Fairfax, VA – December 15, 2022: Fairfax nonprofit homeless services provider The Lamb Center and leading nonprofit affordable housing developer Wesley Housing are thrilled to announce that the Fairfax City Council unanimously approved the Special Use Permit for the 54-unit Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) community on Tuesday, December 12th.
The Special Use Permit will enable the redevelopment of the Hy-Way Motel site (9640 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax, VA) into a five-story residential/mixed-use community with 54 apartments and office space on the ground floor of the building. This community will be the largest permanent supportive housing development in Northern Virginia and the first of its kind with this level of density. This property will mainly house people who are homeless that are older adults and/or have disabilities with very low incomes, likely, at or below 15% of the Area Median Income ($14,955 for a single person, HUD 2022).
The 2022 Fairfax County Point-in-Time Survey reported 1,191 people experiencing homelessness in Fairfax County on the night of the Point-in-Time Count. This affirms the urgent need for a proven solution that addresses the challenges of homelessness in our community. The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services reviewed 20 PSH programs and found 90% of residents remained stably housed after one year. The combination of permanent housing and supportive services significantly decreases the likelihood of a return to homelessness and offers a permanent solution for our most vulnerable neighbors.
The Lamb Center Executive Director, Tara Ruszkowski said, “Tonight, Fairfax City affirmed its commitment to housing for all with a permanent solution that provides support and dignity to people experiencing homelessness. Ruszkowski added, “the building will take about three years to build. In the meantime, The Lamb Center is committed to working with residents, business owners, and other stakeholders to have a larger conversation about community challenges surrounding homelessness and how best to work together.”
Residents at the new Fairfax development will receive on-site case management and other wrap-around supportive services. Case managers will help each resident formulate and achieve individual goals such as securing income or work, improving physical and mental health conditions, and maintaining housing. Case managers will also provide skills training to improve individuals’ ability to budget, manage medication, maintain employment, and develop positive social supports.
“PSH is not the full answer to addressing homelessness, but it’s an important tool,” said Wesley Housing Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development, Kamilah McAfee. “With the City’s forward-looking approach and The Lamb Center’s track record of serving the homeless population, the creative plan we’ve developed will have a significant impact on our most vulnerable community members,” McAfee added.
The next step for the project team is to assemble the financing for the project. The team intends to apply for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits in 2023.
About Wesley Housing: Wesley Housing, a leading nonprofit developer in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia, has been working to provide affordable rental housing for individuals and families for nearly 50 years. Since its founding, Wesley Housing has emerged as a premier developer of affordable housing. Wesley Housing has acquired or developed over 2,800 rental units, providing quality housing for thousands of at-risk individuals and families each year. Wesley Housing supplements housing with supportive services to build up the lives of its residents, including low- and moderate-income families, older adults, and individuals with disabilities and/or chronic diseases. For more information, please visit www.wesleyhousing.org and follow @WesleyHousing on social media.
About The Lamb Center – The Lamb Center is a daytime drop-in center for homeless individuals in the central Fairfax area. Since opening its doors in 1992, thousands of guests have been welcomed and served. The Lamb Center provides a variety of services without cost to its guests, including breakfast, lunch, showers, laundry service, case management, Bible studies, housing and job counseling, AA meetings, a nurse practitioner clinic, a dental clinic, and much more. The Lamb Center partners with both Fairfax City and Fairfax County to provide approximately 20 guests each week with paid jobs maintaining city parks and public spaces. The Lamb Center is sustained through generous community support from over 100 churches, more than 2000 individual donors, dozens of local businesses, and hundreds of volunteers. For more information, please visit www.thelambcenter.org and follow us on Facebook.