E-ffordable News Articles
May 10, 2018
Next Affordable Housing Advisory Committee Meeting is May 18
The next meeting of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC) is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Cornerstones, Inc., 11150 Sunset Hills Rd, Suite 210, Reston, VA.
Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all County programs, services and activities. Special accommodations will be provided upon request. For information call 703-246-5101 or TTY 711.
West Ford Community Youth Program Project Happiness Concludes
This spring, the Department of Housing and Community Development’s (HCD) PROGRESS (Partnership for Resident Opportunities, Growth, and Economic Self-Sufficiency) Center offered a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) pilot program called Project Happiness, which served children in grades K-6 and youth attending middle and high school at West Ford, a community owned by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) in Alexandria, VA. The Project Happiness program ran from February 22 – April 26. The program was facilitated by PROGRESS Center staff and George Mason University (GMU) Masters level social work interns, Nakshin Behrouzi and Arianna Butler.
The Project Happiness nine-week after-school program held sessions once per week for each age group. Project Happiness Social and Emotional Learning curriculum provided the framework for weekly sessions and focused on cognitive regulation (attention, planning, flexibility), emotional processes (knowledge, expression, behavior regulation, and empathy), and social/interpersonal skills (understanding social cues and conflict resolution). Students were introduced to mindsets and learned how the brain works and that the brain can always develop new capacities with effort and practice. The curriculum included pre- and post-assessments, videos, textbooks, activities, and additional reading suggestions.
Median-Priced Homes Not Affordable for Average Wage Earners
ATTOM Data Solutions, the curator of the nation's premier property database, released its 2018 U.S. Home Affordability Report, which shows that median home prices in Q1 2018 were not affordable for average wage earners in 304 of 446 U.S. counties, including Fairfax, analyzed in the report (68 percent).
The report determined affordability for average wage earners by calculating the amount of income needed to make monthly house payments — including mortgage, property taxes and insurance — on a median-priced home, assuming a 3 percent down payment and a 28 percent maximum "front-end" debt-to-income ratio.
In the report, the median income needed to purchase a home in Fairfax County was $144,240 (3 percent Down and 28 percent Front-End debt-to-income ratio). The annual median sales price was listed at $470,000. ATTOM Data Solutions created an interactive map, which identifies all 446 counties in the report and can be viewed at:
FCRHA Approves FY 2019 Moving to Work Plan
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) approved submission of the FCRHA Moving to Work (MTW) Plan for FY 2019 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The FY 2019 MTW Plan includes one newly-proposed activity - the establishment of local Fairfax County rent payment standards using current local rental market data. This is being implemented to provide an avenue to accomplish the goals of HUD’s Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs) final rule, while maintaining the current program size to ensure existing participants are able to remain in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.
In addition, the FY 2019 MTW Plan provides overviews and updates on previously-approved activities.
Wexford Manor Wins HAND Award
The Housing Association for Non-Profit Developers (HAND) announced that Wexford Manor Apartments will receive the 2018 HAND Housing Achievement Award in the Best Large Affordable Housing Project category. The award will be presented at the HAND Annual Conference on Tuesday, June 12.
Wexford Manor Apartments, a 74 unit affordable housing community owned and operated by Wesley Housing, received interior and exterior improvements, including the conversion of eight units to full accessibility, and an expanded Community Resource Center for resident services and support. In addition, the community was preserved as affordable housing for at least the next 30 years.
In 2015, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) authorized a $2.9 million loan to New Wexford LLC, for the acquisition, rehabilitation, and preservation of the 74-unit Wexford Manor Apartments in the Providence District. The FCRHA loan was comprised of Housing Blueprint funds and the action is consistent with the goals outlined in the Housing Blueprint.
HAND is dedicated to supporting the community development industry in its efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
2017 Rental Housing Complex Analysis Report Available
The Fairfax County Department of Management and Budget’s Economic, Demographic and Statistical Research unit recently released the 2017 Rental Housing Complex Analysis report. The report provides summary-level data on a variety of rental housing topics, including: inventory of rental units; vacancy rate; square footage; and monthly rental costs. The information is categorized by supervisor districts, planning districts, age of complex, unit type, structure type and year. The information in the report can be used for a variety of purposes including cost of living analysis, housing eligibility and more.
To view the report, click here.
Moving to Work Conference
On Wednesday, May 2, Elisa Johnson, Associate Director, FCRHA Policy, Reporting and Communications Division, Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), participated as a panelist on the Strategies to Mitigate Shortfalls session at the 2018 Moving to Work (MTW) Conference. The session discussed budget strategies and how they can be communicated with participants, community partners, and the media. Elisa provided an overview of the process recently undertaken with regard to the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program to address rising rents and budget cuts.
The MTW Conference was held from May 1-2 in Washington DC and was sponsored by Nan McKay & Associates, HAI Group, YARDI, and MRI.
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) received the MTW designation in 2012 by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). MTW gives housing authorities the flexibility to create programs that work best for their residents, allowing them to test innovative, locally-designed strategies to improve cost-effectiveness and help families achieve self-sufficiency.
Affordable Housing Roundtable
On Monday, April 9, 2018, U.S. Representative Don Beyer (Virginia’s 8th District) held an affordable housing listening session with local housing leaders at Fairfax County’s South County Center in Alexandria, VA. Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Director Tom Fleetwood joined the discussion, along with leaders from the cities of Arlington and Alexandria, among others. The opportunity provided a forum for Representative Byer to hear concerns from housing officials and stakeholders in his district, and to receive suggestions about what could be accomplished at the federal level. “We were honored to provide Representative Beyer with a location in Fairfax County for his event, and we truly appreciated the opportunity to share with him some suggestions for how we can work more closely to address the affordable housing challenges in his district,” said HCD Director Tom Fleetwood.