Board of Supervisors Approves Six Affordable Housing Initiatives


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

Nov. 15, 2004

 

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Approves Six Affordable Housing Initiatives

 

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors today approved six separate proposals to increase affordable housing in the county.

The Board voted unanimously on these proposals at today’s meeting as part of its long-range, comprehensive plans to address the county’s affordable housing needs.

Their actions ranged from providing assistance to first-time homebuyers to helping public employees, such as public safety personnel, teachers and others, find housing in the county. Other measures aimed to encourage reinvestment in the county’s older neighborhoods.

“Today’s actions emphasize how serious this Board is about expanding affordable housing in our county,” said Board of Supervisors’ Chairman Gerald E. Connolly.

Board members believe that the newly approved measures will increase access to affordable assisted living for the elderly and provide more affordable rental housing for working families.

First-time homebuyers could now receive assistance through two state programs run by the Virginia Housing Development Authority. If the county receives the allocated funding from VHDA, homebuyers will get help with their mortgages, down payments and closing costs. The county will ask for $8 million from the Sponsoring Partnerships and Revitalizing Communities, or SPARC, program for mortgage funding while the request for $750,000 from the Home Stride program would assist new homebuyers with down payment and closing costs.

The Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development requested Board approval to apply for funding from these two state programs. The department intends to use this money to encourage reinvestment in residential areas near the county’s commercial revitalization areas and in other areas where housing prices are affordable to families making 80 percent or less of the area’s median income (which is $85,400 for FY 2004).

Homebuyers wishing to purchase a residence in other areas of the county must earn 60 percent or less of the area’s median income. First priority for funding will be given to first responders, teachers and other public servants.

As part of the package of initiatives approved today, the Board included its first unsolicited proposal to build a dual use, 60-unit, affordable assisted-care facility and adult, day health care facility at Little River Glen II in Fairfax. Olley Lane Assisted Living L.L.C., a venture created by Sunrise Assisted Living, submitted the proposal under the provisions of the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002. Inova Health Systems, while no longer a formal partner in the project, was instrumental in the facility’s conception.

Following construction, which is estimated to take one year, ownership of the facility will be turned over to the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority. The 60 affordable units will be rented to moderate-income seniors. The adult day health care program, which will be operated by the Fairfax County Health Department, will serve seniors who live on their own but require some supervision and assistance during the day.

The estimated development cost of the entire Little River Glen II project is $12.58 million. To help defray these costs, the Board approved the Department of Housing and Community Development’s request to apply for a grant or deferred loan of up to $500,000 from the Virginia Commonwealth Priority Housing Fund.

“Today’s action represents a dramatic turning point in this project,” said Braddock District Supervisor Sharon Bulova. “We faced enormous hurdles, but we persevered. I am thrilled to know that construction will soon be underway.”

With the need for affordable assisted care expanding as the county’s senior population increases, the Board also approved the use of up to $575,000 from the Affordable Housing Partnership Fund of the Housing Trust Fund. This money is intended for the construction of 77 new assisted care units at Birmingham Green Adult Care Residences, located off Centreville Road in Prince William County.

Birmingham Green, formerly called the District Home, is jointly owned by five Northern Virginia jurisdictions — Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Fauquier Counties and the City of Alexandria. Fairfax County residents comprise approximately 60 percent of the current population of two existing facilities on the site, a 180-bed nursing home, which was built in 1991, and a 64-bed assisted care facility built in 1927. The 77 new units will be leased to extremely low-income seniors in need of assistance with activities of daily living.

“Fairfax County has long been a partner and leader in the expansion and improvement of Birmingham Green,” said Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine Hudgins. “Today’s action demonstrates our on-going commitment and support to this important facility.”

In addition to addressing the needs of seniors and new homebuyers, the Board approved acceptance of a loan commitment of $565,000 from the Virginia Housing Development Authority. This loan will go towards permanent mortgage financing for six new townhouses located in Fairfax, allowing the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority to purchase them.

VHDA is providing first trust financing for 25 years at 3.5 percent per annum. The townhouses will be rented to qualified low- and moderate-income families through the Fairfax County Rental Program, which serves households that cannot afford market rate units in the county. The townhouses are being sold by the developer to the Housing Authority under provisions of the Affordable Dwelling Unit Ordinance, passed by the Board of Supervisors in 1990.

This ordinance allows the Housing Authority to purchase up to one-third of the affordable units developed. To date, more than 2,000 affordable homeownership and rental units have been sold or rented to low- and moderate-income individuals and families as a result of the ordinance.

For more information about the initiatives passed by the Board today or the county’s affordable housing programs, please contact Kristina Norvell, director of public affairs, Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development at 703-246-5104, TTY 711.


 

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