Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill presented the FY 2021 Advertised Budget Plan on Feb. 25 to the Board of Supervisors, along with a review of the development of the Countywide Strategic Plan. Affordable housing was prominently included in both. Here are a few key highlights related to affordable housing included in the advertised plans presented by the county executive:
Combining the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness with the Department of Housing and Community Development. The combining of OPEH with HCD will further support the community’s efforts and strong outcomes with respect to ending homelessness and promote affordable housing. The combination will also incorporate Fairfax County Health and Human Services’ overall efforts to develop an integrated approach to providing services.
An additional penny on the tax rate to be dedicated to Affordable Housing Development and Investment. In accordance with the budget guidance issued last year, the county executive is recommending that the equivalent of an additional penny on the real estate tax rate (in addition to the current half-penny) be dedicated for the production of affordable housing. If passed, this would represent an increase of approximately $24.4 million on an annual basis for the development of new affordable housing. Under the current guidance, the existing half-penny for affordable housing (roughly $12.2 million) will be dedicated specifically for preservation efforts.
Housing and Neighborhood Livability Announced as one of the county’s 9 Priority Areas of the Strategic Plan. The FY 2021 Budget maps major spending initiatives to the nine strategic plan priority outcome areas – the increase of an additional penny on the proposed tax rate to affordable housing being among them.
“The investments required to make progress on our collective goals — including employee compensation, the development of affordable housing, the expansion of school readiness opportunities, environmental stewardship and support for Fairfax County Public Schools — are substantial. Unfortunately, we cannot provide appropriate levels of funding in these areas with no adjustments to our tax rates.” - Bryan J. Hill, County Executive
The proposed General Fund budget is $4.63 billion, a $175.87 million (or 3.95%) increase over the FY 2020 Adopted Budget. Including other appropriated funds such as federal and state grants, the total proposed budget is $8.83 billion. The Advertised Budget Plan includes a three-cent increase in the Real Estate Tax Rate and a new 4% Admissions Tax.
Next steps for the FY 2021 Proposed Budget and the Countywide Strategic Plan include community engagement opportunities and mark-up by the Board of Supervisors – culminating in concurrent adoption of both plans by the Board in April. See the Budget Timeline for process details. Details for community engagement will be posted to the county website as dates and events are designated. The FY 2021 Budget, once adopted, will take effect on July 1, 2020.
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