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. Administration Releases Housing Supply Plan
The White House is releasing a comprehensive Housing Supply Action Plan designed to ease the burden of housing costs by boosting the supply of housing in every community. NAR has been sounding the alarm for several years about the housing supply and affordability crisis and is pleased to see the Administration propose action to address these challenges.
Related: NAR Statement on President Biden's Housing Supply Plan
2. New federal programs offer Virginia households a subsidy for affordable high-speed internet
Federal and state officials are rolling out a fleet of new programs in an expansive effort to bring faster and less expensive internet to all Virginians, especially those who have had trouble connecting in the past. The Biden administration announced last week an agreement with internet providers that will effectively offer free internet access to low-income households. . . . The agreement builds on an internet subsidy that is part of the massive infrastructure spending bill Congress passed last year. Both Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner supported the law. Warner, a longtime proponent of broader internet access, was one of the lawmakers who negotiated the $1 trillion infrastructure package.
3. Dulles Toll Road users could see rate increase to pay for Silver Line
Dulles Toll Road users could see tolls rise to $6 starting in January under a proposal being considered by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s board of directors. Drivers who exit the road now pay $4.75 — $3.25 at the main toll plaza and $1.50 at a ramp. Under the new proposal, rates would increase by $1.25, rising 75 cents at the main toll plaza and 50 cents at off-ramps. It would be the first rate increase since 2019.
4. Residents Form Group to Advocate for Housing Affordability
Zoning, housing affordability and density are hot topics in Alexandria, and while few people oppose affordable housing, the changes in regulations around zoning and density have rankled many vocal residents. On the other end of the spectrum, a group of residents has formed with the goal of making housing more affordable by supporting increased density, which they believe will in turn encourage the development of communities that are diverse, sustainable, connected and productive, while also being more public transit and bike/pedestrian friendly.
Related: Is single-family zoning on the chopping block in Arlington?
5. 1 in 6 Americans live in areas with significant wildfire risk, Post analysis shows. Use our map to check the risk where you are.
By 2052, that share will increase to 21 percent, with nearly half of all Americans exposed living in the South, according to a Washington Post analysis of data provided by the First Street Foundation. Minorities face a disproportionate wildfire threat, the data shows.
Related: Fire Factor™ supports NAR Policy