by Josh Veverka
Welcome to FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy Issues and Headlines from around the Northern Virginia Region, the Commonwealth and on Capitol Hill.
1. Maryland board approves first contract to design toll lanes for American Legion Bridge, I-270
The first contract for companies to design improvements and toll lanes for the American Legion Bridge, part of the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 won approval Wednesday from the Maryland Board of Public Works — composed of the Governor, Comptroller and Treasurer — marking the start of the state’s largest project aimed at relieving traffic congestion.
2. A Decade of Population Change
Newly released data from the 2020 Census shows how Virginia's counties have grown in the past decade. While the state grew as a whole, 62 of Virginia's 133 localities lost residents in the past 10 years, primarily in the Southwest and Southside regions. This data will inform the work of Virginia's Redistricting Commission, as the new districts must reflect the current population of Virginia.
3. Fairfax County Redistricting Advisory Committee seeks public input on August 17, at 6:00 p.m.
This two-hour meeting is solely focused on hearing from residents and organizations — and it will be held at the Fairfax County Government Center. The committee wants the public’s input now as it gets ready later this month to redraw new recommended electoral maps for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and School Board.
4. Local Governments Urge Housing Providers and Tenants use Resources for Rent Relief
Mayor Justin Wilson issued a letter to Alexandria landlords requesting that they work with the City and its partners to access the many available sources of rental assistance for households unable to pay rent due to the pandemic. City staff and the Alexandria Eviction Prevention Program are collaborating to ensure that all efforts are made to access available sources of rental assistance; assist property owners and managers on behalf of residents; and coordinate state and local sources for unresolved applications. For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/Housing.
Fairfax County Says Help is Available as CDC Extends Eviction Moratorium. Fairfax County is administering relief for renters experiencing a negative financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic through the new Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance (ERA) program. Through this program you can apply to receive funds to pay delinquent rent or utility payments back to March 13, 2020, and up to three months of future payments to maintain housing stability. All residents experiencing financial hardship should call Coordinated Services Planning at 703-222-0880. Specialists provide assistance in multiple languages and can help link residents to basic needs assistance, including housing payments (rent, mortgage, fees, security deposits) and utilities, including electric, gas and water. Landlords can also apply on behalf of their tenants through the Landlord Portal.
5. How the General Assembly Plans to Spend $4.3 Billion
The House of Delegates and Senate both passed a budget Monday that allocates $4.3 billion in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan. While the Governor still needs to add his signature, VPAP provides a full breakdown of how the legislature plans to spend almost $3.2 billion, with the rest being reserved for future COVID-19 relief.