Northampton Affordable Housing Workshop Results

Eastern Shore Regional Housing Workshop Results
Posted on 02/19/2020

County Seal

Eastern Shore Regional Housing Workshop
Northampton County – January 29, 2020
Small Group Exercise Results

Northampton County, in partnership with the Eastern Shore Regional Housing Coalition, is working to strengthen local capacity and resources to support the expansion of affordable and workforce housing opportunities.
On January 29, 2020, Northampton County hosted public workshops to kick off its local initiative and begin defining local priorities and potential policies to support workforce and affordable housing
Two workshops, sponsored by a capacity building grant, were held concurrently in the Towns of Cape Charles and Exmore. These meetings brought 50 community members together to provide feedback and ideas on how and where to focus affordable housing efforts in the County. This document provides a complete report out of the workshop. Major takeaways from the meeting include:

● There is an overwhelming need for affordable housing and rental opportunities.
● Three major housing issues affecting the Eastern Shore are: lack of affordable housing, lack of available rental properties, and that owners do not have the funds to maintain and repair housing.
● As Northampton considers ways to address housing needs, areas of focus include: providing home ownership education, seminars, and resources, providing funding programs to rehab existing homes, promoting affordable housing, and creating opportunities for new housing developments.
● Everyone can benefit from affordable housing on the Shore, but especially the working class and those with low income.
● Areas most ready for additional housing include Nassawodox, Exmore, Cheriton, and Eastville. Affordable housing should not be targeted “down the necks”.
● There are various critical organizations available to help develop affordable housing.
● The barriers to developing affordable housing on the Eastern Shore, include but are not limited to, lack of infrastructure (sewer and water), cost of development and lack of incentives for developers, and local development regulations.

Instructions: In groups of 4-8, discuss each of the questions below. These questions are intended to advance thoughts and conversation about creating more affordable and workforce housing on the Eastern Shore. Select a presenter from your group who will report out your responses. This exercise is intended to take 45-60 minutes.

What type of housing development is most needed on the Shore? (e.g., single family, duplexes, rental apartments, condos for sale, mobile homes, housing for seniors/elderly, none)

Cape Charles Group 1 Rental apartments, studio apartments, small single family

Cape Charles Group 2 Rental apartments - all year, condos, single family

Cape Charles Group 3 Rental apartments, duplexes, accessible housing (all of the above except mobile homes)

Cape Charles Group 4 Rental apartments - multifamily, mixed use (townhomes), density restrictions

Cape Charles Group 5 Rentals (based on lower price), duplex rentals (affordable)

Cape Charles Group 6 Single family, duplexes, rental apartments

Exmore Group 1 Single family, duplexes

Exmore Group 2 Affordability is the driving factor more than type but local people would probably prefer single family homes

Exmore Group 3 Multi-family housing, single family purchase, single family rental, affordable rentals,senior/elder housing are all of equal importance

Exmore Group 4
Senior housing where other family members can live, single adult with kids, more 1 or 2 bed apartments (not big apartments)

Of the options below, what are the top three housing issues impacting the Eastern Shore? Cite any additional comments.

(1) Lack of housing available for purchase
(9) Lack of housing available for rent
(2) Vacant and/or dilapidated housing
(9) Lack of housing that is affordable
(4) Property owners can’t afford to maintain and repair housing
(3) Rising housing values
(1) Declining housing value

Additional Comments:
Cape Charles Group 3 All of the above are important

Cape Charles Group 4 AirBnB/short term rentals, rising housing values with wage and cost mismatch

Exmore Group 2 There is a lack of housing to purchase or rent that is affordable

Exmore Group 3 Not much is affordable

What should the Shore and its partners focus on as they address housing needs?

