E-ffordable - October 3, 2019 Edition
Board Actions Move County Closer to Adding 390 Units of Affordable Housing
Sept. 24, 2019 – The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors took action on two housing projects in order to move the county closer to adding nearly 390 units to its portfolio of affordable homes. The innovative One University and Oakwood Senior Housing projects will both play a major role in continuing the county’s progress towards the goal of producing at least 5,000 affordable homes over the next 15 years which was endorsed by the Board and outlined in the Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan. Both projects will serve households making up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income or less.
“[The One University] application seeks to address two very significant challenges facing both the Braddock District and the county as a whole: both student housing at George Mason [University] and affordable housing countywide,” said Braddock District Supervisor John Cook. “When we [the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors] approved our affordable housing plan, we knew it would be challenging. This project proves it can be done.”
At the conclusion of the public hearing, the Board of Supervisors approved the public-private partnership to develop three new apartment buildings of affordable mixed-use housing on property owned by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) at the intersection of University Drive and Route 123 in the Braddock District. The One University development will create 240 homes that are affordable, to include 120 units of affordable senior housing, 120 affordable multifamily units. The project will also include 333 affordable student housing units.
The Board also approved an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan to allow for the development of up to 150 affordable senior housing and limited community space on the 6.2-acre, FCRHA-owned lot at the intersection of Oakwood Road and South Van Dorn Street in the Lee District. The Oakwood Senior Housing development is one of several housing projects designed to enable older adults the freedom and potential to age in place.
“The need for senior affordable housing in this area of the county is enormous,” said Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay of the Oakwood proposal. “The fact that we could take a stormwater management pond that is underutilized and transform it into up to 150 senior housing units, and that we can accommodate them along a transit line a stone’s throw from a Metro station on a piece of property that really was providing no community benefit is exactly what we envisioned when we talked about affordable housing and where we can make it happen.”
Both actions taken by the Board of Supervisors were initial regulatory steps needed as part of a longer development process. County staff will continue to engage local leaders and members of the community as these projects continue to move forward through the development process.
CCFAC Public Hearing - We Want to Hear from You on November 12!
The Fairfax County Consolidated Community Funding Advisory Committee (CCFAC) invites you to participate in a public hearing on November 12, 2019 at 7 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035), in conference rooms 9 and 10.
We need your help identifying housing and other human services needs which are to be addressed in the county’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Consolidated Plan One-Year Action Plan, which is currently in development and will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) next year.
During the public hearing, participants will have an opportunity to make presentations and take part in discussions designed to gather information on the housing and human services needs of county residents. Be prepared to let the county know:
What are specific housing and/or human services needs in the area where you live in the County or where your organization works?
What are your household’s housing and/or human services needs? How well are those needs being met?
Have you experienced any discrimination in accessing housing or housing-related needs? If so, please explain.
Anyone wishing to speak at the November 12 public hearing should call Malia Stroble at (703) 246-5170, TTY 711 or by email. to be placed on the speakers list.
For those attending the hearing and those unable to attend, CCFAC requests the submission of written comments by email or by mail (ATTN: CCFAC, c/o Fairfax County HCD, 3700 Pender Drive, Suite 300, Fairfax, VA 22030) no later than 4 p.m. on November 8.
The Board of Supervisors will approve the final Action Plan and it will be submitted to HUD next year as part of a federal requirement that combines the broad planning requirements of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 with the annual grant applications and reporting for HUD-funded programs administered by Fairfax County. Learn more about the Consolidated Plan online.
Fairfax County is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in all county programs, services and activities and will provide reasonable accommodations upon request. To request special accommodations, call 703-246-5101 or TTY 711.
Council of Governments Board Resolves to Make Affordable Housing a Priority Across the Metro Region
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, along with Supervisors John Foust and Penny Gross, participated in a vote with other Washington-area elected officials at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) to pass a resolution establishing a goal to add 320,000 housing units across the region between 2020 and 2030—at least three-quarters of which being affordable to low- and middle income households. The motion, made by Chairman Bulova, was supported unanimously. The MWCOG report regarding the housing goal can be found here.
“It was nice to be able to mention this at COG…that we had been already working on this, had already committed and even put funding aside for affordable housing,” said Chairman Bulova in reference to the Fairfax County Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan and the county’s progress on the recently adopted “5K in 15” goal (developing a minimum of 5,000 affordable housing units within the next 15 years).
The Chairman’s comments came from a Sept. 17 meeting of the Board’s Health, Housing and Human Services Committee Meeting where an update was provided on the county’s progress with the Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan. See a video of the presentation here (the presentation begins at the 57:30 mark in the video).
Local coverage of the MWCOG vote:
Urban Institute Report Provides a Framework for Regional Deliberations on Housing
A report released by the Urban Institute recently highlighted the significant challenges facing the Washington Metropolitan region which ultimately undermine the well-being of many residents. The report highlights challenges associated with the production of new units and the impacts of constrained housing supply and community growth have on increasing rents and home prices.
“These pressures cause especially steep housing cost increases and displacement in some communities that have historically been home to people with low and moderate incomes and people of color,” the report states. “Absent a substantial increase in the supply of housing, more households competing for an already constrained stock of units will further increase prices and rents and exacerbate displacement pressures.”
The report sets the tone for a collaborative effort by government, businesses, nonprofit and charitable organizations to establish and reach ten-year goals to achieve a healthy housing market.
The complete Urban Institute report is available here.
The State of the Nation’s Housing Report
The State of the Nation’s Housing report, released on June 25, 2019 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.
This year’s report states that household growth is now back from post-recession lows, but new home construction remains depressed, with additions to supply barely keeping pace with the number of new households. Several factors may be contributing to the slow construction recovery, including excess supply following the housing boom, which took years to absorb, and persistent labor shortages.
To view the report, click here.
CDBG Coalition Publishes National Report
The CDBG Coalition recently published an updated version of their National Report providing an overview of the program and detailing CDBG’s contribution to local projects such as infrastructure, aﬀordable housing, workforce development, and community services. The report also states that while CDBG is successful, the funding for the program continues to be threatened by cuts. It outlines the impact of program cuts on communities and demonstrates a clear need for additional resources.
As part of rolling out the report, the CDBG Coalition held a Hill Briefing featuring local, state, and federal officials who recognize the strength and ability of the program to help fund a variety of developments.
To view the report, click here.
Promising Practices in Promoting Mobility for Voucher Households
Recent research findings from Harvard University are shedding light on practices that may promote mobility for voucher households, particularly those with children. The Creating Moves to Opportunity (CMTO) experiment is analyzing various approaches to help voucher households find and stay in homes located in neighborhoods that offer greater opportunities and amenities. Seattle and King County (WA) Housing Authorities are participating in the CMTO study, with initial findings showing the importance of providing customized housing search assistance to households, engaging landlords, and offering short-term financial assistance to households that chose to move.
More information can be found at: https://opportunityinsights.org/policy/cmto/