Letter: New Virginia Majority, et al

Editor: Unmet housing needs are an urgent matter in Loudoun County that pose challenges to our workforce and continue to deepen racial inequity.

Half of renters in Loudoun County are paying more than they can afford in rent. The less a household earns, the more likely they are to be paying a disproportionate share of their income on housing, rendering them cost burdened. This is why we, a coalition of community organizations across Loudoun, believe a dedicated revenue stream for housing would be a strong first step in investing in housing solutions to begin to tackle this crisis. 

Loudoun currently holds a median home price of $541,500 and monthly rent of $1,646 meaning workers in a variety of industries are being entirely priced out of housing that would be affordable within 30% their income level. For example, the average annual wage of a government employee is $54,340, setting an affordable rent at $1,358. Yet, many workers in retail and hospitality earn an average of $35,724 and $22,672 respectively, meaning they could only afford a monthly rent of $893 or $567. Finding rent in that range can be nearly impossible to find, so many families end up spending over 30% of their income on rent. This diminishes their opportunities for collecting savings to put toward home ownership and emergency preparedness for crises like the current pandemic. In Loudoun today, 39% of households in the 30-50% AMI (Area Median Income) range spend over half of their monthly income on rent.

Housing in Loudoun is also a systemic racial justice issue, as illustrated by the rates of non-white families that are cost burdened. According to the 2017 Loudoun County Housing Needs Assessment, over 60% of Hispanic renters are cost burdened, compared to 49% of renters overall. 37% of Black households are cost burdened, compared to 25.9% of white households. Ultimately, current housing costs inhibit entire communities from experiencing economic mobility, securing opportunities for home ownership and having the ability to save for crises.

We acknowledge that Loudoun County commissioned the Unmet Housing Needs Strategic Plan (UHNSP) as a way to address housing in the long term. We eagerly await the findings of the Plan and the proposed policy solutions. Still, no matter the policy solutions, we know that solving Loudoun County’s housing crisis will take time and financial investment, which is why we advocate that the Board stand on the side of workers and racial justice by creating a dedicated revenue stream for housing.

New Virginia Majority

ADAMS Civic Engagement

#BlackWallStreet: Loudoun Think Tank

The Lead America Foundation

NAACP Loudoun

North American Somali Women’s Association

Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance

Raj Khalsa Gurdwara

Rev. Daniel Vélez- Rivera, St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church

SEIUVa 512, Loudoun Chapter

Virginia Political Cooperative

Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee

6 thoughts on “Letter: New Virginia Majority, et al

  • 2021-03-11 at 2:45 pm
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    Stealing money for their cause.
    Mitt Romney has a house in La Jolla do I get some taxpayer funded house next to him because of baseless equality. Shame on these charlatans !

  • 2021-03-11 at 7:14 pm
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    I can’t even count how many times I have been told to move from Loudoun if I don’t like the tax bills I face each and every year… those ever-increasing tax bills which fund every pet project and favored constituent of the BoS.

    So the signers of this letter are telling me to pay even more to fund other people’s choice to live in this county?

    When is it OK for me to demand relief?

  • 2021-03-11 at 8:42 pm
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    A good start to making housing more affordable would be to lower the property taxes.

  • 2021-03-12 at 3:23 pm
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    “Half of renters in Loudoun County are paying more than they can afford in rent”.

    Why is that OUR problem?

    What if this same list of signers cited a statistic that said something like half of Loudoun residents were driving a car they could not afford? So what.

    How or why does any of this transfer to the rest of Loudoun residents?

    The answers is it doesn’t and everyone knows it.

    When this group listed above, or any one of our esteemed BOS wonders where they can build project housing, you can bet in won’t be in their neighborhoods!

    The free market should dictate all this, not your social justice garbage.

  • 2021-03-13 at 2:54 pm
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    I seriously got a chuckle out of the new phrase cost burdened. Does this mean poor, or wealth adverse, perhaps financially disabled. I grew up financially disadvantaged, I cant imagine renting a place I couldn’t afford. I could imagine buying or leasing a car I couldn’t afford, heck my car in college had plastic over the drivers side window and a dead alternator. If you cant afford it don’t buy or rent it.

  • 2021-03-20 at 10:25 pm
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    Here are some folks that have a lot of money and allege they are sympathetic to your cause:
    Bill Gates
    Pierre Omidyar
    Jack Dorsey
    Jeff Bezos
    George Soros

    Reach out to them for help. They have billions. They can make a difference.

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