Northern Virginia Family Service Collaborative Selected as Bridging Affordability Provider

Fairfax County has selected the Northern Virginia Family Service Collaborative (NVFS) as the provider for the new Bridging Affordability program. Bridging Affordability is an integral component of the county’s Housing Blueprint and will provide long-term rental subsidies to 72 homeless individuals and families and an additional 303 households on the county’s affordable housing waiting lists.  The Collaborative was awarded the contract of $3.8 million to provide rental subsidies and other support services to individuals and families of greatest need in the county. Funding for Bridging Affordability comes from rent revenue from the Wedgewood Apartments, an affordable rental property purchased by Fairfax County in 2007 and preserved under the county’s Affordable Housing Preservation Initiative.

The NVFS Collaborative includes nine nonprofit organizations: NVFS, Cornerstones, FACETS, Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services, New Hope Housing, Second Story, Shelter House, United Community Ministries and Volunteers of America – Chesapeake.

“Bridging Affordability gives the county the opportunity to serve more households in need and is a testament to the strong relationships that the county has with its non-profit partners,” said Paula C. Sampson, Director, Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development.  “It is a new and innovative tool in our toolbox to serve low-income individuals and families in our community and take significant steps forward as we strive to prevent and end homelessness.”

The NVFS Collaborative was selected after a highly competitive procurement process.  The county received numerous qualified applications from well-established area non-profits.  The NVFS Collaborative’s application was selected as it was the one most closely aligned with the performance goals set forth in the Housing Blueprint.

“We are excited to be a part of the solution, to continue assisting Fairfax County residents to secure safe, affordable, and permanent homes through the Bridging Affordability program,” said NVFS president and CEO Mary Agee.  “We are thrilled to partner with Fairfax County and eight key nonprofit housing service providers to further the County’s Housing Blueprint goals.”

Services offered through the partnership with NVFS will focus on populations of greatest need in the county with an emphasis on those who are homeless and persons with disabilities.  In addition to providing rental subsidies to eligible households, other components of the Program will include leveraging more than $6.6 million in non-county resources in the form of supportive services, volunteer contributions and fair market rent discounts in units owned by the Collaborative members.  The Collaborative has committed to using $564,000 of its total award to serve Community Services Board (CSB)-eligible households, and an additional $313,000 will serve households with physical or sensory disabilities.  The contract is for a three-year period and funds will be drawn down over that time period. It is anticipated that participants will begin leasing homes under the Bridging Affordability Program in late summer.