The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors took action on two housing projects in order to move the county closer to adding nearly 390 units to its portfolio of affordable homes. The innovative One University and Oakwood Senior Housing projects will both play a major role in continuing the county’s progress towards the goal of producing at least 5,000 affordable homes over the next 15 years which was endorsed by the Board and outlined in the Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan. Both projects will serve households making up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income or less. “[The One University] application seeks to address two very significant challenges facing both the Braddock District and the county as a whole: both student housing at George Mason [University] and affordable housing countywide,” said Braddock District Supervisor John Cook. “When we [the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors] approved our affordable housing plan, we knew it would be challenging. This project proves it can be done.” At the conclusion of the public hearing, the Board of Supervisors approved the public-private partnership to develop three new apartment buildings of affordable mixed-use housing on property owned by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) at the intersection of University Drive and Route 123 in the Braddock District. The One University development will create 240 homes that are affordable, to include 120 units of affordable senior housing, 120 affordable multifamily units. The project will also include 333 affordable student housing units. The Board also approved an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan to allow for the development of up to 150 affordable senior housing and limited community space on the 6.2-acre, FCRHA-owned lot at the intersection of Oakwood Road and South Van Dorn Street in the Lee District. The Oakwood Senior Housing development is one of several housing projects designed to enable older adults the freedom and potential to age in place.
“The need for senior affordable housing in this area of the county is enormous,” said Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay of the Oakwood proposal. “The fact that we could take a stormwater management pond that is underutilized and transform it into up to 150 senior housing units, and that we can accommodate them along a transit line a stone’s throw from a Metro station on a piece of property that really was providing no community benefit is exactly what we envisioned when we talked about affordable housing and where we can make it happen.”
Both actions taken by the Board of Supervisors were initial regulatory steps needed as part of a longer development process. County staff will continue to engage local leaders and members of the community as these projects continue to move forward through the development process.