FCRHA Named “Moving to Work” Agency
Dec. 19, 2012
Prestigious Designation Will Provide Low-Income Residents with New Opportunities
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) has been named a “Moving to Work” (MTW) agency by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a prestigious title awarded to only 34 housing authorities in the country. MTW gives housing authorities the flexibility to create programs that work best for their residents, allowing them to design and test innovative, locally-designed strategies to improve cost-effectiveness and help families achieve self-sufficiency.
HUD Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Jane C.W. Vincent, in announcing that the FCRHA had been selected for the elite MTW designation, noted that “[MTW] will support the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority in its efforts to implement a plan that will set low-income families on a path to independence."
“Being named a Moving to Work Agency will only strengthen the already successful housing programs we are able to offer here in Fairfax County,” says Elisabeth Lardner, Chairman of the FCRHA. “The changes the MTW program allows us to make will help us be of better service to our residents, ultimately moving each of them closer to self-sufficiency and a permanent place to call home. I am very excited about the opportunities that await us.”
The FCRHA’s MTW plan is a critical component of its Total Housing Reinvention for Individual Success, Vital Services and Economic Empowerment (THRIVE) initiative. Paula Sampson, Director of Fairfax County’s Department of Housing and Community Development, says “THRIVE is all about linking residents to services and programs offered by other county agencies and our non-profit partners, with the goal of helping them become more self-sufficient.” These programs are designed to help residents better manage their money; train for a new job; pursue college or other training; become a better parent; learn English; improve their health; and perhaps even purchase a home.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine M. Hudgins, Chair of the Board of Supervisors Housing Committee, stated that “MTW will mean a very real transformation of how affordable housing is delivered in Fairfax County, and will allow the FCRHA to fully realize its vision for THRIVE.” MTW will bring about several key changes including:
- Creating a housing continuum that seamlessly joins together the county’s housing programs – including Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers - and establishes goals to help residents move toward self-sufficiency;
- Expanding its already strong community partnerships with nonprofit organizations to provide self-sufficiency services ranging from “ready-to-rent” training, to job readiness, through homebuyer education and beyond;
- Reducing the burden both on staff and residents related to such things as re-certifications and inspections, which will allow staff to focus more on people – not paperwork. This new focus will allow county case workers to link residents to the services – such as job training and education – that they need to become and remain self-sufficient.
The FCRHA will implement the programmatic and organization changes associated with the MTW designation over the course of what is anticipated to be a years-long transformation of the way housing assistance is delivered in Fairfax County.