Fairfax County Five-Year Consolidated Plan Affordable Housing and Community and Economic Development

Notes From
Fairfax County Five-Year Consolidated Plan
FY 2011 – 2015 Public Input Forum
Affordable Housing and Community and Economic Development

OCTOBER 29, 2009, 5:30 – 8:50 p.m.

8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309


Affordable Housing

What are Fairfax County’s Current Affordable Housing Needs?

  • Single Room Occupancy Units (SRO’s) with support services (mental health, life skills, etc.)
  • Housing for seniors
  • Assisted living that is affordable in Fairfax County
  • Independent living – what is available
  • Resources to prevent homelessness
  • Transitional housing (coordination of support services)
  • Buy-in from County officials – meaningful efforts to develop more housing
  • Housing First concept implementation
  • Developer/government accountability
  • Purchase of current stock by County
  • Zoning restrictions on shared housing
  • Historical properties – constraints on development

Population that needs assistance: 

o       Chronically homeless

o       Seniors on fixed income

o       Persons who are disabled living independently

o       Persons who are disabled transitioning

o       Victims of domestic violence

o       Substance abusers

o       Ex-offenders


What will Likely Be the County’s Future Affordable Housing Needs Over the Coming Five- to Ten-Year Period?

  • Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) effects (government accountability)
  • Influx of new immigrants (overcrowding, language barriers)
  • Walkable communities – less energy consumption
  • Rising energy costs – need green building – reduced operation costs
  • Economic recovery – increased housing prices
  • NIMBY – “not in my back yard” attitude
  • Tax increases (in order to provide revenue to build)
  • Reduction of social work services due to budget
  • Sliding scale for County services (Recreation Centers, etc.)
  • Education of public regarding housing needs/awareness
  • Crisis of caring (decreased giving in affluent county)
  • Development of unused church property

Prioritization Criteria for Which Needs to Address with Limited Resources

  • Those who are most in need should be housed first.
  • Bigger “bang for buck” by assisting the working poor (housing preservation)
  • Look at best practices in other jurisdictions.

Affordable Housing – Resources, Opportunities, and Strategies

Affordable Housing Solutions

  • Develop more SRO’s with support services (mental health, life skills, etc.)
  • Transitional housing (coordination of support services)
  • Housing First concept implementation
  • Purchase of current stock by County
  • Government accountability to develop more affordable housing
  • More parcels of land to be developed
  • Church properties for use as affordable/low-income housing
  • Zoning and policy changing decisions need to be made
  • Education of decision makers
  • Find ways to promote shared housing while protecting homeowners – address zoning restrictions
  • Provide incentives to developers for mixed-income housing that includes units affordable to households with income under 50% Area Median Income (AMI).
  • Support housing for the working poor (30-80% of AMI) to expand the middle-class and support a strong tax base
  • Social workers in the County and nursing homes work together to service clients or share resources.
  • Reopen the assisted living property located in Lorton, VA, and have it service low income elderly citizens.


Solutions for Housing Needs in the Next 5–10 Years

  • BRAC (government accountability)
  • Add walkable communities – less energy consumption
  • Increase green building – reduced operation costs
  • Tax increases (in order to provide revenue to build)
  • Educate public regarding housing needs/awareness
  • Improve crisis of caring (increase giving in affluent county)
  • Development of unused church property to use for affordable/low-income housing
  • Senior housing on church properties – small, 4 units per building
  • Higher-density living and conveniences
  • Incentives to build smaller-units housing
  • Energy efficient housing means lower operating costs and lower rents


Community and Economic Development 

What are Fairfax County’s Community and Economic Development Needs?

  • Job training (access to and affordability)
  • Workforce development
  • Small business development “training”
  • Engaging the business community
  • Community connectedness between residents and business owners
  • Corporate/business social responsibility
  • Transportation (Metro expansion to Belvoir)
  • Access to streets and sidewalks, bus shelters, curb cuts, paths to bus stops
  • Diversity of programs at senior centers
  • Education/awareness of needs/opportunities for business partnership
  • Continue to work on community-building strategies with those communities in need
  • Quality of life vs. cost benefit analysis – criteria/measures
  • Where will resources/money come from?

Prioritization Criteria for Which Needs to Address with Limited Resources

  • Keep present percentages of housing vs. economic development in the Consolidated Plan as is at 85%/15% as long as you have “livable communities”.
  • Organizations should get points for working with the community.
  • Give points to organizations who build up strong partnership with others to leverage County funding.
  • Find out how other counties are able to spend money towards affordable housing.
  • What kind of qualify of life do we want?
  • Penn Daw is an example of community development with living units.
  • Let’s see some movement, i.e., people getting housing.
  • Balance between workforce units preserved vs. persons who are homeless/of super-low income
  • Support the mixed community concept - diverse income levels; support in communities
  • Priority should be given to organizations that serve minorities, language minorities and immigrants and single parents who are often very low income.

o       Need help in their language skills in order to be able to move ahead and become self-sufficient


Community and Economic Development Solutions

  • Job development
  • Job training
  • Support for small business
  • Self-employment through small business ownership is a viable option for job seekers, especially in current economy where there are not enough jobs.
  • Bring small business community as stakeholders.
  • Community businesses being part of the community and contributing to the community
  • Community events/engagement
  • Transportation access
  • Streets/sidewalk access/curb cuts
  • Bus shelters
  • Federal government contractors contribute to the community they work in or schools.
  • Education of community businesses
  • Some businesses are international, others represent the community.
  • Empowering “deprived” communities to develop and have a sense of community
  • Support community centers.
  • Quality of life vs. cost effectiveness/benefits


  • Senior housing that is local
  • Bonds and creation of new housing
  • Special interest in those transitioning out of facilities
  • Not enough Housing First
  • Case coordination




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