(6) Creating opportunities for new housing developments
(7) Promoting affordable housing
(4) Allowing homes with an accessory apartment that can be rented
(8) Providing funding programs to rehab existing homes
(3) Addressing blighted properties through property code enforcement, demolition, and other means
(8) Providing home ownership education, seminars, and resources (e.g., down payment assistance)

Additional Comments:
Cape Charles Group 3 Allowing homes with an accessory apartment that can be rented should be countywide

Exmore Group 2  Transitional housing

Exmore Group 3
Short term rentals/ tourism are of concern, would prefer long term, When creating opportunities for new housing developments make them affordable in town or on town edge

Exmore Group 4
Hold landlords responsible for the condition of the property and encourage developers/landowners to build affordable housing

Who should benefit from affordable housing on the Eastern Shore?

Cape Charles Group 1 Low income people, handicapped, the elderly

Cape Charles Group 2 Teachers, labor force, anyone below median income

Cape Charles Group 3 Teachers, police officers, health care workers, local eastern shore residents; elderly,disabled

Cape Charles Group 4 Working people; 40 hours a week

Cape Charles Group 5 Low income, work force

Cape Charles Group 6 Low income, working class families

Exmore Group 1 Families with low income, single parents, the elderly and those with disabilities

Exmore Group 2 Qualified buyers

Exmore Group 3 Everyone; owner occupied- new development for purchase

Exmore Group 4 Anyone making below $44,816. There should be enough decent housing stock so that anyone can find an affordable place to live.

Are there areas that are more ready for additional housing units than others? (Please be as specific as possible)

Cape Charles Group 1 Bayview, Wilson Court, County owned property, Keckwell site (Farmfield west of benders lane), Nottingham Estates (cheapside)

Cape Charles Group 2 On the bus line, Cheriton

Cape Charles Group 3 Areas that are currently zoned for residential in the existing comprehensive plan and areas close to employment centers

Cape Charles Group 4 Nassawadox; have some waste treatment infrastructure, Renovate hospital; change to mixed use, Eastville

Cape Charles Group 5 Cheriton, railroad property

Cape Charles Group 6 Nassawodox, Exmore, Cheriton, Eastville

Exmore Group 1 Lower Northampton County, some farmland should be rezoned for housing

Exmore Group 2 Private development areas in Eastville, Exmore, and lower Northampton County

Exmore Group 3 Nassawadox and Exmore, town or outskirts

Exmore Group 4 Eastville, Cheriton, Machipongo, towns that are near 13, bus stops, improved roads, good cell phone service, street lights, safety, neighborly

Are there areas that should not be targeted for affordable housing developments?

Cape Charles Group 1 No

Cape Charles Group 2 Historic District, no room and expensive

Cape Charles Group 3 Areas that are too rural, removed from existing services and areas that do not have access to infrastructure

Cape Charles Group 4 Low lying areas that do not have public transit or infrastructure broadband

Cape Charles Group 5 Anything that takes away sight lines of beach areas

Cape Charles Group 6 Areas need to be prioritized

Exmore Group 1 I feel where there are extra bills such as water and sewage and trash pick up, houses down the neck

Exmore Group 2 Coastal areas

Exmore Group 3 “down the necks”

Exmore Group 4 Down the necks, Jamesville, Wardtown- no tidal flooding, no swamps

What are the most critical organizations that should play a role in developing housing opportunities on the Eastern Shore?

Cape Charles Group 1 ANDPC, HUD, Habitat for Humanity, Northampton County, VHA, FHA

Cape Charles Group 2 Social Services, NCPS, BOS, Churches, SIDA, Chamber -advocacy/ business

Cape Charles Group 3 Potentially the Habitat for Humanity, DHCD, VHDA, Regional Housing Coalition, affordable housing committee

Cape Charles Group 4 Local government- county and state, regional housing authority, chamber of commerce
Cape Charles Group 5 Within town/county, CC Planning Commission, CC Town Council, CC Town Staff- Planning Department, VHCD, VHDA

Cape Charles Group 6 HUD, New Ravenna

Exmore Group 1 More jobs brought in

Exmore Group 2 PDC, both counties- local community development corps and non profit organizations,financial institution

Exmore Group 3 Counties, supervisors, ANDPC, ES of VHA, Local Planning Commission, State support

Exmore Group 4 Health department should get on landlords to clean up properties, county fire marshal for safe housing, Habitat for Humanity should support funds

What resources can be used to promote affordable housing that are not being fully utilized already?

