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.
The Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan Phase 1 report was developed with the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee – a group of non-profit leaders and affordable housing developers, stakeholders, members of the business community, and real estate industry. It contains 25 specific strategies to be implemented within two years that do not require major policy changes or significant sources of new revenue. These strategies are designed to start the process of creating more housing options in Fairfax. Upon adoption of the Phase 1 report, it is anticipated that the Board will direct County staff to develop Phase 2 to include longer-term strategies for developing new tools, policies, and additional resource investment for the production, preservation, and access to price appropriate housing.