide Exposure on Human Health: A Systematic Review. Environ Health Perspectives. 125(2): p. 155-162.
8 Hoshi, N. et al. (2014). Insight into the mechanism of reproductive dysfunction caused by neonicotinoid pesticides. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 37(9), pp.1439-1443.
9 Science Daily. 2018. Neonicotinoids may alter estrogen production in humans. April 26. Online. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180426125939.htm
10 Cimino, A.M., et al. 2017. Effects of Neonicotinoid Pesticide Exposure on Human Health: A Systematic Review. Environ Health Perspectives. 125(2): p. 155-162.
11 Bittel, J. (2014, July 9). Second Silent Spring? Bird Declines Linked to Popular Pesticides. National Geographic. Retrieved from news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140709-birds-insects-pesticides-insecticides-neonicotinoids-silent-spring/
12 New York Times Editorial Board. (2017, October 29). Insect Armageddon. New York Times. Retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2017/10/29/opinion/insect-armageddon-ecosystem-.html
13 Go, V., Garey, J., Wolff, M.S. and Pogo, B.G., 1999. Estrogenic potential of certain
pyrethroid compounds in the MCF-7 human breast carcinoma cell line. Environmental health perspectives, 107(3), p.173.
14 Quiros-Alcala, L., S. Mehta, and B. Eskenazi, 2014. Pyrethroid Pesticide Exposure and Parental Report of Learning Disability and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in U.S. Children: NHANES 1999–2002. Environ Health Perspect.
15 Beyond Pesticides. Pesticides Trigger Parkinson’s Disease. Online. www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/gateway/health%20effects/parkinson%27s%20cited.pdf
16 Jurewicz, J., Radwan, M., Wielgomas, B., Sobala, W., Piskunowicz, M., Radwan, P., Bochenek, M. and Hanke, W., 2015. The effect of environmental exposure to pyrethroids and DNA damage in human sperm. Systems biology in reproductive medicine, 61(1), pp.37-43.
17 US Environmental Protection Agency. 2017. Pesticides Industry Sales and Usage: 2008 – 2012 Market Estimates. Online. www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-01/documents/pesticides-industry-sales-usage-2016_0.pdf
18 Beyond Pesticides. Pesticides that Disrupt Endocrine System Still Unregulated by EPA. Online. www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/gateway/health%20effects/endocrine%20cited.pdf
19 Beyond Pesticides. Chemical Watch Factsheet: 2,4-D. Online. www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/pesticides/factsheets/2-4-D.pdf
20 Payne-Sturges, D., Cohen, J., Castorina, R., Axelrad, D.A. and Woodruff, T.J., 2009. Evaluating cumulative organophosphorus pesticide body burden of children: a national case study. Environmental science & technology, 43(20), pp.7924-7930.
21 Scutti, Susan. 2018. You can cut your cancer risk by eating organic, a new study says. October 22. www.cnn.com/2018/10/22/health/organic-food-cancer-study/index.html
22 Chiu, Y., et al. 2018. Association between pesticide residue intake from consumption of fruits and vegetables and pregnancy outcomes among women undergoing infertility treatment with assisted reproductive technology. JAMA internal medicine, 178(1), pp.17-26.

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March 25, 2019

Arlington revises its community energy plan

environment — @ 4:49 pm

Arlington County is in the process of revising its community energy plan CEP that was adopted over five years ago, but never implemented largely because its two central policies were not done. The goal was a 75% lower carbon footprint by 2050. The vast majority of carbon output in Arlington occurs in buildings and to a far lesser extent in transportation. Electricity use is growing rapidly in Arlington. Progress in new county and school buildings and some new commercial high rise buildings has occurred, but this covers only a small fraction of fossil use in Arlington.

The CEP was not realized for two reasons. First the state building code covering all new buildings was never updated to achieve an expected 30% reduction in energy use. Secondly, the goal to have co-generation power plants in Arlington commercial areas never got going either because of the opposition of Dominion Power (which would lose sales of course), but also the large developers who are linked to fossil fuels.

Arlington Greens about two years ago advocated statewide and with county officials to get the state of Virginia to update the building code so that new residential buildings save 30% of their energy use, but the building industry blocked this change.

