National Community Development Week 2021 (April 5 - 9) provides an opportunity to reflect on the value federal community development funds bring to communities throughout Fairfax County. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) – funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – provide essential funding utilized to support neighborhood improvements, economic revitalization, affordable housing, community facilities and services to assist our most vulnerable neighbors.
Generally speaking, Fairfax County receives between $5 and $10 million each year in combined CDBG and HOME funding to support a variety of community initiatives. To date, Fairfax County has received over $263.5 million from the CDBG program and over $64.7 million from the HOME program that has been used to promote housing stability and their general socioeconomic, intellectual and physical well-being of very low- to moderate-income individuals and families.
Community Development Block Grant
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program provides grants to over 1,200 local governments for the development of neighborhood approaches to improving the physical, economic and social conditions in communities. Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously running HUD programs. Every $1.00 of CDBG leverages more than $4.00 in other funding; bringing additional vital resources to Fairfax County communities.
Over the past five years, Fairfax County has used CDBG funds to achieve the following outcomes:
- create or preserve over 2,300 affordable housing units through acquisitions and/or rehabilitation projects,
- enable over 2280 low-income households to purchase homes through homeownership assistance programs and
- provide targeted public services, including supportive services for persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, for older adults and for persons with disabilities; literacy and academic development services; and training and financial stability programs, for over 10,258 low-income residents.
HOME Investment Partnerships Program
The HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) has been providing grants to over 600 local participating jurisdictions since 1992, to be used to create safe, sanitary, and affordable housing and to provide direct rental assistance to low-income households. In Fairfax County every $1.00 of HOME funds received is typically leveraged with more than $4.00 in other funding to support the creation or preservation of units of affordable housing units and to provide rental assistance for the benefit of low-income residents.
In the past five years, Fairfax County has used HOME funds to accomplish the following:
- create over 1,300 affordable rental units and
- provide tenant-based rental assistance to over 175 low-income families
Federal housing funds are critical to advancing affordable housing
In 2019, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted the County’s Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan. Two critical cornerstones of that plan include the goal to produce a minimum of 5,000 new units of affordable housing by 2034, and a commitment to “No Net Loss” of the County’s existing stock of affordable housing.
Housing stability is a critically necessary component in Fairfax County residents’ ability to achieve their fullest potential and for our countywide community to thrive. During this challenging time amid the impacts of COVID-19, when local resources are limited, federal funding plays a critical role in helping to advance the preservation and acquisition of more affordable housing in Fairfax County as well as providing essential services and programs to assist our most vulnerable residents to be able to stay in their homes.
“CDBG and HOME funds have a very welcome and valuable place among the resources at our disposal in serving many of our most vulnerable residents. Our community partners use these funds to acquire and rehabilitate units to add to our overall stock of affordable housing and to offer supportive programs and essential services to help individuals and families achieve greater housing stability. These funds are absolutely essential to our ability for fostering the partnerships and facilitating the flexibility required to address affordable housing in such a large county with so many diverse communities in terms of needs, geography and developmental options.”
- Tom Fleetwood, Director
Department of Housing and Community Development
Currently, CDBG and HOME funds are incorporated in approximately 300 future affordable housing units, and almost $1 million is committed to direct rental assistance and public services programs that provide critical help to the county’s most vulnerable residents.
Within the last few years, nonprofits competed for CDBG and HOME funds to finance innovative projects and services through the Fairfax County’s Department of Housing and Community Development’s annual Request for Proposals. Some examples of fund awards include:
Housing For Veterans - Operation Renewed Hope Foundation
Operation Renewed Hope Foundation (ORHF) was awarded $582,274 for the acquisition and rehabilitation of two single-family homes that serves veterans or veteran families with incomes at or below 50 percent of AMI. Substantial commitments of assistance from the community, including donations of materials and labor from: Helmets to Hardhats, HomeAid of NOVA, Home Depot, Renewal by Anderson Windows. Supportive services and case management are provided by ORHF.
Housing for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities – Marian Homes, Inc.
