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Fairfax County’s Innovative Approach to Affordable Housing Delivers More Units Faster



The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved a Workforce Dwelling Unit Swap Agreement and rezoning measure that will deliver more affordable housing, faster and with deeper affordability to the Providence District. This unique approach for the project known as Somos at McLean Metro (Somos) continues Fairfax County’s innovative and creative approach to delivering well-integrated affordable housing in neighborhoods across the county.

Through the agreement and rezoning, SCG Development and the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCHRA) will be able to acquire a four-acre parcel along Old Meadow Road in the Tysons Urban Center and construct 453 units of affordable housing. Through the agreement, the FCRHA will own the land and lease the property to SCG under the terms of a long-term ground lease to build and operate the affordable housing community.

“Somos, yet another affordable housing project undertaken by the FCRHA with the support of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, is setting a new standard for how to seamlessly weave high-quality affordable housing into the fabric of an urban community,” said FCRHA Chairman Melissa McKenna. “With Somos, combined with the ongoing work of Dominion Square West, we are approaching 1,000 units of fully committed long-term affordable housing in the Tysons Urban Center.”

Locking in the delivery of affordable units at this stage in the continued development of Tysons is a crucial element to ensuring long-term affordable housing has a permanent place in Tysons given the quantity of market-rate units planned for the future. The Board’s approval of the agreement and the rezoning of the property will allow for an increase the number of affordable units to be developed from 178 to 453 units, will increase the speed with which they could be delivered, and allow for a deeper range of income levels to be served – including households earning 30 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent, 60 percent, and 70 percent of area median income.

“This is lot of units, and it’s in particular a lot of units being delivered at the income levels that we’ve been targeting for a long time, and in the right location,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C McKay.

Somos will be located near medical, educational, recreational, and commercial amenities – all within a three-mile radius. The site is also near Tysons Corner Center and Galleria, the Capital One Center, Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, and within walking distance to the McLean Metro station and several bus stops.

“This is exactly the kind of innovative thinking the board hoped to foster in the original Tysons plan, and when we amended the Workforce Dwelling Unit program for Tysons,” added Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik. “A mere quarter mile from the McLean Metro in the Tysons Urban Center, Somos is a major step forward in Tysons’ ongoing development as an economically vibrant, inclusive community. The 453 units to be delivered by Somos are a major step towards realizing the Board of Supervisors goal of delivering at least 10,000 new affordable homes by 2034.”

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