Cape Charles Group 1 Local design professionals and builders

Cape Charles Group 2 Federal and State government, maybe (local) foundations, Department of Housing and Community Development, Va Housing Development Authority

Cape Charles Group 3 The building community

Cape Charles Group 4 Grants and low cost loans, incentives for developers- zoning/ tax breaks

Cape Charles Group 5 Lack of central locations for education resources for housing

Cape Charles Group 6 Educational services on finance Exmore Group 1 VHDA unit, social media, local newspaper

Exmore Group 2 LNHTC, DHCD, CDBG subdivision

Exmore Group 3 Banks - local community reinvestment, tax breaks for development, community partners of the eastern shore (CPES)

Exmore Group 4 County real estate association- contact large, unused or failed developments, encourage owners to develop smaller units

Identify the top 3 most significant barriers to developing more affordable housing on the Eastern Shore.

Cape Charles Group 1 Cost of construction, low profit margin, lack of educated population relative to affordable housing, lack of infrastructure

Cape Charles Group 2 Racial biases, poverty, lack of full time/ year round jobs, resistance to change

Cape Charles Group 3 Lack of roads and infrastructure (mass wells and septic), funding/ incentives for developers/builders, and protecting residents interests in the homes and not absentee owners/landlords

Cape Charles Group 4 Money, Infrastructure, Lack of incentives for developers, Lack of local contractors (skilled trades) and subcontractors

Cape Charles Group 5 Zoning ordinances, for Cape Charles- cost of housing/rentals within this beach community (current market supports high price), high costs for refurbishment of older homes (eg. sewer and water upgrades), lack of incentives to build affordable homes, lack of qualified workforce to build homes and apartments

Cape Charles Group 6 Money, zoning, consensus, no incentives

Exmore Group 1 People set in their ways, not enough opportunities, people are not educated, transportation, less discrimination on people with different backgrounds

Exmore Group 2 Development cost and qualified buyers

Exmore Group 3 Zoning, Data to support funding/grants, tax breaks for developers

Exmore Group 4 Funding, fear of lowering property values, people with the money/means to privately develop housing are not interested in small/affordable

Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

Cape Charles Group 1 Employment lacking so affordable is not possible, affordable housing should be accessible to stores and services, towns and county should subsidize, bring in more outside money

Cape Charles Group 2 Housing, jobs, the school system are linked together and the weakness of any one of the three impacts the other. Families do not move because of a lack of jobs, businesses do not come because of the lack of a workforce. Teacher retention is a problem because of the difficulty of the county to compete with other county’s salaries. Because of low pay and high cost of housing teachers have.

Cape Charles Group 3 How do we keep momentum moving forward from these engagement meetings?

Cape Charles Group 4 Northampton County population declining, school system, high paying jobs. How do we get the people who actually need the housing to get involved?

Cape Charles Group 5 Need for mixed income developments and not in isolated pockets, this subject is tied to job opportunities, housing, and education quality

Cape Charles Group 6 Better telecommunications, broadband internet

Exmore Group 3
Homelessness not addressed, transitional housing, available workforce, mixed use community, business/ residential combination for liveable community, keep close to town for service (“small development in every town”), remember the groundwater, keep open space, must address rehab and allow elders to age in place

Exmore Group 4 Develop a garden apartment complex/single story of two bedroom apartments with rules of no smoking, alcohol, foul language, no guns. Complex should have a lot of handicap apartments and parking, accommodate grandparents raising grandchildren