Letter: Yancy Henriquez, Winchester

Editor: I lived in Loudoun County, for 16 years. I have a family of 4, with two children and one of them is autistic. Last November, we had to make the difficult decision to move from Leesburg to Winchester due to the cost of housing. It was a very difficult decision to leave the county since my son had excellent teachers. The special education program in the schools was very beneficial in my son’s progress as he had many academic and emotional challenges. As parents, it hurt us a lot to take our son away from all his progress.

My husband works in a restaurant and sadly, it was impossible to buy a house in Leesburg since the rent is so high. We were stuck living in a small apartment, where my children could not play freely. This took away our dream to give our children a better home to live in because of the expensive property costs. For that reason, we had to move to another city in which we had the opportunity to buy our house.

That is why we moved to Winchester, a place with affordable housing prices for our income. Currently, my husband is the only one working and our budget is limited. But even though my children now have space to run and play freely, they have struggled with this transition. We changed their world, their schools, their friends, and for them it has been a great loss. The schools are good, but they will never be like the ones in Loudoun County, where the much-needed support is offered for our autistic child.

Families like mine are Loudoun’s essential workers. The county must do more to invest in housing solutions for working class families. If not, more and more families will be forced to make the same decision we did—to leave Loudoun County in search of housing we can afford according to our incomes. 

Yancy Henriquez, Winchester

7 thoughts on “Letter: Yancy Henriquez, Winchester

  • 2022-03-14 at 9:50 am

    Thank you Yancy Henriquez for penning this heartfelt missive. Your family’s departure leaves a terrible void in Loudoun. When will our so-called “leaders” realize that affordable housing must be the RULE, not the exception? There’s absolutely no good reason why the Henriquez family was forced to flee to Winchester. As Hillary Rodham Clinton said, “It takes a village.” We must all chip in to ensure that everyone has a fighting chance to live in Loudoun. Happy Women’s History Month Loudoun!

  • 2022-03-14 at 10:30 am

    I suggest that county policies contribute to the high cost of housing in the county. The county tax base benefits from having lots of expensive houses with lots of relatively wealthy residents. The county isn’t going to pay more than lip service to “affordable housing” since they have every reason to allow only the most expensive houses to be built here.

  • 2022-03-14 at 2:37 pm

    As info there are many families whose children attend LCPS even though they are not residents. Perhaps you should check this option out rather than deny your child the consistency he apparently would benefit from.

  • 2022-03-14 at 3:09 pm

    It sounds like the Hernandez family chose to leave Loudoun rather than being forced to. I can understand if something happened to cause it but it didn’t. They wanted to buy a house, which I respect, and made the necessary choices to do so. While I agree that Loudoun needs more affordable housing, people need to take responsibility for their own choices.

  • 2022-03-14 at 9:24 pm

    While I sympathize with the challenges you and your family face, I fail to see why you believe Loudoun taxpayers are responsible for your desire to live in place you admit you can’t afford.
    Asking the county to provide you with affordable housing means you want others to subsidize your housing and kids education.
    I already pay high taxes to live in Loudoun. I sacrificed for many years to save enough ti buy my home and living expenses.
    I endured long commutes to live in the kind if home I desired at a price I could afford.
    I I paid off my student loans and then scrimped to pay for my kids education.
    I never considered asking the government, and by extension , my neighbors to provide subsidies for my home, my education or my kids education.
    I wish you the best and hope you find your own way to realize your dreams.

  • 2022-03-15 at 5:27 pm

    I’m sorry Mr. Hernandez can’t afford to live in Loudoun. But the reality is that there are places where most Loudoun residents can’t afford to live as well. Jupiter Island, FL for instance. No one is or should be guaranteed to be able to afford housing wherever they want it. That’s not how it works. That’s just life folks.

  • 2022-03-19 at 10:05 am

    While I can sympathize with this message, it is a rarity nowadays that someone can buy a house on one income. It’s very unfortunate that this is the case, but it definitely is the case. That was the only way I am able to buy a place in this county, is because my wife and I both work. Even thought I bought a house here, I still would like the county to revise their zoning practices and allow for other housing styles in the older, more developed sections of the county that will be closer to transit options. The BOS has blocked some common sense housing proposals in my section of the county probably because they didn’t see how it would benefit them. They would rather bulldoze further out sections of the county instead of trying to focus on infill development in the eastern section of the county, while neglecting the older sections of the county for the new pristine development that they tout. Our leadership has failed us.

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