Buyers and Renters Arlington Voice (BRAVO) is the only countywide organization in Arlington that educates, engages and empowers tenants.
Tenants account for almost 60% of Arlington population. At BRAVO, we are passionately committed to working with tenants throughout the County to ensure that their visibility and influence match their numbers.
We are now developing innovative, new initiatives that promote and foster civic engagement of tenants to strengthen their local ties and their standing – and to enrich the overall Arlington community.
From dealing effectively with landlords to address housing code violations … to increasing tenants’ neighborhood involvement on everything from safety to transportation … to promoting preservation of affordable housing, BRAVO is the Go To organization for tenants in Arlington County.
We were first established in the face of community crisis. In 1999, Arlington County lost 720 affordable housing units in the Arna Valley apartments. Many residents who lived there were low-income. Many were people of color.
Local advocates recognized that the displacement of those 720 families meant that parts of Arlington County’s mosaic were being erased. They decided to do something about it. In the Spring of 2000, fourteen local organizations and churches joined together in coalition to form BRAVO. We soon obtained our 501c3 nonprofit status and have worked tirelessly in the community to promote preservation of affordable housing and to train tenants as their own best advocates for their rights, needs and priorities.
Since our founding, we have:
• Served as watchdog to ensure that relocation guidelines concerning complexes being redeveloped are followed and that housing is located in the County for displaced tenants
• Engaged tenants to participate actively in their community and with the County government
• Empowered tenants to communicate and negotiate effectively with landlords on housing disputes
• Educated tenants on their rights, Arlington’s housing code, and government and community programs
• Joined with other groups to influence decision-making on housing in Arlington, including the successful preservation of over 600 units of affordable housing since 2000
BRAVO’s vision: All tenants in Arlington County can live in and enjoy homes that are well-maintained, safe, healthy and affordable, and in communities that are peaceful, safe, attractive and close to where they work with access to services and amenities needed in daily living, and where they make and influence decisions that affect their lives.
A fundamental principle behind our new initiatives is that integrating tenants of diverse backgrounds into Arlington’s civic community is key to increasing their capacity to make this vision a reality.
We are excited about launching Community Gardens at Apartment Buildings, Building-based Listservs and Make SmarTrip Accessible.
In conjunction with BRAVO's Board of Directors, Executive Director Dennis Jaffe is guiding the organization in the development and implementation of these new initiatives.