E-ffordable April 11, 2019 Edition
Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority Adopts One Fairfax Policy
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) adopted Fairfax County’s One Fairfax Policy at its meeting on March 7.The adoption of this policy ensures that the FCRHA considers equity when making decisions about the development and delivery of future housing policies, programs and services.
The One Fairfax Policy defines equity as “The commitment to promote fairness and justice in the formation of public policy that results in all residents – regardless of age, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, socio-economic status or neighborhood of residence or other characteristics – having opportunity to fully participate in the region’s economic vitality, contribute to its readiness for the future, and connect to its assets and resources.”
“The FCRHA has always endeavored to be equitable within its programs,” said FCRHA Chairman, Robert Schwaninger. “However, adopting the One Fairfax Policy ensures we are looking intentionally, comprehensively and systematically at barriers that may be creating gaps in opportunity for our residents.”
Fairfax County Takes a Major Step Forward in Addressing the Need for Affordable Housing
On Tuesday, March 12, at the Board of Supervisors Budget Committee Meeting, Fairfax County took a major step forward in addressing the need for affordable housing in the county. The Affordable Housing Resources Panel (AHRP), a panel of stakeholders appointed by the Board, presented recommendations for Phase 2 of the county’s first-ever Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan; which looks at long-term strategies, tools, policies and resources needed to develop and preserve affordable housing in the county.
Based on data provided in Phase 1 of the Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan, it is estimated that the county has a need for approximately 15,000 additional homes over the next 15 years that are affordable to households earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), which is approximately $70,300 a year for a family of four. In an effort to address this need, the panel met on a monthly basis to (1) recommend an achievable goal for new production over the next 15 years using public resources, and (2) to identify resources and strategies to achieve that goal. Key recommendations presented to the Board include:
A goal of producing a minimum of 5,000 new homes, as a floor, affordable to households earning up to 60 percent of AMI over the next 15 years;
An increase in the “Penny for Affordable Housing Fund” by the equivalent of one additional cent on the real estate tax rate;
A priority of the current “half penny” for preservation projects;
A goal of no net loss of existing “market affordable” rental apartments; and
Housing affordability as a critical element of the Countywide Strategic Plan, which is currently in development.
FCRHA Adopts FY 2020 Strategic Plan
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) adopted its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Strategic Plan, July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, driven by the Housing Blueprint. The Strategic Plan provides an overview of the major FCRHA activities and projects and their anticipated FY 2020 outcomes. The Department of Housing and Community Development’s (HCD) Lines of Business (LOBs) were set up to support the mission and values of the FCRHA, and, as such, each LOB represents a strategic area in the FCRHA Strategic Plan for FY 2020:
1) Affordable Housing Development, Preservation and Sustainability;
2) Affordable Rental Housing, Property Management and Maintenance;
3) Tenant Subsidies and Resident Services;
4) Homeownership and Relocation Services; and
5) FCRHA/HCD Program Planning, Development and Management.
County Progresses on Affordable Housing Preservation Efforts
In a move to preserve Fairfax County’s affordable housing stock, renovations are fully underway at two properties in Lee District. On March 28, Supervisor Jeff McKay, Fairfax County Government staff to include the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, project managers and crew, and current residents had an opportunity to tour both Murraygate Village Apartments and Lafayette Apartments to get a firsthand look at the current renovations and updates made to both Route One properties.
The renovation of Murraygate Village Apartments includes $20 million in Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) tax-exempt bonds and up to $8.9 million in Housing Blueprint Funds from Fairfax County.
Fairfax County Celebrates Community Development Week
Community Development Week is being recognized from April 22 through April 26
Join us in recognizing the importance and achievements of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program in improving the quality of life in Fairfax County.
Throughout Fairfax County, programs funded by CDBG and HOME provide and preserve decent affordable housing, neighborhood improvements, economic revitalization, community facilities and critical public services. These services primarily benefit thousands of low and moderate-income residents, the homeless, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
April is Fair Housing Month
April is Fair Housing Month, a time when we celebrate the Fair Housing Act and recommit ourselves to ensuring every American has access to housing that is free from discrimination.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing transactions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or family status. This year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is especially focused on protecting the right of individuals to feel safe and secure in their homes, free from sexual harassment or unwanted sexual advances.
HUD Charges Facebook with Housing Discrimination over Company’s Targeted Advertising Practices
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging Facebook with violating the Fair Housing Act by encouraging, enabling, and causing housing discrimination through the company’s advertising platform.
Read HUD’s Charge against Facebook.
Today’s action follows HUD’s investigation of a Secretary-initiated complaint filed on August 13, 2018. HUD alleges that Facebook unlawfully discriminates based on race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, sex, and disability by restricting who can view housing-related ads on Facebook’s platforms and across the internet. Further, HUD claims Facebook mines extensive data about its users and then uses those data to determine which of its users view housing-related ads based, in part, on these protected characteristics.
Ninth Annual Northern Virginia Housing Expo a Major Success
On Saturday, March 30, the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) participated in the ninth annual regional Housing Expo 2019 hosted by First Home Alliance in cooperation with the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church, the counties of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun, and the Town of Herndon.
Northern Virginia’s (NOVA) Housing Expo 2019 was held at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia and showcased rental and homeownership opportunities for individuals and families across a range of income levels. More than 900 households seeking rental and homeownership information attended. Attendees had an opportunity to learn what they needed to work with a realtor, what government programs are available in their communities, what was required to qualify for a mortgage, and household budgeting.
Over 60+ vendors were present, including local non-profits, government agencies, real estate agents and financial credit counseling organizations, providing attendees a wealth of information about the home search process. Workshops covered such topics as financial planning and one-on-one credit counseling.
More information about the Expo is online at www.NoVaHousingExpo.org.