E-ffordable News Articles
September 14, 2018
Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority Awarded 55 New Vouchers
HUD Awards $99M Nationally to Provide Affordable Housing to People with Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $98.5 million to provide permanent affordable housing to nearly 12,000 non-elderly persons with disabilities. The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) will receive over $775,000 in the form of 55 housing vouchers.
The housing assistance is provided through HUD's Section 811 Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program, which provides funding to housing agencies to assist non-elderly persons with disabilities, who are transitioning out of institutional or other separated settings; at serious risk of institutionalization; homeless; or at risk of becoming homeless.
Embark Richmond Highway Initiative Looks to Address Affordable Housing
As part of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment, a new affordable housing advisory group has been formed to make recommendations on affordable housing issues related to the Embark Richmond Highway initiative. The 14 member group, called the Embark Housing Advisory Group, is led by the Department of Housing and Community Development and supported by the Department of Planning and Zoning. The group consist of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, including affordable housing advocates, non-profits, and developers. Members were invited by Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay and Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck.
The advisory group will provide recommendations on affordable housing issues first to the Strategic Economic Development Team created by Supervisors Storck and McKay and ultimately to the Board of Supervisors. It is anticipated that these recommendations may result in or include a Comprehensive Plan amendment to provide further guidance concerning affordable housing in the Embark area.
The Embark Richmond Highway Initiative is a multi-faceted project promoting revitalization along a 7.5 mile segment of the Richmond Highway Corridor by creating a series of mixed-use activity centers supported by a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system; roadway, pedestrian and bicycle improvements; enhanced open space and park systems; and ultimately a three-mile extension of the Metrorail Yellow Line from Huntington to Hybla Valley.
For more information on the Embark Housing Advisory Group, visit the web page at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/housing/embark. If you would like more information on the Embark initiative as a whole, go to https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning-zoning/embark-richmond-highway.
The Fallstead at Lewinsville to Open October 2018
Last year, the County of Fairfax, in partnership with the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) and Wesley-Hamel (Wesley Housing Development Corporation and Hamel Builders), hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on the Lewinsville Community Campus.
The Fallstead at Lewinsville Center, which consists of 82 units of privately operated affordable senior independent housing, has been completed. The county facility, which will include a senior center, adult day health care center, and two private child daycare centers, is expected to be completed in spring 2019. At no cost to the County, Wesley-Hamel designed, developed, constructed, and will own and operate the 82 unit senior independent-living residence under a ninety nine (99) year ground lease with the County.
The new Lewinsville Community Campus will bring nearly four times as many affordable independent-living units to the community for seniors at or below 50 percent of the area median income. It will also nearly double the capacity at the Adult Day Health Care Center and Senior Center and provide state-of-the-art facilities for the childcare centers.
A grand opening event for the Fallstead will be held on October. For more information about the Fallstead, visit: http://www.thefallstead.com/.
Reminder: Available for Public Comment: Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report for FY 2018
The Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has prepared a Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The FY 2018 CAPER evaluates the county’s use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program funds for the period from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.
Members of the public are invited to review the draft report and provide comments before the final draft is submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Copies of the draft FY 2018 CAPER will be available and comments will be received beginning Friday, Aug. 31, through Monday, Sept. 17, at the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development, 3700 Pender Drive, Fairfax, Virginia, 22030, between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The report will also be available for this same period of time at the following Fairfax County Public Libraries: Reston Regional, Centreville Regional, Sherwood Regional, and Patrick Henry.
The document will also be available online. Written comments on this report may be submitted to the attention of Stephen E. Knippler, either at the Department of Housing and Community Development address above or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions, please call 703-246-5170 (TTY: 711).
