The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is aiming to formally update its Workforce Dwelling Unit (WDU) policy to provide affordable rents for those in need as rents continue to increase across the region.
However, these policy changes would not apply to Reston, which is currently undergoing its own separate study to update its WDU policy. The proposal heads to the board for a public hearing and a vote today.
The main update is lowering the household income levels served under the county’s rental WDU program from a maximum of 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI) in the Washington D.C. Metro Area to 80% of AMI. It also now includes those at 70% and 60% of AMI in the program. The changes are based on a comprehensive staff report released last month.
The area median income (AMI) is the household income for the median household in a region. Currently, in the D.C. region, the AMI is $126,000 for a household of four.
“We conducted a housing strategic plan process over the last two or three years, which identified, sort of these lower incomes as being in the greatest need,” says Tom Fleetwood, Director of Fairfax County Housing and Development. “While at the same time, the higher income tiers that were served under the original version of the WDU program really were closer to the prevailing market rents here in Fairfax County.”
The updates would also lower the minimum percentage of rental units offered as WDUs from 12% to 8%. According to the plan, 4% of those units would need to be offered to those at 80% AMI, 2% to those at 70% AMI, and 2% to those at 60% AMI.
However, these numbers are different and are specifically revised for the Tysons Urban Center.
Fleetwood says the policy is “similar in intent” but the specific numbers are more in context with the realities of Tysons’ rental market.
In Tysons, developers would have the ability to choose between two different options for their affordable rental units. Either they can offer 2% of the units at 60% AMI, 3% at 70% AMI, and 8% at 80% AMI, which brings their WDU commitment to 13% in total, or they can simply offer 10% of their units at 60% of AMI.
The county’s planning commission voted unanimously to make these changes.
Reston is working on their own separate WDU study as part of the Reston Comprehensive Plan Study. That study is being initiated by a task force led by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn.
Alcorn’s communication director Lisa Connors, tells Reston Now that Reston has a “separate formula for WDUs.” Similar to the policy updates that the county is voting on, WDUs will be discussed at the study’s task force meeting on March 8.
Affordable housing continues to be a challenge for Reston.
The Board of Supervisors is also voting to update, revise, and rewrite editorial elements of the policy that was first established in 2015. The revisions would update data, rework outdated terminology, and remove references to programs that no longer exist.
Photo by Mike Reyes/Flickr
The former private venue will be preserved as part of the overall infill residential proposal (via JR Catering/Facebook) A nearly 9-acre property near Lake Fairfax Park in Reston could be…
The Fairfax County Government Center building (staff photo by David Taube) Local officials are already preparing for “one of the most challenging” budget talks in years due to inflation, the…
PayMore plans to open a location in Reston within two to three weeks (via PayMore) An electronics trading store is slated to open in Reston’s Home Depot by the end…
Wolftrap Creek in fall (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Route 7 Lane Shift in Reston Starts Today — “On or about Tuesday, Nov. 29, the right-turn lane from eastbound Route…
The Ravel Dance Studio will re-open for fall classes 2020. The school will offer in person and virtual online instruction. With over 5000 sq. ft. to social distance the school has added air ionization filtration systems, ballet barres, acrylic dividers, hands free bathrooms, strict monitoring and more.
The Ravel Dance Studio will produce a Nutcracker Ballet Hollywood style video through the Reston Community CenterStage. REGISTRATION online begins August 17.
Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.
He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.