July 1, 2020 marks the beginning of a new era in Fairfax County housing with the merger of the county’s Office to Prevent and End Homelessness (OPEH) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).
The merger, announced by Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill as part of his proposed FY 2021 budget, will promote expanded housing opportunities, greater effectiveness for clients and nonprofit programs, and more clarity in the county’s communitywide housing efforts for vulnerable residents. The merger will also further support the county’s Health and Human Services System’s integrated approach to providing services.
“This merger really completes the continuum of housing between the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness’ life-saving mission for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and HCD’s mission of providing permanent affordable housing for our county’s low- to moderate-income households. We look forward with eager anticipation to the stronger connection of our work and to be able to uniquely meet and support the needs of our vulnerable residents searching for a place to call home in Fairfax County.” Tom Fleetwood, Director Department of Housing and Community Development
The Office to Prevent and End Homelessness will become a third pillar of the Department of Housing and Community Development – joining Operations and Real Estate Finance and Development – and will function under the leadership of Deputy Director Tom Barnett, who has been serving as acting director for OPEH during the last 6 months.