January 22, 2021
Fairfax County’s First-Time Homebuyers (FTHB) Program offers homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income families purchasing homes in Fairfax County. Over the last 40 years, hundreds of townhouses and condominiums in locations all over the county have been sold at below-market prices to qualified homebuyers through the FTHB program. For those seeking affordable homeownership opportunities, it’s easy to get started: STEP 1: Attend the FTHB Program Orientation The FTHB Program orientation has been transitioned to a virtual meeting and is broadcast live via Microsoft Teams. The next orientation is scheduled for Tuesday, January 26 at 7 p.m. CLICK HERE on January 26 to access the meeting. Registration is NOT required to attend orientation. Participants can join on their computer or other device by using their web browser or, if they prefer, they may download the free Microsoft Teams app in advance. It is highly recommended that participants log on to the meeting no later than 6:40 p.m. to ensure that technical issues can be addressed prior to the beginning of the presentation. The meeting will begin promptly at 7 p.m. and participants must attend the full session to receive credit. Joining early also allows you to select a translation language, if needed, in advance of the meeting start time. What is the First-Time Homebuyers Program? Under the leadership of the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA), the FTHB Program has been providing affordable for-sale homes for over forty years. Homes are offered at sale prices well below the sales price of market-rate homes in the same development. Through homeownership, families can establish roots in communities where they work and their children go to school, while also building equity in their home. Mortgages on FTHB homes are often lower than the rents families were paying. FTHB homes are made available primarily through the Affordable Dwelling Unit provision of the Zoning Ordinance. As a result, the FTHB program provides affordable homes without the use of taxpayer funds. FTHB Program purchasers may also be eligible for down payment assistance through the program. Hundreds of affordably priced 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom townhouses and condominiums located throughout the county have been sold to first-time homebuyers who meet the program’s income and eligibility criteria. Families earning up to 70 percent of the federal Area Median Income (AMI) may be eligible for the FTHB Program. The newer Workforce Dwelling Unit Program serves incomes up to 120 percent of AMI. The FTHB Orientation will include a discussion of the program eligibility requirements. But for a complete list of underwriting and eligibility requirements beforehand, visit our Homebuyers Website. Related Link: First-Time Homebuyers Orientation Schedule
January 19, 2021
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority and The George Mason University School of Business are partnering to host the 2021 Fairfax County Housing Symposium. The Housing Symposium will bring together local leaders, members of the business community, educators, healthcare professionals, housing industry and policy experts, advocates and neighbors as we elevate the conversation on affordable housing in Fairfax County. The theme for this year’s event is “Affordable Housing: A Foundation for Strong Economies, Healthy Communities and Thriving Schools.” Wednesday, March 10, 2021 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. *This will be a virtual event held via Zoom With rents and mortgages constantly on the rise many low- and moderate-income households are facing hard choices of how to pay for their housing along with their other necessities or being forced to move out of the communities where their jobs are to find a home they can afford. This issue affects us all – after all, how can we be a thriving community if the diverse range of workers it takes to build, maintain and grow our quality of life cannot afford to live here? Having a decent, safe, and stable home is essential for county residents of all ages and abilities to achieve their full potential and for Fairfax County to ensure a bright future with thriving communities. Save the date and register to attend this landmark event on March 10, 2021, where we will unfold how affordable housing impacts multiple areas of our community development and dig deeper in investigating best practices and solutions which can help us achieve our goals for advancing the work of affordable housing. To register and obtain additional event updates, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/housing/2021HousingSymposium.
