FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
FAIRFAX COUNTY – Nothing is more fundamental to family stability and well-being than quality housing. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) is paying immediate dividends in assisting Fairfax County in funding some of our county’s unfunded human services and housing needs. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, with the advocacy of our Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) and other community and citizen groups, set aside the equivalent of at least an additional one-half cent for senior and affordable housing in the County’s FY22 budget passed today. This will add over $14 million to help restore and build affordable and senior housing in Fairfax County each year for the next two years.
“The ability of our County Board to reinstate the ‘Penny for Affordable Housing’ is directly related to the great work of President Biden, Vice President Harris, and our Virginia Democratic Congressional delegation in passing the ARP earlier this year,” stated FCDC Chair Bryan Graham. “FCDC commends Chairman Jeff McKay, Board Housing Committee Chairman John Foust, and the Fairfax County Board for their leadership in prioritizing our county’s housing and human service’s needs in their FY22 revised budget.”
Recognizing that housing – senior and affordable – must be a top priority for Fairfax County, along with education, public safety, and transportation, the FCDC membership on March 23, 2021 overwhelmingly adopted a resolution to endorse the reinstatement of the “Penny for Affordable Housing.” FCDC joined a chorus of community and non-profit organizations – including the Fairfax County NAACP, Coalition for Smarter Growth, FACETS, Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, and New Virginia Majority – in calling for this additional investment in affordable housing in the FY22 Fairfax County budget.
Fairfax County and our surrounding jurisdictions are in the middle of an affordable housing crisis, exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. One in five renters in the County pay more than fifty percent of their income for housing, and more County residents in the 50+ community qualify for senior housing than our county has available. The “Penny for Affordable Housing” raised nearly $100 million between 2005 and 2008 when Gerry Connolly was the Board Chairman. The recession forced the county to cut the dedicated amount to half a penny, which still stands more than a decade later. If the County’s goals and Affordable Housing Resources Panel recommendations are to be met, additional and continued investment in affordable housing must be made.
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