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Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Adopts New Guidance on the Preservation of Affordable Housing

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently adopted new guidance that will be added to the County’s Comprehensive Plan regarding the preservation of existing, affordable rental housing. The amendment promotes the goal of one-for-one replacement of affordable units in redevelopment and infill development applications by leveraging incentives such as allowing building height or density above current Comprehensive Plan guidance.

“Not only are we making tremendous strides in the development of new, affordable homes but we are also simultaneously making significant progress on the preservation of existing affordable rental housing. We know that preservation is critical as housing affordability is increasingly at risk. This change to the Comprehensive Plan is one of many commitments the Board has made to increase affordable housing options for our residents.” - Chairman Jeffrey McKay, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

The amendment supports recommendations put forth by the Affordable Housing Preservation Task Force and the overarching goal of no net loss of affordable units in Fairfax County. The new guidance will be applicable to properties that have either market or committed affordable multifamily rental housing units, as defined in an updated Glossary in the Comprehensive Plan. County staff will analyze each residential redevelopment or infill development proposal seeking a rezoning and/or Comprehensive Plan amendment and work with applicants to determine opportunities for preservation and appropriate incentives to achieve the replacement of units. The adoption of the Comprehensive Plan amendment furthers the county’s equity initiatives and was supported through stakeholder engagement efforts.

“The Board’s action to adopt the Comprehensive Plan amendment represents a major milestone in achieving the County’s affordable housing goals and asserting our role as a regional leader in the preservation of affordable housing. The amendment provides the County with additional tools to assist in the preservation of our existing stock of affordable housing, critical to meet the needs of our workforce and to help all residents live in their community of choice.” – Supervisor John Foust, Dranesville District, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

The full Board of Supervisors Agenda Item can be read here.

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