After attending NAR’s Midyear Meeting in 2016, FAAR 2016 President Christine Singhass and CEO Pat Breme returned to FAAR energized about the possibility of FAAR seeking a grant to engage even deeper into our local community. Christine and Pat sat through a session about Smart Growth grants and learned about all of the good work that other associations were doing and decided it was time to bring some of that money back to Fredericksburg.
Working with Public Policy Director Kim McClellan, Christine delivered presentations to the George Washington Regional Commission detailing the idea of a housing study for our region. Working with economic development directors, local elected officials, and Fredericksburg’s City Manager, FAAR was able to put together a robust grant application for a $14,500 Smart Growth grant to conduct a comprehensive housing stock assessment of the entire region complete with predictions about the future. FAAR contracted with Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, a researcher formerly with the George Mason University who established her own research firm, to conduct the study.
The study is broken into individual reports for each jurisdiction in the FAAR footprint: covered by the report are the counties of Caroline, King George, Stafford and Spotsylvania and the City of Fredericksburg. The study is currently being finalized and FAAR will deliver each piece to its respective jurisdiction when it’s complete. The goal of this study is to provide the localities with some solid data to guide their future land use decisions. What do we currently have in place? Is it enough to sustain future population growth? Do we have the right mix of housing types to encourage affordability and entice millennials and retiring baby boomers? These are the kinds of questions this study is seeking to answer. Be on the lookout for an official rollout from FAAR sometime this summer!