The City of Falls Church has launched its Affordable Homeownership Program (CFCAHP), which will make $3.8 million available to support affordable homeownership. The City has received $3.4 million from Virginia Housing’s Resources Enabling Affordable Community Housing (REACH) program and has provided a $400,000 match, for a total budget of $3.8 million to provide affordable homeownership opportunities to employees and residents of the City. To advertise this opportunity, a new website, www.FallsChurchAHP.org, was recently launched to reach interested and eligible buyers.
“In my everyday conversations with clients, I know and understand the struggles of being able to afford a home and the need for an affordable homeownership program in the City,” said Kayleen Mark, Housing Specialist, Department of Housing & Human Services. “I am honored to be a part of the team administering a program that will be such a blessing and bring hope and opportunity to those we serve.”
The funding for this important investment is sourced from the state funding commitments made by Governor Northam in 2018, following Amazon’s selection of Arlington County for its second headquarters location. These commitments, totaling $15 million annually for five years, will support affordable housing initiatives in Northern Virginia using the additional revenues generated from Amazon’s headquarters presence in the Commonwealth.
“There is no place like home, especially your own home,” said Mihai (Mike) Statie, Emergency Management Specialist, Office of Emergency Management, whose family hopes to be one of the first to purchase a home through the program, adding that “homeownership is one of the greatest achievements and my family takes great pride in our ability to become homeowners.”
CFCAHP is being directly managed by The NHP Foundation (NHPF) with support from the City’s Housing and Human Services Department. The City estimates that with this funding, up to 18 qualified first-time homebuyers will be able to purchase homes through NHPF. The process will work as follows: Homes will be purchased by NHPF, which will then make limited repairs and improvements, and resell them at a below-market price to qualified buyers earning between 50% to 120% of the area median income (AMI). Purchase prices will be marked down at prices up to $170,000 below market, and will vary depending on income level, household size, and financing.
To participate in the program, buyers must meet certain eligibility / prioritization requirements, be prequalified for a loan as a first-time homebuyer, and take Homebuyer Education Classes with Virginia Housing. The city is prioritizing first-time buyers who are seniors, who have disabilities, and who are homeless, and who work and/or live in the city. Buyers are encouraged to use a Virginia Housing approved lender and take advantage of the many homebuyer incentive programs Virginia Housing has to offer.
“We are excited to further our partnership with the City and to equalize access to affordable homeownership in a high-opportunity area,” said Mansur Abdul-Malik, Senior Vice President, Development, NHPF.
While the homes acquired could include all property types — single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums — most are expected to be condominiums. The City estimates that once the program is established, it will take about one year for NHPF to purchase, rehabilitate, and resell all the homes.
The Chair of the City of Falls Church Housing Commission , Meredith Anderson added, “The Housing Commission has engaged with the City housing team on the Amazon REACH grant since the initial application. Including an affordable home ownership component feels like a meaningful step towards expanding the diversity of affordable housing opportunities within the City.” NHPF has a successful track record of managing this type of program. NHPF also currently manages the Winter Hill Apartments in the City of Falls Church. NHPF is in the process of acquiring three properties, which people can learn more about at www.FallsChurchAHP.org.
The preservation and creation of affordable housing are key components of the principles of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Affordable Living Policy.
About The NHP Foundation
Headquartered in New York City with offices in Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL, The NHP Foundation (NHPF) was launched on January 30, 1989, as a publicly supported 501(c)(3) not-for-profit real estate corporation. NHPF is dedicated to preserving and creating sustainable, service-enriched multifamily housing, and single-family homes that are both affordable to low and moderate income families and seniors, and beneficial to their communities. NHPF’s Construction Management Group provides in-house resources dedicated to infrastructure review, infrastructure development and costs management. Through Family-Centered Coaching, NHPF’s subsidiary Operation Pathways engages with, and assists, families experiencing poverty and other hardship, to problem-solve together. Through partnerships with major financial institutions, the public sector, faith-based initiatives, and other not-for-profit organizations, NHPF has 57 properties, including nearly 10,000 units, in 16 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, please visit www.nhpfoundation.org.