National Community Development Week 2022 (April 11 - 15) 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 Partnerships 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.
Fairfax County receives between $7 and $9 million each year in combined CDBG and HOME funding to support a variety of community initiatives. To date, Fairfax County has received over $284 million from the CDBG program and over $65 million from the HOME program that has been used to promote affordable housing, community development, and the general socioeconomic, intellectual, and physical well-being of very low- to moderate-income individuals and households.
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 $3.68 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 800 affordable housing units through acquisitions and/or rehabilitation projects,
- enable over 139 low-income households to purchase homes through the Down payment Assistance Program 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 almost 6,000 low-income residents.
The HOME Investment Partnerships 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. Every $1.00 of HOME funds received is typically leveraged with more than $5.00 in other funding to support the creation or preservation of units of affordable housing 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 or preserve over 220 affordable rental units and
- provide tenant-based rental assistance to approximately 45 low-income families per year
Housing stability is a critical variable to ensuring positive outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. Being “home stable” leads to a stronger opportunity for positive outcomes in employment, education, financial growth, and connectivity to the wealth of experiences and advantages available to residents in Fairfax County. CDBG and HOME funds help to leverage the investment of millions of dollars in local and state funding, as well as private developer capital, to create housing opportunities and developmental/supportive programs for our most vulnerable neighbors – including seniors, individuals with disabilities, and extremely low-income households.
“CDBG and HOME funds are absolutely critical to our work, and we could not have achieved the great success we have obtained over these last two years without these federal entitlements,” said Tom Fleetwood, Director of Housing and Community Development. “These funds serve to solidify a strategic, cooperative public-private response to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents by promoting stability, independence, and economic growth.”
Within the last few years, nonprofits competed for CDBG and HOME funds to finance innovative projects and services through the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development’s annual Request for Proposals. Some examples of fund awards include:
Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services, Inc. was recently awarded $426,000 and will acquire two condominium units to serve families experiencing homelessness or are at at-risk of experiencing homelessness with incomes at or below 60 percent of AMI.
Marian Homes, Inc. was awarded $457,000 and has completed the acquisition and renovation of their sixth single-family home in Fairfax County to provide community living for up to five individuals with intellectual disabilities who need specialized residential accommodations and have household incomes at or below 30 percent of AMI. Residents are served by enCircle and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) partners.
Operation Renewed Hope Foundation, Inc. (ORHF) was awarded $582,274 and has successfully acquired and rehabilitated two single-family homes that now serve veterans or veteran families with incomes at or below 50 percent of AMI. Supportive services and case management to residents are provided by ORHF.
Pathway Recovery, Inc., was recently awarded $2,100,000 and will acquire twelve condominium units for affordable housing and supportive services to families 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.
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.
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority utilized $2 million in CDBG funding to help finance the acquisition and renovation of the former Mount Vernon Athletic Club into a Community Center serving the Lee District. The initial improvements provided minimal renovations and upgrades under the property’s current zoning to improve the existing facility’s functionality and allow for operations to begin, including:
- Basic Accessibility Improvements (accessible restroom and paths of travel to activity areas)
- Select Capital Renewal Items (mechanical, electrical and plumbing system upgrades)
- Safety Improvements (fire alarm system upgrades, enhanced security systems)
- Community Use Updates (conversion of some of the existing tennis courts to multi-surface sports courts)
The facility opened to the public on April 4, 2022 and will provide space for recreation, youth programs and other equitable, accessible and effective resources for the whole community. The site is also the future location for a workforce training and development center championed by Lee District Supervisor Lusk.
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 $8.36 million in CDBG funding to aid the community’s response to the impacts of 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 public services. Additionally, Fairfax County received $7.88 million in additional HOME program funding in fiscal year 2022 to provide housing, supportive services, and shelter to individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as other vulnerable populations.
County Supervisors Proclaim April 11-15 Community Development Week in Fairfax County
WHEREAS, April 11-15 has been designated National Community Development Week to celebrate the federal Community Development Block Grant program now in its 47th year and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program now in its 30th year; and
WHEREAS, Fairfax County has received over $284 million from the CDBG program over the past 47 years and $65 million from the HOME program over the past 30 years, supporting the development of affordable housing benefiting low- to moderate-income individuals and households, including older adults, people with disabilities, those experiencing chronic or frequent homelessness, and children; and
WHEREAS, the Community Development Block Grant and the HOME 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 $8.36 million in additional program funding in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 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 public services;
WHEREAS, Fairfax County received $7.88 million in additional program funding in fiscal year 2022 to provide housing, supportive services, and shelter to individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as other vulnerable populations;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, on behalf of all residents of Fairfax County, does hereby designate April 11-15, 2022, as
“Community Development Week”
in Fairfax County and urges all residents to recognize the importance and achievements of the Community Development Block Grant and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program in improving the quality of life in Fairfax County and throughout the United States.