Stakeholder Group Offers Recommendations for Affordable Housing in Fairfax County
For immediate release: March 13, 2019
Yesterday at the Budget Committee Meeting of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Affordable Housing Resources Panel (AHRP) presented recommendations regarding the future of affordable housing in Fairfax County. Members of the AHRP were appointed by the Board of Supervisors and include representatives from the nonprofit, private and public sectors. The AHRP was charged with:
- Identifying a numeric goal of the number of housing units affordable to households earning 60 percent or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) that should be preserved and developed over the next 15 years.
- Developing recommendations on the resource investments needed to meet this numeric housing goal.
Recommendations developed by the AHRP are organized under five strategic categories:
- Need, new production goals, and resources
- Preservation of affordable housing units
- Land use policies and regulations
- Institutional capacity
- Community awareness and legislative priorities
Within these five strategic categories, a few of the recommendations from the Affordable Housing Resources Panel include:
- Produce a minimum of 5,000 new homes affordable to households earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) over the next 15 years.
- Allocate the equivalent of a penny on the real estate tax rate in the next budget cycle (FY 2021) to be used for capital purposes to support the creation of new homes that are affordable. These funds would be in addition to the current half penny on the tax rate already dedicated to affordable housing in the county’s existing budget.
- Maintain the current half penny on the tax rate ($12.2 million) for preservation of affordable units.
- Commit to no net loss of existing market affordable units in Fairfax County.
- Develop a package of innovative land use policies to further facilitate the development of affordable housing beyond the stated goal of 5,000 units.
- Proactively identify opportunities to co-locate affordable housing with bond-funded county capital facilities.
- Consider a countywide proffer policy on commercial contributions that are used for affordable housing production.
- Partner with Houses of Worship to identify opportunities for housing development on land owned by faith communities.
- Hire at least 3 new positions within Fairfax County’s Department of Housing and Community Development to coordinate and administer affordable housing initiatives, partnerships and programs.
- Ensure affordable housing continues to have a prominent place in Fairfax County’s Legislative Program, and continues to be a focus of the county’s federal legislative efforts.
- Read the full list of the recommendations here.
“In order to ensure a healthy economy, reduce traffic congestion and maintain an excellent quality of life, it’s important for residents to be able to live near where they work in housing that is affordable,” Chairman Sharon Bulova said. “The Board of Supervisors tasked the Affordable Housing Resources Panel to provide us with concrete recommendations regarding affordable housing goals, as well as strategies to consider to achieve those goals. This group has presented the Board with an excellent roadmap to consider during a future budget cycle.”
The AHRP met monthly from October 2018 to February 2019, and was asked to submit recommendations to the Board of Supervisors in time to include in budget guidance for the following year. While the Board of Supervisors will not be implementing any of the recommendations related to investments in this year’s FY 2020 budget, a future Board will have the opportunity to address these options in FY 2021.