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Report finds future housing gap of 18,000 in Loudoun. But is the county ready for the growth?

By 2040 Loudoun County will be 17,860 homes shy of what it needs, and this comes at a time when people from across the income spectrum are expected to migrate to the county that will be home to seven percent of the region’s jobs, according to a housing needs assessment draft from George Mason University's Center for Regional Analysis and the housing needs analysis firm Lisa Sturtevant & Associates, LLC.

The draft report, commissioned by the previous Board of Supervisors, highlights a stark housing demand in a county projected to grow by 35 percent over the 25-year period it examines.

As Loudoun readies for that growth, some are skeptical of the numbers and worry the county’s infrastructure may not be ready for the projected need.

“Where we really need to study is how do localities afford and pay for growth,” Broad Run Supervisor Ron Meyer (R) said. “That is the real issue, and it’s easy to say that there’s housing demand and yes there’s housing demand. The problem is, from a locality perspective – Loudoun County perspective – is that every new house you add, you add more costs than you bring in with each house.”

According to the report, the county has the potential to add nearly 64,000 homes between now to 2040. However, it states that, under current plans, Loudoun only has the capacity for 46,500 homes by 2040. Under Loudoun’s current comprehensive plan, the county says it has the potential to build up to 185,749 homes at its maximum density over the course of the plan’s lifetime.

Using two different scenarios, with 131,440 housing units already counted by the county staff , Loudoun can add as many as 54,309 homes more under current zoning.

Meyer, whose district will become home to the new Silver Line Metro stations and house much of the county’s growth, thinks the consultant report is trying to promote demand without considering the costs.

“I think this study is trying to push that we need more housing as fast as possible and all these things, and certainly from a demand perspective, sure, that makes sense, but we still have to pay for it in the county and figure out how to pay for it as a county. Frankly, the promoters of the report aren’t doing much to help us out in that front,” Meyer said.

The report also comes as county planners are developing the county’s Silver Line Small Area Plan around the forthcoming Metro stations. Additionally, a 26-member stakeholder committee filled with developer interests is helping draft the county’s new comprehensive plan, which will serve as a roadmap for where and when future developments will be built.

The county’s Housing Advisory Board Chairman, John A. Andrews II, was expected to discuss the report with consultants during a Jan. 11 meeting.

Andrews thinks the housing gap could be wider than stated in the report.

“I don’t necessarily trust the lower number, and I definitely don’t trust the upper number, so i believe that the gap is wider than what is being presented,” Andrews said.

The report also notes the highest demand will be for be multi-family and single-family homes.

Andrews thinks the largest gap in terms of building type will be single-family homes. He believe it will be a challenge to find those in eastern Loudoun in the future.

“To grow a diverse and strong economy, we’re going to need more single-family attached, detached. We need to address the affordable housing issue, we need to address the special needs population … and the seniors,” Andrews said. “We have to plan if we want to retain those highly skilled, high-network individuals in our community. We have to plan for more active adult communities.”

The report paints a picture of a county dominated by those earning 150 percent or more of the area's median income. 80 percent of the households outlined in the study are slated to come to the county because of employment opportunities in Loudoun and the region.

Nearly 30 percent of new residents are expected to spend more than 30 percent of their household income on housing.

First-term Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) stressed the report was a long-term examination. She said the county would not be adding a high volume of residential units in the near-term.

“We need to have a wide range of houses that millennials and all levels of income might be interested in moving in,” she said.

Supervisors are expected to formally receive and consider the report in February.

Comments


Their is a consortium of DC million/billion-aires called the 2030 Group that coordinates this pro-development drivel.


Don’t be fooled by this.  Its a coordinated PR campaign to soften resistance to new housing developments in Loudoun.

Articles citing this exact same “study” have also appeared on several other DC-Metro business sites in the past few days.


So we want the workers, just not the neighbors?  Where are people supposed to live?  Is this just another example of NIMBY?


Sounds like this is written by developers who don’t care about traffic, quality of life, education etc. They only care about their bottom line. When will LoCo get BOS that really look out for the people who live here now, not who might come tomorrow or in 20 years? Shameful.


The larger the gap, the better it is for my wallet. Keep housing in short supply so that prices stay high.

The last thing Loudoun needs is low cost housing that eats up land, puts huge strains on our schools, roads, etc, and contributes very little in property taxes.


How much will housing currently in place increase in market value if the BOS stops pushing for high density growth in housing?
How high will the tax rate be if all the housing the builders want to build get built?
How much will traffic congestion worsen during this time period whether all the houses to be built are or are not built? How is it measured and when will such measurements be reported to the public on a regular basis?
Is it really that hard to differentiate between owned residences and rental residences? Aren’t the areas around the metro stops supposed to have VERY high density rental units available?
What tax policies were assumed in doing the study? Current discussion of lowering income taxes but eliminating mortgage deductions might have some measurable effect on such forecasts!
Bob O__ Esq.


We have no obligation to add a single house to Loudoun.  Our officials were all elected by people who currently live here, not people that want to live here.

As Sup. Meyer said, “every new house you add, you add more costs than you bring in with each house.”  That’s the fundamental problem.  Every year, the County’s debt grows $200M+ because all these new people consume more than they produce.

George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis is run by Stephan Fuller who is the go-to “academic” for developers.  He was famously quoted for saying he could produce a study to say anything you wanted it to say.  Fuller runs the “Schar School of Policy and Government” at GMU.  As in, Dwight Schar the developer. Schar is known in the greater Washington metropolitan area for founding and leading NVR, Inc., the region’s largest residential homebuilder.

Need I say more?


How much is the commercial gap?  I’m sure a lot larger than the housing gap…we need businesses not more houses….


So the “Housing Advisory Board” that’s admittedly chock-full of land developers thinks that we need to build more housing.  A LOT more housing.

Shocking.

Next, lets ask Philip Morris for their opinion on the state’s cigarette tax rate.


...“Nearly 30 percent of new residents are expected to spend more than 30 percent of their household income on housing.”

More like 50% of their income. If these homes don’t get built people will just cram 15 to 1 house like you see (or used to see) in Sterling Park. I will agree there seems to be a shortage on “affordable housing” I put my basement up for rent (about 400 sq feet) for $600 in Leesburg, and got someone in a week. Unfortunately, I had to kick them out a month later .

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