Marian Homes, Inc. was awarded $450,000 to acquire and renovate their sixth single-family home in Fairfax County to provide community living for up to five individuals with intellectual disabilities, served by Chimes and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Service Board (CSB), who are in need of specialized residential accommodations, particularly those that are aging and with household incomes at or below 30 percent of AMI.
Homes and Supportive Services for Homeless – Pathway Homes, Inc.
Pathway Homes, Inc. was awarded $1,879,979 to acquire eleven one-bedroom condominium units to provide affordable housing and supportive services to individuals who are homeless or precariously housed with incomes at or below 30 percent of AMI and who have special needs related to mental illness, co-occurring substance abuse disorders and intellectual disorders. Supportive services and case management will be provided by Pathway.
Housing for Extremely-Low-Income Households – Cornerstones Housing Corporation
Cornerstones Housing Corporation was awarded $336,000 to acquire two townhouse or condominium units in Reston, Herndon and Centreville. One serves an elderly household with an income at or below 30 percent of AMI and the second serves a household with an income at or below 50 percent of AMI.
Housing for Extremely-Low-Income Households – Wesley Housing
Wesley Housing was awarded $957,351 for the development of 40 units of affordable housing that will have 32 units at 50 percent or below of AMI and eight units at 40 percent or below of AMI. The entire Arden Project utilizes multiple sources of financing including Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Housing Blueprint funds and consists of new construction of a multi-family development with a total of 126 apartments and ground floor commercial space. This is on top of the $7.4 million already awarded to the project in local funds.
Federal housing funds are also a means of providing localities with emergency funding in response to emergencies and crisis. During fiscal years 2020 and 2021, Fairfax County received nearly $12 million in CDBG funding to aid the community’s response to the impacts of COVID-19. Funds were vital in helping:
- Acquire and preserve affordable housing for special needs and other income eligible households
- Fund housing program administrative costs and fair housing activities
- Fund public services and rent subsidies, including activities to be funded through the Consolidated Community Funding Pool and assistance for households experiencing homelessness
COUNTY SUPERVISORS PROCLAIM APRIL 5-9 TO BE “COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT WEEK”
“The observance of Community Development Week seeks to focus attention on the significant and vital benefits that are delivered to our community through the federal programs CDBG and HOME. These funds are utilized to galvanize a public-private response to their needs in the form of housing assistance and critical services and programs that promote stability, independence and personal and economic development.
It is imperative for our elected leaders in Congress to see the power these programs have for the most vulnerable residents of our community. Especially now as we continue to navigate and recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In these times of greatest need, we must protect and efficiently administer those resources that are focused on providing opportunity, stability and protection for those within our community who are in greatest need.
As a county government entrusted with the administration of the resources afforded by the CDBG and HOME Programs, we continue to appreciate and recognize the value of these programs in fostering relationships among nonprofits, businesses, residents and local governments to ensure Fairfax County creates opportunity for everyone.”
The Honorable Jeffrey McKay, Chairman
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Whereas, April 5-9 has been designated National Community Development Week to celebrate the federal Community Development Block Grant program now in its 46th year and the HOME Investment Partnerships program now in its 29th year; and
Whereas, Fairfax County has received $236.5 million from the CDBG program over the past 46 years and $64.7 million over the past 29 years from the HOME program, supporting the development of housing that is affordable and benefits low- to moderate-income people, including older adults, people with disabilities, those experiencing chronic or frequent homelessness and children; and
Whereas, the Community Development Block Grant program and the HMOE Investment Partnerships program foster a strong network among local government, residents, businesses and nonprofit organizations working to meet the needs of Fairfax County residents; and
Whereas, Fairfax County received an additional $8.36 million in funding in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 to provide services to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19, including the provision of emergency rent and utility assistance for families who have lost income, and funding nonprofit partners to enable the continued provision of vital targeted public services; Now Therefore
Be it resolved, that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, on behalf of all residents Fairfax County, does hereby designate April 5-9, 2021 as Community Development Week in Fairfax County and urges all residents to recognize the importance and achievements of the Community Development Block Grant program and the HOME Investment Partnerships program in improving the quality of life in Fairfax County and throughout the U.S.
Jeffrey C. McKay, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
April 5, 2021