implement necessary regulatory and administrative functions for establishing
affordable housing strategies in all applicable development review applications.
Create a tracking and
monitoring system that displays critical affordable housing data in a visual,
The Office of Housing
has tracked some housing data on a regular basis over the past year. The
current data collected on sales of new and existing houses and rental
properties will be refined and data related to residential projects in
development review will be collected and tracked. Data collection will be
coordinated with the County’s GIS initiative and the Community Development
department. Quarterly reports will be presented to the Housing Committee
and provided as information to the Planning Commission and the Board of
Supervisors as well as being posted on the County’s website. The Housing
Committee and Office of Housing will develop an annual report to the Board
that summarizes conditions, current sales data, current development data,
and activities that have had an impact on affordable housing.
Reconsider density limits,
why they are not being utilized – look for housing opportunities, holes in the
The current density
bonus provisions have not been beneficial in producing affordable housing.
There are likely two main reasons for this. First, few if any proposals
come forward requesting more density than allowed by right. Secondly, if a
developer requests the thirty percent (30%) bonus, all additional units
would have to be affordable. Even if a developer requested and received
the bonus, there is nothing other than sales price and rent limits in the
provision that would require the units to be available to low- to
moderate-income households. In addition, for sale units would only have
to be affordable at time of initial sale and rental units would have
restricted rents for no more than five years.
The zoning ordinance should be amended to revise the current density bonus to
provide increased density of up to 100% of that allowed by zoning district or
the upper density limit specified in the Comprehensive Plan, whichever is less
with a maximum allowed density not to exceed eighteen (18) dwelling units per
EXAMPLE: A ten acre site
is zoned R-4 with a Comp Plan Density of three to six dwelling units per acre.
The applicant proposes a density increase to six units per acre or a total of
sixty (60) units. The proposed density bonus would allow this increase without
rezoning if the applicant develops 10 of the additional 20 units as affordable.
NOTE: If the Comp Plan upper density had been 12 units per acre in this
example, the density bonus would have been limited to 8 units per acre or 100%
of the zoning district.
The request and approval for
the increased density would require that one half additional units be affordable
and give the County or its designees a 90-day priority marketing period. During
this period the sale or rental would be restricted to low- to moderate-income
households. By using County funds to provide downpayment assistance, the County
or its designee would have first right-of-refusal for a subsequent sale. If the
County or its designee does not exercise this option, the downpayment assistance
with interest will be repaid at the time of sale. If the designated affordable
units are for rent, the owner/manager would be expected to enter into an
agreement with the County specifying the maximum rents and eligible household
incomes of tenants. The Office of Housing would monitor compliance through
provide procedural incentives for those in compliance with the standards
The Department of
Community Development is cataloging all requirements and issues related to
the development review process. This information will be provided to the
Board of Supervisors in May for review, discussion, and guidance on what, if
any, of the issues may not be important to the review process or that could
be waived if the project has an affordable housing component...
targets for the development of affordable units for low-and moderate-income
families with sufficient flexibility to allow for negotiation based on the
development’s size, location, timeline, and nature of surrounding area. At a
minimum, 15% of all units developed under rezoning and special use permits
should be affordable as defined by the County’s Office of Housing and Housing
Committee or a comparable contribution should be made to achieve the affordable
housing goals of the County
“proxies” for the 15% target that promote the county’s concept of affordable
This recommendation is
not under consideration at this time as most proxies discussed (limited
transportation needs, live close to work, energy-efficiency, and
low-maintenance structures) are not controlled or likely to be controlled by
Allow a phased-in approach
to the target that allows a close match between affordable housing created and
families prepared to purchase
number of affordable units will be calculated on the additional units
provided as a result of the rezoning. Additional units shall be those that
exceed units allowed by the zoning district or by-right. Although a
development may propose a higher percentage of affordable units, in no case
shall more than 15% of the total developed units be expected to be proffered
in seeking rezoning.
units Percent of additional units to be proffered (all fractions
Establish an “in lieu of”
system that is simple and easy for developers to use in their initial planning
and financial modeling
The County should develop a proffer system that allows developers to
contribute cash or other comparable non-cash contributions to support
affordable housing initiatives in lieu of developing affordable units.
