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  • Writer's pictureFCRHA

Community Development Week Has New Meaning Amid Global Pandemic

In light of the current circumstances, National Community Development Week 2020 (April 13 – 17) has added significance in highlighting the critical benefits that the national Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) bring to our community – both in times of emergency and in happier times – particularly for the county’s most vulnerable residents.

Historically, Fairfax County received somewhere between $5 and $10 million a year in CDBG and HOME funding to support a variety of housing initiatives and community services. Together, these programs provide essential funding to support neighborhood improvements, economic revitalization, community facilities and services, and the preservation of affordable housing. These funds provide direct assistance to the most vulnerable residents and improve the overall condition of neighborhoods throughout the county. Every $1.00 of CDBG and HOME funding leverages more than $4.00 in other funding.

The CDBG program provides grants to over 1,200 local governments to create neighborhood approaches that improve the physical, economic and social conditions in communities. Fairfax County has been successful in utilizing CDBG funds to address public services over the last five years, including:

  • 1,055 low-income renter households that were assisted through acquisition and/or rehabilitation projects of single or multi-unit properties for affordable housing

  • 530 low-income households served by homeownership assistance programs

  • 4,979 low-income households served by targeted public services programs – including such services as housing opportunities for the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless; supportive services for older adults and individuals with disabilities; literacy, academic development, training and financial stability programs for those in need; and more.

The HOME program provides grants to over 600 local participating jurisdictions to use – often in partnership with local nonprofit groups – to create safe, sanitary, and affordable housing in communities nationwide or providing direct rental assistance to low-income households. Since 1992, all of the HOME funds received by Fairfax County have been leveraged to support numerous affordable housing projects ultimately creating or preserving units of affordable housing and providing rental assistance, including:

  • 1,307 affordable rental units

  • 102 affordable homeowner units

  • 964 units provided with tenant-based rental assistance

Currently, CDBG and HOME funds are incorporated in 295 future affordable housing units, and almost $1 million is committed to direct rental assistance and public services programs that provide critical help to the county’s most vulnerable residents.

With budgetary constrictions under consideration as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the significance of these funding programs and the benefits they provide for the most vulnerable residents of our community cannot be understated. CLICK HERE for complete coverage for Fairfax County’s recognition Community Development Week 2020.

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