Housing and Community Development

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8AM-4:30PM M-F

TTY 711

3700 Pender Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Tom Fleetwood,
HCD Director

2020 Housing Challenge


2020 Housing Challenge

Affordable housing is a critical priority facing Fairfax County. The anticipated growth of the community, increasing rents and only modest increases in household income means that individuals and families earning low to moderate incomes are finding it increasingly difficult to find price-appropriate housing options in the communities where they work. Fairfax County has adopted the Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan ,which outlines a number of strategies along with policy and resource development opportunities that can help enhance its affordable housing portfolio; however, it is plainly clear that true success, when it comes to affordable housing, is a communitywide achievement.

That's where you come in!

Fairfax County and the George Mason University School of Business are proud to host the 2020 Housing Challenge as a means of bringing together residents, students, housing advocates, industry professionals and policy experts to provide solutions to three critical challenges facing Fairfax County in our pursuit towards enhanced home affordability - particularly for those earning low to moderate incomes. Cash prizes will be awarded!

2020 Housing Challenge - March 11, 2020

9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
George Mason University's Merten Hall, Room 1201
(4441 George Mason Blvd., Fairfax)

Presenters to include:

  • The Honorable Jeffrey C. McKay, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
  • Dr. Maury Peiperl, Dean, George Mason University School of Business
  • Chuck Bean, Executive Director, Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments
  • Michelle Krocker, Executive Director, Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance
  • Brian McLaughlin, President & CEO, Enterprise Community Development, Inc.
  • Carmen Romero, Vice President of Real Estate Development, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing
  • George Masson University Students and Faculty - Marc Fournier, Bobby Klancher, Kevin Larios, Nicole Wickliffe and Bob Wulff

This full-day event will bring together individuals from a variety of backgrounds and experiences from all over the county to tackle three critical policy challenges facing Fairfax County and our communitywide progress towards affordable housing. All are welcome to participate.



3 Challenges

Communications: Enhancing Public Awareness and Support for Affordable Housing

Background: Fairfax County adopted a goal of creating a minimum of 5,000 affordable housing units, as a floor, over the next 15 years (known as the “5k by 15” goal). This long-term goal and commitment to ensuring an equitable community for all will take public support and the action of many players. To reach and exceed this goal, the entire community—including non-traditional partners and others who are not typically involved in housing issues—must be engaged as active partners. Effective, contemporary and comprehensive communications are needed to keep affordable housing at the forefront of public discussions and action. 
The Challenge: Design a modern, comprehensive communications strategy to gain broad support for the 5k by 15 goal across sectors, industries, partners, geographies, and residents. Issues to consider include how to reach a wide, diverse audience; how messages could be tailored for effectiveness; and what tools—particularly social media platforms—can be used to reach and engage tradition


Partnerships: Engage Employers and Non-Traditional Partners in Providing Affordable Housing

Background: Despite the anticipation of new resources, Fairfax County projects a gap of at least 10,000 homes over the next 15 years that are affordable to households earning 60 percent of median income and below. This gap is in addition to an existing shortage of affordable homes, compounding an already complex issue. Gaps in affordable housing are particularly acute for older adults and small families. In other jurisdictions, large employers have recognized the benefit of developing affordable housing for the overall workforce and for their employees.   
The Challenge: Recognizing that government cannot solve this issue in isolation, develop a comprehensive set of policies that will result in commitments from employers to partner with the public or private industry to develop more affordable housing. What factors have led to success in other jurisdictions; what are the obstacles or conditions that have prevented more wide-scale employer efforts in Fairfax County; and how can Fairfax employers be incentivized to play a bigger role in addressing this issue?  

Faith Communities: Facilitating Their Participation in the Affordable Housing Solution

Background: The cost of land is often the biggest barrier to the development of affordable housing in Fairfax County. Many houses of worship have underutilized land that could be developed either by selling it or ground leasing it to a developer. In the past, many houses of worship have expressed interest in developing affordable housing but have not been able to deliver a project due to a number of factors including navigating the financial considerations of such a project, lacking technical expertise, complying with county land use processes, and more.  
The Challenge: Create a multifaceted policy strategy to provide technical expertise to houses of worship in order to increase the stock of affordable housing. In addition to philanthropic reasons, are there economic incentives that could be built into programs that would encourage houses of worship and other partners to pursue these types of initiatives?  


Pre-Challenge Webinar - March 2, 2020

Thank you to all who attended the Pre-Challenge Webinar on Monday, March 2. For those who were unable to attend, you can find the complete video recording of the webinar below. Additionally, as part of today's presentation, it was requested that we provide a link to past hackathons hosted by Fairfax County. You can find similar events posted on the Fairfax County Economic Success website here.



If you have questions about the 2020 Housing Challenge, please contact Linda Hoffman at rha@fairfaxcounty.gov



This event is being provided by Fairfax County in partnership with 

FCRHA      George Mason Universith School of Business

VHDA Logo           National Association of Realtors        

 Capital One


Fairfax Virtual Assistant