Housing and Community Development - Public Affairs

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION:

703-246-5100
TTY 711

3700 Pender Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Ben Boxer,
Public Affairs Manager

County Opens Public Comment on Plans for Using CARES Act Funding in Response to COVID-19

CARES ActU.S. lawmakers have allocated $5.2 million in federal response funding to Fairfax County as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funds are made available through $3.5 million in supplemental Community Development Block Grant funding and $1.7 million in additional Emergency Solutions Grant funding to help prevent, prepare for and respond to the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to put those funds to use, the county is opening a period of public comment – beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursday, April 30, 2020 and running through 4 p.m. on Monday, May 11, 2020 – to review and provide feedback on two critical actions which must occur:

  1. Amending the Consolidated Plan One-Year Action Plan for Fiscal Year 2020 to include the proposed uses of the supplemental funding provided to Fairfax County as a result of the CARES Act.
     
  2. Amending the Citizen Participation Plan to allow the county to implement expedited procedures to obtain community input in accordance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines. 

 

Consolidated Action Plan One-Year Action Plan for Fiscal Year 2020

The Consolidated Plan One-Year Action Plan for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020 Action Plan) identifies and plans for Fairfax County’s overall needs for affordable housing, community service, homelessness assistance, community development, neighborhood preservation and revitalization, employment and economic opportunity services, as well as the resources and strategies used to meet these needs, in order to ultimately benefit low- and moderate-income households throughout the community.

The plan, currently in effect, must be amended to incorporate the new federal Coronavirus response funding and its proposed uses. All proposed projects and activities would be considered new to the FY 2020 Action Plan and have no adverse impact on projects and activities already a part of the plan.

Summary of Proposed Changes

Use of Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus Response (CDBG-CV) Funds

Fairfax County is planning to use the $3,506,542 in CDBG-CV funding as described in the CDBG Coronavirus Response Project of the FY 2020 Action Plan (Attachment B), to support:

  • Emergency rent and utility assistance for households who have lost income due to COVID-19 (to be administered through Coordinated Services Planning)
  • Operating expenses for non-profit partners who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and provide targeted public services to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19;
  • Income replacement for affordable housing providers whose tenants are unable to pay their rent during the crisis due to COVID-19; and
  • Funding to support administrative costs, if needed, to implement and monitor the activities.
     

Use of Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Funds

Fairfax County’s homeless services system is planning to use the $1,699,586 awarded through ESG funding in FY 2020, allocated through the CARES Act, as described under the new ESG Coronavirus Response project of the FY 2020 Action Plan (Attachment 2), to support:

  • Expansion of shelter capacity by using hotels, which is the primary need and eligible activity that will be prioritized;
  • Additional supplies, equipment, and transportation services needed to operate this expanded shelter capacity; and
  • Other eligible activities, including eligible administrative costs, permitted by HUD as needs arise.



Remaining balances or additional allocations in either funding source will be used for the same purposes in FY 2021 or until the funding period concludes. The goal is to respond to the current and emerging needs related to the coronavirus and ensure that people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, as defined by HUD, can be safely served.
 

 

CITIZEN PARTICIPATION PLAN

The Fairfax County Citizen Participation Plan is a guide that sets forth policies and procedures for public input and participation during the Consolidated Plan and One-Year Action Plan process. The CARES act provides the county with the ability to establish expedited procedures in the Citizen Participation Plan in order to quickly prevent, prepare for and respond to Coronavirus. This authority comes to the county through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Summary of Proposed Changes

  • Fairfax County may meet federal public hearing requirements with virtual public hearings if:
    • national/local health authorities recommend social distancing and limiting public gatherings for public health reasons; and  
    • virtual hearings provide reasonable notification and access for citizens in accordance with the grantee’s certifications, timely responses from local officials to all citizen questions and issues, and public access to all questions and responses.
       
  • Public comment notices will be advertised in a newspaper(s) of general circulation and at least one minority and non-English speaking publication for no less than 5 days prior to the date of a public hearing
     
  • Substantive amendments to the Consolidated Plan One-Year Action Plan will be publicly advertised for no less than 5 days, prior to consideration of the amendments by the Board of Supervisors
     
  • Proposed changes to the Citizen Participation Plan itself will be advertised no less than 5 days prior to the adoption or amendment by the Board of Supervisors
     
  • Any amendments to the Action Plan and amendments to the Citizen Participation Plan may run concurrently for public comment
     
  • Due to social distancing and limits on public gatherings for public health, the requirement that public notice(s) be advertised in all branches of the County Library system has been eliminated. Postings in other public and community spaces will not be considered
     
  • Reasonable efforts will be made to advertise to all sectors of the community digitally (e.g., county website, or through online news publications, community forums, e-mail subscription networks, and/or social media platforms)
     
  • The Citizen Participation Plan amendments only apply to the use of supplemental CDBG and ESG coronavirus funding allocated to Fairfax County during FY 2020, as well as the County’s CDBG and ESG annual entitlement grants for Federal FYs 2019 and 2020 (or County FYs 2020 and 2021, respectively).

Submit Your Comments...

Online

First Name:
Last Name:
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Comments (Please limit your comments to 4,000 characters):

 

E-mail Address:


 

 

Comments must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, May 11, 2020.

 

By Phone or Email

Please send your comments via email to Jenny.Hsu@fairfaxcounty.gov or call 703-246-5259, TTY 711.

Comments must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, May 11, 2020.

Hand-Delivered to Fairfax County's Pender Drive Office

Written comments may be hand-delivered to the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development Office at

Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development
Attn: Jenny Hsu, Grants Management Division
3700 Pender Drive
Suite 300
Fairfax, Virginia 22030-6039

Deposit your written comments in the gray drop box located to the right side of the entrance to the building. Comments must be delivered by 4 p.m. on Monday, May 11, 2020.


NEXT STEPS

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to take action on these proposed amendments at its regular meeting, held virtually on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. The meeting will be televised on cable Channel 16, available via online broadcast on the county’s website, and streamed live on the county’s Facebook account

 


 

Fairfax County is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in all county programs, services and activities and will provide reasonable accommodations upon request. To request special accommodations, call 703-246-5101 or TTY 711.

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