Exploring Affordable Housing and Finance with Anna Shapiro on The County Conversation Podcast

Published on
01/30/2024
The County Conversation - Housing and Redevelopment Authority

 

Affordable housing impacts communities across the country, including Fairfax County. In a recent episode of The County Conversation podcast, Anna Shapiro, deputy director for real estate finance and development of our Redevelopment and Housing Authority, provided insights into the critical work her team is doing to address affordable housing needs in the county to reach the Board of Supervisors’ goal of 10,000 affordable housing units by 2034.

With a background in architecture and city planning, Shapiro brings a unique perspective to her role at the Redevelopment and Housing Authority. She emphasized the importance of creating responsible and equitable urban development.

When discussing the concept of affordable housing, Shapiro explained, "The traditional definition is that you want a household to spend 30% or less of their monthly income on housing, but that could mean so many different things. The goal is to ensure that households have access to housing that works for them and that they can afford."
 

Shapiro also shed light on the financial aspects of affordable housing and the role of the Redevelopment and Housing Authority in delivering a return on investment for Fairfax County taxpayers. 

"When we support the entire workforce and attract businesses, we create a thriving community that is essential for the county. Additionally, whenever we use county land for affordable housing, it creates a new tax benefit."

In addressing the challenges of new construction for affordable housing, Shapiro highlighted the importance of leveraging various funding sources, including local and federal funds, and partnerships with nonprofit and private development entities.

Furthermore, she emphasized the collaborative efforts with numerous agencies and organizations in the community, including the Board of Supervisors, development communities, nonprofits and service providers, stressing that it "takes a village in this county" to address affordable housing needs effectively.

"Affordable housing is making sure there's choice for households at all different income levels. What we try to do is have all of the options available to make sure there is that choice for families." - Anna Shapiro

 

The pursuit of affordable housing is a multifaceted endeavor requiring collaborative partnerships, innovative financing solutions, and a commitment to equity, and the insights shared by Shapiro offer a deeper understanding of the complexity and importance of this vital aspect of community development.

To learn more about the efforts of the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority and explore opportunities for involvement and support, visit their website, www.fcrha.org, reach out via phone at 703-246-5000 or email rha@fairfaxcounty.gov.

 

THE COUNTY CONVERSATION PODCAST

The “County Conversation” is a podcast featuring employees and subject matter experts from the Fairfax County Government discussing programs, services and items of interest to residents of Fairfax County. Click here to listen to past episodes of "County Conversation.” To find other county podcasts, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/podcasts
 

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