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Affordable Housing Initiative
July 26, 2005
Fairfax County Provides Dedicated Source of Funding for Affordable Housing
In response to soaring home values and a diminishing supply of affordable housing, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a new dedicated source of funding for affordable housing at its meeting on April 25, 2005. Beginning on July 1, 2005, one penny of each dollar of the real estate tax rate will be set aside for the preservation and production of affordable housing. The tax is expected to generate approximately $18 million in its first year.

“This marks a new day for all those who have been trying to preserve our limited supply of affordable housing,” stated Conrad Egan , chairman of the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority. “With these resources now available, we look forward to working with our nonprofit partners in this important effort.”

Fairfax County has had a housing trust fund since 1988; however, the fund did not have a dedicated source of funding. Revenue came primarily from developer proffers and contributions by the Board of Supervisors. The housing trust has been successful in preserving and producing more than 1,000 units of affordable housing for seniors, families and persons with disabilities, leveraging $7 in public and private investment for every $1 of housing trust fund money.

The concept of the “one penny for housing” was generated through a grass roots effort that began with establishment of a citizen task force in September 2004 to develop an action plan for preserving 1,000 units of affordable housing by the end of 2007. The task force developed a plan that included twelve recommendations, with the “one penny for housing” as its top recommendation. The idea quickly gained support in the community, and this support was echoed by many speakers who appeared before the Board of Supervisors during the annual budget public hearings.

Workshops are being planned to assist nonprofit and for-profit developers who wish to access this funding for projects in Fairfax County, with the first information session taking place on Wednesday, July 27 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center. Information about future workshops and sessions will be posted at www.e-ffordable.org as updates become available.

 

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