“County staff are currently leading a five-year review and update to the Community Energy Plan. The E2C2 Energy Committee is also providing a technical review of the plan and providing feedback.
The County will conduct a follow-up CEP Forum in 2019 to solicit feedback on the updated CEP. Stay tuned to the county webpage for additional details.” https://environment.arlingtonva.us/energy/community-energy-plan-cep/

Consider emailing your ideas to the Arlington County energy division for the new CEP to energy@arlingtonva.us

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February 20, 2019

Arlington County Should add $3 million to assist at least 400 More Arlington Very-Low Income Households with a Housing Rental Grant in its FY 2020 Budget

Arlington Greens at their February meeting voted to support asking the Arlington County Board to add $3 million more for low-income rental (housing) grants that could help 400 or more households in Arlington in 2020.

With $3 million in funding, at least 400 more housing grants should be provided to people who are termed “extremely low income” (those earning 40-percent or less of the area median income (AMI), by lowering the current minimum age for seniors from age 65 to 50, and by eliminating other arbitrary restrictions that block thousands of such extremely low income Arlington renters from just applying for a rental grant.

There are currently 15,000 Arlington renter households—about 30,000 people who are considered as “very low income”–earning under 50-percent AMI, and nearly two-thirds of whom do not receive housing assistance in any form, and face a heavy housing cost burden. This forces them to apply for other forms of assistance from faith communities, the Arlington food bank (AFAC), and other forms of emergency assistance from the county and charities. Housing rental grants are the county’s single most effective and cheapest (per dollar of benefits given versus the cost of administration) housing assistance program, and benefits can vary per household depending on need, and amount of funding available.

In 2015, the Arlington County Board adopted its Affordable Housing Master Plan that set a yearly goal of helping an additional 630 more households in Arlington who earn under 60-percent AMI with housing assistance. The county was only able to aid 246 new households in the most recent year, and cut the number of households getting a housing grant by 30. About 1,215 households applied for a housing grant in FY 2019, a drop of about 400 from the 1,624 households who applied in FY 2015.

The two primary housing assistance programs in Arlington funded by local tax dollars are the affordable housing investment fund that subsidizes construction of mostly new apartment units (“committed affordable units (CAFs)”) ($13.7 million funding in FY 2019), and the separate housing grants program that provides rental grants for very low income seniors, families with a child or disabled persons ($8.7 million in funding in FY 2019).

In the most recent year for which data are available (FY 2017), the county was able to add only 276 new CAFs, and has rarely added even 300 per year. The extraordinary high cost of building new units (averaging well over $350,000 per unit), and the number of years and difficulty it takes to build such units are major impediments to adding more CAFs. In addition, virtually no persons earning 40-percent AMI or less can qualify to rent a CAF because of their extremely low incomes. The new CAF program does not help extremely low income renters in Arlington for the most part.

In FY 2019, the county will spend $8.7 million for housing grants for 1,180 households—half of whom are disabled persons; one quarter are seniors over 65; and the remaining one quarter are families with a child. The average monthly grant is about $600 a month; the average rent in Arlington is about $2,000 per month. The average beneficiary family earned $27,000; a disabled person or a senior over 65 earned about $14,000 a year. The maximum income allowed for a housing grant is 40-percent AMI. In FY 2019, the county cut funding for housing grants by about $446,000 from FY 2018, and thus 30 fewer households got a housing grant.


The disposable income available per month for non-rental expenses for an Arlington family receiving a housing grant in FY 2018 was $930 without the grant, and $1,490 with a grant. A person with a disability with a housing grant had a disposable income available for non-rental expenses of only $50 per month without a grant, but $675 with a grant. For a senior receiving a grant, their disposable income for non-rental expenses was $102 without a grant and $677 with a grant. It would have been impossible for these households to live in Arlington, but for the housing grant.

Therefore, Arlington Greens call on Arlington County to provide $3 million more in funds in FY 2020 to its housing grants program that will allow at least 400 very low income households to receive a housing grant in Arlington. Far more than 400 households could be assisted with this $3 million if the monthly grant per household was reduced from its current $600 per month. An expanded housing grants program will allow Arlington County to finally reach its own goal of aiding at least 630 additional households in Arlington with housing assistance per year.

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