Between 1990 and 2000, Northern Virginia accounted for almost half of the Commonwealth’s total growth of some 886,000 people. Today, Northern Virginia continues to experience rapid growth, with demographers projecting a half million additional residents this decade, the largest per decade increase in the region’s history. The region is well on its way to achieving this historic number, having recently surpassed the two million mark — a population larger than one quarter of America’s states — larger than 304 (of 311) metropolitan areas nationwide.
As the region’s population increases, so does the cost of housing for both rental and homeownership. In fact, the region's high-powered economy has increased housing prices so much that many moderate-income workers — such as teachers, fire fighters and police officers — are not able to keep up. In Northern Virginia, the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,286, according to a recent report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Wide suburban distances and lack of transportation options complicate matters.
In response to these challenges, VHDA has established a full time presence in Northern Virginia as a part of its REACH Virginia initiative. We work with private developers, non-profit housing development corporations, lenders, local governments, redevelopment and housing authorities and community groups to facilitate opportunities that provide financing tools to meet the needs of Northern Virginia communities.
In addition, REACH Virginia provides technical assistance and capacity building in those communities seeking effective strategies for the provision of affordable and workforce housing. This targeted outreach includes:
- Convening and facilitating stakeholder meetings, including a Northern Virginia Advisory Committee which meets to seek solutions to common problems.
- Providing direct feedback to VHDA on a regular basis.
- Ensuring local partners are quickly directed to the appropriate VHDA contact, department or REACH Virginia team member who can best assist them with their financing needs.