On June 18, 2007, Virginia
Housing Development Authority (VHDA) awarded Fauquier County
$1,000,000 in Sponsorsing Partnerships and Revitalizing
Communities (SPARC) funding for its affordable housing
program for first time home-buyers, which the Board of
Supervisors, at its July 2007 meeting, voted to accept.
Pursuant to the acceptance of these funds, County
Administration has developed key criteria for Fauquier’s
pilot program. This criteria was developed with the
assistance of the consultant used to provide part-time
staffing assistance to the Affordable Housing Committee, and
after reviewing affordable housing program criteria
established by other local jurisdictions in Virginia. In
order to implement the recommended program the County will
need to adopt an Ordinance as provided for in the Code.
The Code of Virginia states
In order to ensure its
competitiveness as an employer, a locality may, by
ordinance, provide for the use of funds, other than
state funds, to provide home-ownership grants to
employees of the locality, employees of the school board and
employees of constitutional officers, to purchase their
primary residences in the locality. The ordinance shall
require that individual grants not exceed $25,000 per
employee, nor lifetime cumulative grants exceed $25,000 per
employee. Any such grants issued shall be subject to the
Virginia Housing and Development Authority regional sales
price and household income limitations. The ordinance may
establish such other terms and conditions to ensure the
integrity of the home-ownership grant program.
While the County’s proposed
program recommends assistance in the form of a forgivable
loan, to ensure compliance with the State Code, it is
recommended the County adopt an Ordinance as allowed in the
Section quoted above. Pending direction of the Board of
Supervisors, the County Attorney will draft an Ordinance for
consideration by the Board, and schedule a public hearing at
its September meeting.
Attached is a matrix of the
key criteria proposed for the pilot affordable housing
program in Fauquier County. It should be noted that
although preference will be given to employees working for
local governments within the County and seeking to purchase
a home in the County, staff proposed criteria broad enough
to allow citizens of the County not employed by local
governments to participate, should funding be available.
Also, the terms proposed for the down payment/closing costs
assistance loan from the County are consistent with the
loans provided for the Botha development.
For the Board’s information
and review, a matrix of key criteria used by other
jurisdictions to screen affordable housing program
applications is attached.