E-ffordable News Articles
July 17, 2018
Fairfax County Opens RAD (Formerly Public Housing) Waitlist Through July 23
For the first time in more than a decade, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) has opened its Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Waitlist (formerly Public Housing) for a period of two weeks.
RAD is comprised of 1,060 zero to four bedroom affordable apartments and townhouses owned and operated by the FCRHA. These units provide safe, affordable housing options to low-income households in Fairfax County.
Through July 23 at 11:59 p.m., applicants can apply to be added to the RAD housing waitlist. Unlike previous waitlist openings, only about 2,000 households will be selected from the application pool via a computer generated random selection for the list. It is estimated that the 2,000 households added to the waitlist will be a two to three year supply of potential participants.
“With the cost of living and rental prices steadily increasing, many families in and around Fairfax County are unable to find affordable places to live,” notes Robert Schwaninger, Chairman of the FCRHA. “We are grateful that after more than 10 years, we are able to reopen the waitlist under this program and help more families have an affordable place to call home.”
Applications will only be available online. Applicants can use a computer, tablet or smart phone to complete the application. In addition, the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has identified various locations with publicly-accessible computers for use by individuals without personal Internet access. HCD will have trained staff onsite at various times to assist applicants as needed.
For more information on the RAD waitlist opening and to view locations with publicly-accessible computers, please visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/housing/waitlist.
Reminder: Local Funding of up to $7.7 Million Available for the Development of Affordable Housing in Fairfax County
The Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is pleased to announce the availability of up to $7.7 million in local funds for the development of affordable housing in Fairfax County.
The $7.7 million includes only local Housing Blueprint funds.
The available funding is provided to further the goals of the FY 2019 Housing Blueprint, which supports Fairfax County's Strategic Plan for Economic Success.
RFP Deadlines for FY 2019 Affordable Housing Funds
All applications are due by September 14, 2018.
Board Adopts Phase I of the Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan; Sets Direction for Phase II
The Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan is now official County policy! At its June 19, 2018 meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors formerly adopted the Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan Phase 1 Report. Originally requested by the Board, the Plan was developed by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee from stakeholders and County residents. The Plan identifies 25 short-term strategies that can be implemented within two years to start the process of creating more housing options for current and projected County residents. While the full completion of all 25 strategies is expected to take up to two years, HCD staff has hit the ground running, and implementation of a number of the strategies has already begun.
Subsequently, at its July 10 meeting, the Board provided direction to staff on Phase II, which is intended to be a longer-range resource and implementation plan. The Board directed the formation of a panel of experts to (1) set goals for preservation and development of housing affordable to households up to 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), and (2) to develop recommendations to meet those goals in time for the Board’s consideration during the FY 2020 Budget process.
Route 1 Affordable Housing Preservation Community Forum – July 25
Join Supervisor Dan Storck, the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance (NVAHA), the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG), and community in discussing the preservation of affordable housing in the Route 1 corridor! On July 25, the NVAHA and the CSG are co-sponsoring a community forum to be held at the Mount Vernon Governmental Center’s community room, on the preservation of affordable housing along the Route 1 corridor. The south-county region will be undergoing a significant redevelopment – known as EMBARK Richmond Highway – to include transit improvements, increased densities within newly created business centers, and mixed-use developments. While this effort will help provide necessary revitalization within the region, it is essential that existing affordable housing options not be lost along the way. The upcoming NVAHA and CSG community forum will explore how best to include affordable housing preservation in the EMBARK Richmond Highway redevelopment to ensure that residents in the Route 1 corridor have access to safe, affordable housing.
For more information on the event, click here.
Supportive Housing Reduces Homelessness and Lowers Health Care Costs by Millions
A recent RAND study indicates that Los Angeles county, which has one of the nation’s highest homeless rates, has succeeded in moving some of its most chronically homeless and vulnerable residents into permanent housing, providing them with health care and social services, while providing overall cost savings. The benefits to participants are obvious: most notably, safe housing opportunities; however, participants in the Los Angeles County program also self-reported that their mental health functioning improved after receiving housing. More than 95 percent of the formerly chronically homeless individuals participating in the program were stably housed for at least one year. Los Angeles County has benefited as well: upon receiving permanent supportive housing, clients' use of public services across six departments – especially medical and mental health services, including emergency room visits and inpatient care – decreased by almost 60 percent in the year after receiving housing. Factoring in the cost of housing, the program appears to provide Los Angeles County with a net cost savings of 20 percent. To view the RAND study, click here.
The State of the Nation’s Housing Report
The State of the Nation’s Housing report, released on June 19, 2018 by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, provides a periodic assessment of the nation’s housing outlook and summarizes important trends in the economics and demographics of housing. As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the State of the Nation’s Housing series, this year’s report presents an opportunity to reflect on how housing market conditions in the United States have evolved over the decades.
This year’s report states that more than 40 million units have been built over the past three decades, accommodating 27 million new households, replacing older homes, and improving the quality of the nation’s housing stock. Nevertheless, several challenges highlighted in the first report persist today. Homeownership rates among young adults are even lower than in 1988, and the share of cost-burdened renters is significantly higher, with almost half of all renters paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing with soaring housing costs are largely to blame. The national median rent rose 20 percent faster than overall inflation between 1990 and 2016 and the median home price rose 41 percent faster. While better housing quality accounts for some of the increased costs, higher costs for building materials and labor, limited productivity gains, increased land costs, new regulatory barriers, and growing income inequality all played major roles as well.
To view the report, click here.
Key to Affordable Housing Solutions: Public – Private Partnerships
Did you know the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) and the County have nearly 1,000 new units in the development pipeline through the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPEA) process, including more than 750 affordable rental homes? By utilizing the PPEA process, governmental entities are able to partner with private sector builder/developers, and the FCRHA is leveraging its and county land in four separate residential projects to create affordable housing. The following are some of the current PPEA projects, one of which, Lewinsville, will be completed next year.
North Hill – in negotiation (Mount Vernon District)
279 affordable rental units, 175 market-rate townhomes, and a public park
One University – proposed (Braddock District)
240 affordable rental units
Oakwood – proposed (Lee District)
150 affordable senior independent living units
Lewinsville/The Fallstead – under construction (Dranesville District)
82 affordable senior independent living units plus a separate new county intergenerational center.
The use of creative tools, such as the PPEA process, leveraging land resources and utilizing financial resources such as Low Income Housing Tax Credits, have resulted in successful partnerships between the public and private sectors, and allowed the FCRHA and the County to bring more affordable housing options to Fairfax County residents.