Fairfax County is a vibrant and desirable community in which to live, work, play and raise a family. Our community is home to more than 1 million residents and our growing economy is creating more opportunities for jobs at every level of the income spectrum – and workers who fill those jobs need an “Affordable Home” for themselves and their families.
DEFINITION: Affordable Home
Having an affordable home means you have enough income to pay your housing expenses and still have enough money left over to provide for your basic needs like food, clothing and medical care. Ideally your housing expenses should not exceed 30% of your income.
With rents continuing to rise and incomes struggling to keep pace – particularly those jobs with low-to-moderate hourly wages – many critical frontline and essential workers are finding it increasingly difficult to find homes in the communities where they work. This includes people working in hospitality, retail, food service, childcare and education, health/public safety, and more. This issue affects us all regardless of whether your personal housing circumstances are threatened. After all, how can Fairfax County be a thriving community if the housing market cannot accommodate the diverse income ranges of the workers needed to support it?
DEFINITION: Low-to-Moderate Income Households:
Low-to-Moderate Income Households are generally defined to be those earning 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) or below as indicated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In fiscal year 2020, 60 percent of AMI for a family of four in Fairfax County was $75,600. The upper range of the "moderate income" band extends to 80 percent AMI ($79,600 for a family of four).
The Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development and the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) administer a variety of housing programs, resources and services which aim to place housing within reach – particularly for low- to moderate-income households which include senior housing, specialized housing for individuals with disabilities and housing options for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness. In general, this is achieved through:
- Providing sheltering and supportive services for individuals and families experiencing Homelessness
- Rental Housing subsidy programs
- Homeownership programs for first-time homebuyers
- Developing and helping to finance the New Development and Preservation of Existing Affordable Housing throughout the county
- Providing Resident Services to help promote and encourage self-sufficiency
- Overseeing County Policies and Programs which encourage the inclusion of affordable housing in market-rate housing developments
In 2019, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted the goal of creating a minimum of 5,000 new units of affordable housing within 15 years. The Board also re-affirmed its support of the principle of no net loss of existing "market affordable" rental homes.