Falls Church Launches $4M Affordable Homeownership Program With Amazon Funds
The City of Falls Church, Va., has launched a new program that will make $3.8 million available to support affordable homeownership for employees and residents in Falls Church.
Virginia Housing will provide $3.4 million through its Resources Enabling Affordable Community Housing (REACH) grant program, and the City of Falls Church kicked in another $400,000. The funding is sourced from commitments made by former Gov. Ralph Northam in 2018, following Amazon (AMZN)’s selection of Arlington County for its second headquarters location.
Those commitments, totaling $15 million over five years, were designated to support affordable housing initiatives in Northern Virginia using the additional revenues generated from the presence of Amazon’s headquarters.
NHP Foundation will manage the Falls Church program with support from the city’s Housing and Human Services division.
“The primary goal is providing people who would otherwise be priced out, with the opportunity to live in Falls Church with its great neighborhoods and schools,” Pamela P. Lee, NHPF’s director of development in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, told Commercial Observer. “Success for the project will be seeing eligible buyers able to buy within the next year.”
The program is available for first-time homebuyers with incomes between 50 to 120 percent of area median income (AMI) and is prioritized for those who live or work in the city, are over 62, or are disabled.
AMI for Washington, D.C., is currently $142,300 for a household of four, as published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Property types eligible include single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums, though it’s expected the majority of purchases will be condos.
“Falls Church is a high-opportunity, very expensive neighborhood where people were priced out and affordability was already a problem before Amazon decided to come in,” Lee said. “We are all about supporting economic diversity.”
Buyers are encouraged to use a lender approved by Virginia Housing and to take advantage of the many homebuyer incentive programs Virginia Housing has to offer.
For those interested in the program, NHPF launched www.FallsChurchAHP.org.
Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.