Opening of hearings on the Loudoun budget with appeals for money for housing
The first public hearings on Loudoun’s FY2022 budget began with calls from various sectors to allocate dedicated funds to address the county’s housing cost problem.
Isabel Landaverde, speaking through a New Virginia majority interpreter, told supervisors on Tuesday afternoon about her own struggles moving to Loudoun as a single mother of two.
“I started working but always wanted to be there because I didn’t want to leave my kids alone,” Landaverde said. “Because of that, I only had one job, but of course it wasn’t enough to cover our expenses. After a year, we had to find a room in a house with another family we didn’t know. This lifestyle is complicated, there are a lot of restrictions that come with living in a house that is not your own, and more so for children.
Now living with her partner and three children, she said they are still struggling to make ends meet, with a two-bedroom apartment and sharing a car.
“It would be nice if we got some form of support from the county in the area of housing, for more affordable housing so that families don’t have to spend so much time apart, working overtime to be able to pay.” their expenses, ”Landaverde said. “I dream of always being able to give my children what they deserve, and I think quality time is a key part of that.”
She called on supervisors to establish a dedicated revenue stream for the Housing Trust Fund, which the county uses to help fund affordable housing projects.
This call was echoed moments later by Grafton DeButts, vice president of membership and government affairs at the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce.
“Housing Loudoun’s workforce remains a critical need that continues to receive no dedicated funding in the budget other than the sale of aging ADUs [Affordable Dwelling Units]”Said DeButts.” Significant, sustainable and dedicated funding, indexed to the growth of the county, will be crucial to ensure that Loudoun is able to begin providing a true housing continuum. “
The House also supported the proposed increase in contributions to nonprofit human service organizations, which are in higher demand than ever amid the pandemic, as fundraising becomes more difficult than ever.
But he also spoke out against a proposal to allow employees in Loudoun County to organize for collective bargaining.
“The cost and distraction of continuing to bargain collectively is clearly not in the best interests of taxpayers, and we ask you to oppose this expense,” DeButts said.
Another public budget hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight. The board is also due to hear comments on Saturday, February 27 at 9 a.m.
Supervisors will begin their annual work on the county’s $ 3.3 billion budget on March 1.