January 6, 2021
JANUARY 2021 NEWSLETTER The Office to Prevent and End Homelessness – now part of the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development – is committed to eliminating the disproportionality of people at-risk of or experiencing homelessness from communities of color and other marginalized populations by providing equitable paths to safe, stable, affordable housing. COVID-19 UPDATES Thanks to the ongoing dedication of numerous partners, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness has continued to address the needs of those at risk of and experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Temporary Shelter Available During COVID-19: More than 1,050 people have transitioned into Quarantine, Protection, Isolation, and Decompression (QPID) Hotels since April 16, 2020 with locations operating across Fairfax County. The QPID Hotels are managed by several non-profit partners, including Cornerstones, FACETS, New Hope Housing, and Shelter House. Northern Virginia Family Service operates a Central Intake (703-267-3511) to triage referrals to the QPID Hotels. Fairfax County released a video to provide information on how to access temporary shelter. COVID-19: Rental Assistance Fairfax County Coordinated Services Planning (CSP): CSP remains the best resource for residents seeking assistance to help pay rent and utilities, securing housing, accessing food, obtaining prescriptions, and meeting other basic needs. Call 703-222-0880, Monday thru Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP): As of December 15, 2020, the Rent and Mortgage Relief Program is being administered through a State-wide Call Center. Persons in need of Rent or Mortgage Relief can be directed to 703-962-1884 or initiate a new application through the online portal. Landlords and property managers can continue to apply for the benefit on behalf of tenants by contacting Virginia Housing. COVID-19 Vaccination for People Experiencing Homelessness: Public health professionals at state and local health departments have developed plans for administering COVID-19 vaccines in a fair, ethical, and transparent way for additional groups, including considerations for people experiencing homelessness. Currently, the vaccine is being administered to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents. For information on the vaccine and its administration locally, please visit Fairfax County’s Vaccine Website. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Frequently Asked Questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccination for people experiencing homelessness. Accessing Legal Advice: Those in need of legal assistance are encouraged to seek assistance through resources such as Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV) or Virginia Legal Aid. Omnibus Appropriations Bill: The “omnibus” included all the regular discretionary spending bills for FY 2021, about $900 billion in emergency coronavirus relief spending, as well as additional pieces of legislation. The National Alliance to End Homelessness developed a summary of what the federal emergency coronavirus relief spending means for homelessness, including impacts to emergency and regular funding. The National Low Income Housing Coalition also produced a summary of the impacts on rental assistance, homelessness, and other housing programs. The full bill can be found here. Thank you to the many providers that are serving people in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each and every one of you are sincerely appreciated. PARTNERSHIP UPDATES Hypothermia Prevention Program: The Hypothermia Prevention Program expands shelter capacity for individuals experiencing homelessness during the winter months. The program provides warm shelter, food and other supportive services to connect guests to a variety of basic needs to include clothing, employment, housing and more. Individual sites will have capacity limitations due to social distancing, but staff will work to ensure that everyone has access to accommodations at one of the county’s shelter locations. Sites are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week December 1, 2020 through April 1, 2021. Point in Time Count: The Point in Time (PIT) and Housing Inventory Counts (HIC) will take place January 27, 2021. The PIT and HIC Counts are annual events, mandated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), that tally the number of people experiencing homelessness on a given night, as well as the number of beds available for individuals experiencing, and that have experienced, homelessness. HUD CoC Competition: The Omnibus Appropriations Bill notes that HUD will release FY 2020 Continuum of Care (CoC) funds necessary to renew the previous year’s grants, without the usual competition. A competitive Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) may be released for new funding opportunities. One-Bedroom Apartments available for Immediate Lease at Murraygate Village (Alexandria): This newly renovated development is located along Richmond Highway – conveniently located near public transportation, shopping, schools, medical care, and includes a number of community amenities. No Rent Payments Until February 2021. This is a great housing option for individuals or couples who are in need of an affordable home in a major activity center in Fairfax County – minimum and maximum income limits apply. For complete details, please visit https://bit.ly/LeaseMurraygate2020. DATA SPOTLIGHT HUD has published Continuum of Care (CoC) Performance Profile Reports. This provides a snapshot of a CoC’s performance in addressing homelessness using performance indicators such as the length of time persons have been homeless, returns to homelessness over time, and exits to permanent housing. FUNDING INFORMATION Virginia Housing Homeless Assistance Grant: The Virginia Housing Homeless Assistance Grant provides funding for agencies that serve families and individuals that are experiencing homelessness, fleeing domestic violence as described in the HEARTH Act, and provides emergency shelter and/or permanent supportive housing services. Applications can be submitted through Virginia Housing’s Grants Management System. Applications are due January 15, 2021. Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot (VERP) Program: The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (VA DHCD) is now accepting applications for the implementation of the Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot (VERP) Program. In 2020, the General Assembly allocated $3.3 million for this initiative. VA DHCD will allocate $3 million of these funds to up to seven grantees to provide direct prevention and diversion assistance from February 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. Applications are due by January 8, 2021. Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF): The Department of Veterans' Affairs has released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program to begin in October 2021. Only eligible entities, that are existing grantees previously awarded grants stemming from the SSVF NOFA published on December 5, 2019, can apply in response to this NOFA. Applications are due by February 5, 2021.