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Fairfax County Breaks Ground on Historic Affordable Housing Development at One University

Updated: Jan 31, 2022

Fairfax County, SCG Development, and a host of partners and community members gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking for the county’s One University affordable housing and student housing development. In addition to quintupling the number of affordable housing units available on the 10.8-acre site, the project marks a historic milestone as the first federally subsidized property under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program to receive approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for such an extensive redevelopment and expansion. “We are very proud of what One University represents for this community in terms of a major expansion of affordable housing and also what it means for similar properties across the nation. Through an exceptional partnership with HUD and a multi-year effort in planning and development, One University has the distinction of being a pioneering project in creating a path for other RAD properties to follow in preserving and expanding affordable housing.” - C. Melissa McKenna, Chairman Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority

“Affordable housing is a key investment in ourselves. While it certainly benefits those who will live in these homes, it also pays major dividends in the community foster economic growth, reduce traffic congestion and overcrowding, enhance personal financial independence, and promote healthy communities. The fact that Fairfax County is taking the lead in implementing affordable housing in this region is not surprising and is a testament to the value system of our community.” - Congressman Gerry Connolly U.S. House of Representatives The redevelopment of One University includes the demolition of the former 46-unit Robinson Square affordable housing community and the construction of three buildings that will include 120 multi-family apartments, 120 senior independent living apartments, and 333 units of student housing. All affordable units will serve individuals and families earning up to 60 percent of area median income. The project will also include meeting space for the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA).

“The One University Affordable Housing project highlights the reality that affordable housing affects people at every stage of their life. This unique project benefits young adults looking to make their start, working families, and senior citizens with limited income. I am proud our community is willing to be a part of the solution to incorporate homes where our neighbors can live safely and thrive with access to the plentiful opportunities Fairfax County has to offer.

- Supervisor James Walkinshaw Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

Through a public-private partnership, the buildings will be constructed on land owned by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA). Pursuant to the terms of a ground lease, the 240 units of affordable housing will be developed, owned, and operated by SCG Development. Concurrently, a portion of the property will be leased to RISE for the development of student housing – a critical component to the financial viability of the overall project. “Approximately five-years ago, we and our partners at RISE presented our initial proposal for One University. Since then, we have cultivated a strong working relationship with community leaders and neighbors to achieve a concept that will provide excellent homes for future residents and be well-integrated into the local community dynamic.” - Stephen Wilson, President SCG Development

The One University project also represents a prime example of Fairfax County’s multi-faceted approach to providing financing assistance for affordable housing development throughout the county. The financing plan for One University includes a creative investment and leveraging of valuable taxpayer dollars with other local and federal resources to deliver homes affordable to the county’s low- and moderate-income households. One University includes:

  • 10.8 acres of public land

  • $20 million in FCRHA revenue bond issuance

  • $6.5 million in local Housing Blueprint loans

  • 71 federal project-based subsidies (46 RAD project-based vouchers, 24 non-RAD vouchers)

  • The award of both 4% and 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits by Virginia Housing

“This is an exciting time where are witnessing the advancement of affordable housing development at an unprecedented rate – due, in large part, to our creative use of every tool at our disposal to get the work done. In 2019, we established a goal of producing a minimum of 5,000 new units of affordable housing by 2034. Three years later we have well over 1,800 units completed or in various stages of development, and we are well on our way towards achieving and surpassing that standard.” - Chairman Jeff McKay Fairfax County Board of Supervisors One University is anticipated to be prepared for occupancy in 2024.

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