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Community Groups to Host Forum on Affordable Housing in Falls Church

City of Falls Church community members will soon get an opportunity to share their thoughts on how the city should address the issue of affordable housing.

The League of Women Voters-Falls Church and Citizens for a Better City are co-sponsoring a series of public forums to discuss the state of affordable housing in the city called “Affordable Housing Falls Church: Problems & Prospects.”

The first of three forums will be held on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. A public Zoom link will be posted on the LWV-Falls Church website.

A panel of four longtime Falls Church leaders will be speaking at the forum:

  • Former Mayor H. Alan Brangman
  • Former Mayor Brian O’Connor
  • Former Falls Church Housing Corporation leader Katharine Emmons
  • Developer Robert Young, president of The Young Group

The panelists will discuss the efforts that have been made over the last 40 years to address the availability of affordable housing in Falls Church.

The other two forums will focus on current developments and possible options for the future. The dates of those discussions will be released at a later time.

“At this pivotal time, we look forward to engaging with an expert panel to understand past efforts to build affordable housing in the city, as we work toward offering more affordable housing options here,” Allison Brown, the co-president of the League of Women Voters-Falls Church, said.

The need to create more affordable housing has become a priority for Falls Church and other Northern Virginia communities since Amazon announced in 2018 that it would build its second headquarters in Arlington, leading housing prices to rise throughout the region.

The City of Falls Church commissioned and published a study in October 2020 that outlined possible options for creating and sustaining affordable housing. Some of the proposed options include financial incentives for landlords, utilizing Amazon REACH funds to extend affordability, and encouraging the production of accessory homes.

“With a decades-long record of only limited success in affordable housing efforts in our city, and now faced with the added question of more diversity in such housing, a public discussion to promote citizens’ awareness of the need to increase the supply is timely and long overdue,” Citizens for a Better City President Hal Lippman said.

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