A consistent problem facing the region is the lack of affordable housing, the immediate implication of which is that many low-income households cannot afford the rent they currently pay. For households in the region with income less than $35,000, 74% pay more than 30% of their income in rent. In Culpeper and Rappahannock Counties, these numbers are 81% and 90% respectively (2008-2012 ACS).
Foothills Housing Network EffortsThe region faces additional challenges due to the absence of a regional housing agency. There is no housing authority in the five counties (the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) is the Housing Choice Voucher administrator through three separate nonprofit agents), nor a regional Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) or nonprofit developer. None of the counties has a housing department, and there is no organization with a mission that includes developing, coordinating or monitoring adequate affordable housing or homeless services.
Affordable housing is central to the success of Housing First homeless services programs like Rapid Re-Housing and vital for preventing and ending homelessness. FHN recognizes the region’s need for affordable housing units, and addresses this need in its ten-year plan to end homelessness. FHN has contracted with VHDA to develop an affordable housing plan for the region.