E-ffordable News Articles
June 8, 2018
Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan Update
Good news on the affordable housing front! At its May 8th Health, Housing and Human Services Committee meeting, the Board of Supervisors received the draft Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan Phase 1 report. It is anticipated that the Board will consider approving the Plan at an upcoming Board meeting. This represents the County’s first official housing plan and sets in motion significant action for preserving and developing homes that are affordable for all those who live or work in Fairfax.
The need is great. Currently, one in five renters in Fairfax pay more 50 percent of their income on housing, often forcing them to make difficult choices about their other necessities. Over the next 15 years, it is projected that more than 13,000 new households earning less than half of Area Median Income will move in to Fairfax, further exacerbating the challenge. Without price appropriate housing options, individuals move into overcrowded units – putting pressure on existing neighborhoods, or they move further away from their place of employment – putting pressure on existing roadways as they commute.
Opening of Waitlist for Former Public Housing Properties
For the first time in more than a decade, Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCHRA) will be opening the RAD (formerly Public Housing) Waitlist on July 10, 2018 for a period of two weeks.
The FCRHA owns, operates, and maintains, using federal funding, 1,060 RAD housing units. These units provide safe, affordable housing options to low-income households in Fairfax County. The existing Waitlist was closed in 2007, and the FCRHA is pleased to announce that approximately 2,000 households will be randomly selected to be added to the waitlist. It is expected that the FCHRA will be able to serve all eligible households from this pool of applicants in about two to three years.
The Waitlist application process will be conducted online, at any time between July 10th and July 23rd from any Internet-connected device. The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has identified various locations with publicly-accessible computers for use by individuals without personal Internet access, and HCD has established specific times that trained staff will be onsite to assist applicants as needed.
HCD is working with various County agencies and non-profit partners to inform prospective Waitlist applicants of the opportunity, using social media, outreach to the traditional media outlets, outreach to various interested groups, and flyers posted at sites throughout the County.
The Virginia Housing Alliance and the National Low Income Housing Coalition jointly released the Out of Reach 2017 report, which provides the housing wage for all states, counties, and metropolitan areas in the country. Each year, the data in Out of Reach informs housing policy makers and advocates at the national, state, and local levels. It also provides the average wages of renters, the number of hours minimum wage earners must work to afford rent, and the cost of rental homes across the country.
The report highlights the gap between what renters earn and what it costs to afford rent at fair market value. According to Out of Reach 2017, Virginia remains the most expensive state for renters in the Southeast and the 10th most expensive state in the nation. The Housing Wage for a two-bedroom apartment is $13.96 higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, and $4.83 higher than the average hourly wage of $16.38 earned by renters nationwide. In Fairfax County, the annual salary needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment at the Fair Market Rent (FMR) was $69,840– with the rent averaging $1,746. A minimum wage earner would have to work four full-time jobs to afford a two-bedroom unit at the FMR in Fairfax County.
Out of Reach 2017 is available at: http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/oor/OOR_2017.pdf
National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach 2017 Report Released
2018 Point-in-Time Count Survey Released
On the night of January 24, 2018 there were 987 people who were literally homeless in the Fairfax-Falls Church community. This represents a two percent increase from the number counted in January 2017, or 23 more people. Although there was a slight increase this year, the total remained less than 1,000 and both single individuals and persons in families remained under 500 people. The total decrease in the homeless population from 2008 to 2018 is 46 percent, which represents 848 less people homeless on one night in January 2018 then there were on one night in January 2008. During that time period, there was a decline in numbers throughout the homeless system, including in families, children in families, adults in families, single adults, people experiencing chronic homelessness, and families experiencing domestic violence. The overall reduction continues to demonstrate the success of the strategies implemented by various partners over the past 10 years.
For more information about the 2018 Point-in-Time count, visit the Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness web page by clicking here.