Until such a system is developed, the amount of $1725 per residential unit
proposed for development should be used to determine a cash or
cash-equivalent proffer to support affordable housing initiatives.
The cash amount is
calculated using the 2004 median sales price of new homes sold, $175,000 (the
affordable target), 10% representing sharing of developer/builder profit, the
number of proposed units, and 15% of the proposed units. The calculation
2004 median sales of new
homes sold $290,000
Times .10 (contribution of
units $ 11,500
Times 15% of
total units 9 (assuming 60 units)
Divided by total
Per unit proffer
In this example, the
contribution of cash proffers would likely assist six homebuyers with
downpayment assistance under the current Homebuyer Assistance Program.
Establish a policy on the
minimum size of a project to be subject to affordable housing goals. Should
there be a minimum number of units in a development before the policy is
For proffering units,
see previous section.
cash or cash-equivalent proffers all projects would use the suggested amount
in the previous section regardless of size.
and mechanisms including security instruments for the initial sale of affordable
units to promote long-term affordability and protect direct monetary investments
from public resources.
Create Housing Trust Fund
and associated programs with dedicated source(s) of funding (recapture
investment and share equity on resale)
The Office of Housing
has developed a Homebuyer Assistance Program using general funds
appropriated by the Board of Supervisors for fiscal year 2004-05 and federal
HOME funds currently available. The program will be coordinated with other
resources including those available through the Piedmont Housing Alliance.
The program provides junior mortgages which are deferred and carry an
interest at 6%. The funds including interest will be repaid by borrower not
later than upon the sale of the property. The appropriated funds and the
future repayment will be used to begin capitalizing a housing trust fund.
As more funding is
available through the Albemarle Housing Initiative Fund, general fund
appropriations, and proffers, additional programs may be recommended by the
Office of Housing and the Housing Committee for expanding activities in a
Connect the housing trust
fund to the cash proffer option
All cash proffers for
affordable housing will be appropriated to a housing fund overseen by the
Office of Housing and Housing Committee. The Office of Housing may execute
agreements with other entities for the management of the fund.
partnerships/programs and create new alliances with the private sector including
nonprofit and for-profit housing providers and lenders.
development financial institutions
The Office of Housing
and Housing Committee will look at options for the management of housing
fund programs striving to improve the capacity to serve low- to
moderate-income households and leveraging available public funds to the
greatest extent possible. One option is entering into a management
agreement with Piedmont Housing Alliance (PHA), an existing CDFI and helping
PHA improve its capacity as a nonprofit lender.
The Office of Housing
will seek opportunities to use available resources including CDBG, HOME, and
the Albemarle Housing Initiative Fund to leverage partnerships with private
developers including nonprofit housing organizations.
Review models from other
in this document are modifications of two existing programs in the
Commonwealth – the Counties of Fairfax and Loudoun. We do, however, see
major differences in development activities in these jurisdictions and
Albemarle. Albemarle continues to receive requests for developments with
densities less than outlined in the Comprehensive Plan compared to the much
higher density requests in the Northern Virginia area.
resources including those through the state and federal governments for the
development and/or financing of affordable housing.
Consider dedication of
property tax (1 cent) or some other form of dedicated revenue stream from
local funds for Housing Trust Fund to support workforce housing.
of Albemarle currently contributes $250,000 annually to the Albemarle Housing
Initiative Fund for investment toward affordable housing projects and programs.
of Housing and Housing Committee should prepare a case based on demand
supporting an increase in local general funds for affordable housing initiatives
in future County budgets.
should look for opportunities that involve public/private partnerships,
specifically those involving nonprofit organizations that may be eligible for
Community Development Block Grant Funding to support development of affordable
The County should
continue to support rental projects seeking Low-income Housing Tax Credits
particularly those targeted to those populations where there is a documented
increase in demand for affordable rental units.
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