To meet the demands of a rising population, address a growing workforce shortage, and boost job growth, Loudoun needs more housing options. There is a housing affordability crisis in Loudoun that is hurting lower income families and driving young workers away.
Implications of Having an Insufficient Supply of Housing
- Businesses negatively view Loudoun when looking to move or expand because of high housing costs for their workforce.
- Talent is being driven away: There was a decline in the number of 25-to 34 year olds living in the Washington area between 2014 – 2016. Nationally, this age group increased by 2.8%.
- Residents will struggle to “age in place” in their homes as the costs of living increases the burden on their savings.
- Young families face limited housing options if they want to live in Loudoun to take advantage of the high quality schools, good paying jobs, and world-class quality of life.
- Our environment is negatively impacted due to the significant amount of our local workforce commuting from outside Loudoun County. The additional traffic in local towns contributes to the negative environmental impact.
The Solutions: More housing diversity, more housing inventory
- Loudoun needs increased diversification of housing options near Metro stations.
- The County must prioritize housing diversity and affordability.
- A County Housing Plan must address the need for market rate, workforce housing, and further invest in the Housing Fund to support local projects.
- Affordable workforce housing is essential to a healthy economy and quality of life. The Board of Supervisors should be applauded for rewriting the Affordable Dwelling Unit law to access state and federal programs, and for creating a Housing Policy Division.
- Loudoun needs a housing strategy that seeks to retain LCPS graduates as they enter the workforce. After investing millions in public education, we need housing that will allow our students, and our investment in their education, to remain in Loudoun.
- Loudoun must also leverage private sector support through better land-use and zoning policies/incentives.
- Loudoun must utilize federal, state, and local workforce housing programs.
Impact of a sufficient and diverse housing supply
- Entice a younger workforce to view Loudoun as a workforce destination for career development.
- Preserving the rural environment of Loudoun County by limiting commuter traffic through our small towns and farmlands.
- Local workforce of teachers, public safety professionals, and small business employees who can afford to live where they work.
- A Loudoun economy that has an advantage over the competition in recruiting top companies and top talent.
By the Numbers
- 30% of all Loudoun households are “cost burdened,” spending more than 30% of income on housing costs; this hurts young workers, single-parents, renters and minorities the most.
- Limited housing supply is driving up prices and rents. The average home price in Loudoun is $449,000.
- Demand continues to grow: a 2017 George Mason University study found Loudoun needs 66,604 new housing units to meet demand by 2040; current County plans would leave Loudoun 19,000 housing units short.
- This includes a shortage of 11,200 rental units, including 10,000 for families below 80% area median income.
- By 2040, Loudoun will add 107,000 jobs and 25,700 households making less than 100% of Average Income.
- The biggest concern is lack of average priced homes for first-time buyers or those moving from starter homes.