Town Hall Notes


FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy News

FIVE FOR FRIDAYWelcome 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. NAR Urges Mortgage Insurance Premium Reduction and Ending Life of Loan Requirement
Reducing the annual mortgage insurance premium and ending the life of loan requirement is a strong step the Federal Housing Administration and HUD can take to ensure low to moderate-income and first-time homebuyers remain competitive in the housing market and achieve homeownership. Coalition Letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development

2. Metro says Silver Line to Dulles could be ready by Thanksgiving if cars return to service
Metro officials said Wednesday that the Silver Line to Washington Dulles International Airport could be open by Thanksgiving weekend if the system’s safety watchdog allows enough 7000-series cars to return to service. Officials said they will know by the end of this week whether the new extension can open by mid-November. The timing depends on whether the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) approves a Return to Service Plan for the 7000-series railcars and the extension’s safety certification, Metro said in a news release.
Related: D.C. Metro makes case for federal funding

3. As housing prices soar, a wealthy county rethinks the idea of suburbia
The email from the mortgage loan officer was supposed to be good news for Maureen Coffey. A 27-year-old nonprofit employee, she never thought she would be able to afford to buy in Arlington County — a wealthy, liberal suburb across the river from D.C. — until he told her otherwise. Her steady income and strong credit would qualify her for a condominium costing as much as $300,000. But the properties within her budget in this slice of Northern Virginia were all nonstarters . . . “I had done everything right,” Coffey said, “and that still was not enough to buy something.” Across the country, low housing stock and skyrocketing prices mean plenty of others are facing a similar reality. With new units hardly being built fast enough in Arlington to fix the problem, local lawmakers are hoping one possible solution to these woes may lie in the county’s zoning code.
Related: Missing Middle debate continues amid dueling rallies at County Board meeting

4. 5 Things To Know About New Running Bamboo Ordinance, Effective Jan. 1
Avoid the fine, don’t let running bamboo grow beyond your property line. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, the new Fairfax County running bamboo ordinance goes into effect requiring property owners to maintain the invasive grass to their own property.

5. Amid climate change pressures, Virginia reexamines septic regulations
A photograph shows a stretch of residential properties at Windmill Point in Lancaster County that are completely flooded to the point of appearing to be marshlands. In the middle of one is a red circle. “I think it pretty succinctly sums up the issue,” Lance Gregory, director of the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Onsite Water and Wastewater Services, told members of the state’s Joint Subcommittee on Recurrent Flooding earlier this month. “In that red circle you can see a nice mound where that homeowner’s aboveground alternative system that probably cost them $30,000 to $40,000 dollars to install is sitting.” The system Gregory was referring to was a septic system, the regulation of which is a major focus for VDH.

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