COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Annual Housing Report

 

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Report on the Housing Market and Housing Initiatives

 

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Elliott, Davis, White

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

June 6, 2007

 

 

ACTION:                                INFORMATION:  X

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

     ACTION:                           INFORMATION: 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

BACKGROUND:

The Albemarle County Housing Committee and the Office of Housing are charged with recommending policies which align with the Board’s Strategic Goal of increasing affordable housing opportunities for those who live and work in Albemarle County as well as implementing programs to achieve this objective.  During calendar year 2006, the County was successful in obtaining proffers from developers to address the goals of the County’s Affordable Housing Policy and continued the operation of programs within the Office of Housing and with nonprofit partners to improve the safety and affordability of housing for the County’s lower-income residents.

 

The Committee and staff are pleased to present the attached report which highlights the housing market in the County as well as activities undertaken in 2006.  This report also identifies trends and how they may impact affordable housing initiatives.  On June 13, recommendations from the Housing Committee aimed at addressing some of the issues and concerns regarding housing proffers will be presented to the Board and Planning Commission for consideration

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

By June 30, 2010, working in partnership with others, increase affordable housing opportunities for those who work and/or live in Albemarle County.

 

DISCUSSION:

The impact/role of free market forces continues to be a major challenge to achieving an appropriate mix of affordable housing in the County.  Although real estate sales were down over 15% in 2006 as compared with 2005, the market remained strong.  On the plus side inventories increased, the number of days on the market increased, and prices appeared to begin stabilizing in the last two quarters.  However, the median sales price continues to increase and fewer units are considered affordable as defined by the housing policy.  The affordable rental market experienced minimal increases in rents during the year averaging no more than five percent.  Ninety new units of affordable rental for seniors opened in September with rental assistance provided by the County for sixteen units. 

 

The 2006 market, as it relates to affordable housing, can best be summarized as follows:

1.       The ability to produce new inventory of affordable units is limited due to continued increases in land, development costs, and construction costs.

2.       Those affordable units that are available in the existing housing market are generally only affordable to households with annual incomes over $50,000.

3.       There are not sufficient subsidies to make the median sales price unit affordable. A $130,000 subsidy is required for each median house in order to make it affordable to a median income family.

 

The Housing Committee recognizes these challenges and will most likely consider a stronger focus on ways to promote redevelopment and preservation activities as well as recommending incentives for the creation of new affordable rental stock.  Each of these activities will require strong public/private partnerships and increases in federal, state, and local financial commitments.  

 

Existing programs offered through the Office of Housing, Albemarle Housing Improvement Program, and Piedmont Housing Alliance tended to be fairly stable for the year.  Significant changes to the availability of resources and level of production are not anticipated in the near future although some reduction in resources may be on the horizon from the federal government.  Habitat for Humanity completed the purchase of Southwood Mobile Home Park and will likely begin redevelopment in the next three to five years.  Redeveloping this site will require a level of commitment from the County specifically related to filing applications for and administering Community Development Block Grant funds.

 

The development community continues to commit housing units and cash through the proffer system in an effort to address the County’s Affordable Housing Policy.  Proffers to date include a potential for over 600 housing units and over $1.0 million in cash.  Several other development applications are in process which could easily double the number of proffered units and triple the amount of cash. 

 

The Albemarle County Housing Committee and Office of Housing would like to acknowledge staff at the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR) for providing the data on housing sales in the County.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

None

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

There are no actions requested or required.

 

ATTACHMENTS

A - Housing Report

B - Presentation

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