Reminder: Approximately $2.1M Available in CDBG and HOME for Affordable Housing Projects – Applications Due September 28
The Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) announces the availability of funds under the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) programs. Project proposals are being solicited to acquire, develop or rehabilitate affordable housing. Preference will be given to projects that include preservation and acquisition of affordable housing and meet one or more of the following criteria:
Result in affordable housing that is accessible to disabled persons;
Serve extremely low-income households (at or below 30 percent Area Median Income (AMI));
Provide housing for persons experiencing homelessness or who are at-risk of homelessness;
Provide housing for seniors (62 years and older);
Provide housing for youth transitioning out of foster care; and
Provide beneficiaries with direct access to public transportation and/or community retail centers and/or supportive services.
The funding available under this request for proposal includes approximately $2,147,082, consisting of $515,641 in CDBG funds and $1,631,441 in HOME funds ($315,457 of which are reserved for Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs)).
Funding awarded to successful applicants must be used within 24 months of approval by the FCRHA of grant awards (i.e., project completion and fully occupied by beneficiaries). An application is available online at the following links:
Request for Proposals CDBG HOME CHDO Affordable Housing Projects FY 2019 and the FY 2019 CDBG HOME RFP Evaluation Criteria and Application (revised August 8, 2018).
Residences at Government Center Named Winner of NAHRO 2018 Award of Merit
The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) recently honored the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) with the 2018 Award of Merit in Affordable Housing for the Residences at Government Center – marking the sixth recognition received for the property.
The Residences at Government Center, a 270-unit workforce housing community located on the Fairfax County Government Center campus, is continuing to garner award winning recognition. The National Association for County Community and Economic Development (NACCED) has selected the community for its 2017 Award of Excellence for Innovation. This award honors a unique and innovative project created to address a particular problem or need. The Residences at the Government Center helps address the need for affordable workforce housing in Fairfax County.
Situated on just over eight wooded acres facing Monument Drive, the Residences at Government Center offers affordable apartments for Fairfax County’s public and private sector workforce. It is a unique public-private partnership between the county, the FCRHA, SCG Development, and Jefferson Apartment Group. By leveraging county land, the community was built at no cost to the local taxpayer. It is the first in the Commonwealth of Virginia to employ a hybrid financial structure utilizing both 9 percent and 4 percent Low- Income Housing Tax Credits to fund its development.
'It's the New Form of Affordable Housing': More People Are Living in Their Cars
Governing Daily recently published an article on the rise of “vehicular homeless” - individuals residing in their vehicles in many major cities from Los Angeles to Portland, Ore., to San Francisco. The issue is of particular concern on the West Coast, where rents have skyrocketed and the number of homeless people who do not live in shelters is up 20,000 from 2015 to 2017.
One solution outlined is a safe parking program, which two cities, San Diego and Santa Barbara, have successfully implemented. Dreams of Change, a local nonprofit based in San Diego, helps the homeless population by providing a safe parking lot for overnight parking. In addition, the nonprofit links the individual with a case manager to help them secure long-term housing. The program has expanded to three lots, serving between 30 and 60 cars in each. The lots aim to feel like community centers with spots to cook simple meals and charge electronics.
September is National Preparedness Month
Every year, September is recognized as National Preparedness Month, a time to prepare for disasters and emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, go to school, worship and visit. This year, National Preparedness Month is focused on planning, with the theme “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How,”
which is timely due to the arrival of Hurricane Florence. Now, more than ever, it is important to prepare.
Remember, disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can. Learn more at www.Ready.gov/september.
To get the latest information on local severe weather impacts, sign up for Fairfax Alerts.
HUD and Census Bureau Release New American Housing Survey
2017 AHS provides insight on disaster preparedness, housing and neighborhoods
Renters are three times more likely to need financial assistance to evacuate during a major disaster than those who own their own homes. That’s according to the new 2017 American Housing Survey released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The new survey finds that of the nearly 44 million American renter households, approximately 39 percent indicated they do not have access to $2,000 to cover evacuation expenses. Meanwhile, only 12 percent of 77.3 million owner households reported they did not have access to $2,000 to pay for their family’s evacuation.