A Basic Housing Needs Assessment and Gap Analysis for the Rappahannock-Rapidan Region Cover

Authors: Mel Jones, Olyvia Brown-Coles
Year: 2018
Publisher: Virginia Center for Housing Research


A large part of the demand for housing in the RRRC region comes from workers earning in more-expensive housing markets. Fauquier County in particular may offer attractive living costs for households with at least one worker commuting further into the Washington, DC metro area. However, preferences for suburban, exurban, or semi-rural lifestyles over urban living are likely a major factor attracting households to the region. The region may be particularly appealing because large towns offer the convenience of cities and suburbs close to rural areas. Essentially, households can enjoy “the best of both worlds.” Because the region is attractive for both economic and quality-of-life reasons, there exists significant demand for housing in the region and significant competition for the limited housing stock. This competition creates an effective shortage of units for low- and moderate-income households because higher-income households often compete more successfully in the housing market. This effective shortage is partially why more than 17,000 households in the region are housing cost-burdened, and the shortage is most acute among extremely low-income and very low-income households.