The Rappahannock–Rapidan Regional Commission (RRRC) serves as the lead agency for regional homeless Continuum of Care activities and affordable/workforce housing studies for individual member jurisdictions. The commission recently completed a Capacity Building and Strategic Planning effort facilitated by the Virginia Housing Alliance (VHA) with funding from the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), a key finding of which was that housing instability in the Rappahannock–Rapidan region is on the rise (especially for those in severe poverty) and is a main cause of homelessness. Furthermore, affordable housing development/subsidies are not keeping pace with increasing housing burden among the poorest households. The results of this process suggested that the RRRC and local governments needed to complete a regional affordable housing assessment. In 2017, the RRRC commissioned The Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech (VCHR) to conduct a basic housing needs assessment and gap analysis, comparing town, county, and regional housing costs to regional housing needs and answer the following questions:

  • What are the affordable housing gaps in the region?
  • What is the relative availability of affordable housing in the region’s jurisdictions? 
  • What is the relative availability of affordable housing in Fauquier, Culpepper, and Rappahannock compared to the Virginia portion of the Washington MSA?
  • How has affordability changed over time?