Opinion: Commentary: A Community Conversation about Engleside/Ray’s Mobile Homes

Opinion: Commentary: A Community Conversation about Engleside/Ray’s Mobile Homes

Housing security is a critical element of my work in the Mount Vernon District. During this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, we adopted the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Work Program, including proposed nominations from the South County Site-specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) process. One proposed project has created community apprehension: the Engleside Trailer Park and Ray’s Mobile Home community has been nominated for an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, combined with surrounding properties. I have read every letter and deeply understand residents’ concerns about being able to continue to own their own homes in Fairfax County.

As a former mobile home resident, I value their affordability. Homeownership is important to human development, comfort and security, and I am committed to supporting the needs and social bonds of this unique neighborhood and helping them find housing security.

With decades in public service, protecting affordable housing and helping families, I’m committed to working with Engleside/Ray’s residents, engaging with the property owner, listening to the recommendations on mobile home policy by the Affordable Housing Preservation Task Force and looking at all new development considerations through the lens of One Fairfax. We need more affordable and workforce housing in our County and this long-standing County process provides the means to continue our discussions and work to find solutions that work for all. It should be noted that the owner of this property has the right to redevelop this land without the approval of the County or engagement with the residents.

The County performs this Site-specific Plan Amendment process every five years and anyone can propose a project for any property in the County. The nomination consideration process for Engleside/Ray’s, and other proposed projects in the South County area, has been comprehensively reviewed by a community panel over the last year, as were all projects nominated to the SSPA process. I support this process that ensures all stakeholders are respected, treated equitably, engaged and heard. I also support the inclusion of Engleside/Ray’s in the County Work Program at this time, as it allows us the opportunity to continue our discussions with the property owner and residents to find solutions that support the needs of this community and our District.

Whether or if any changes in this property were to ever occur, we are very early in any potential redevelopment process and I am committed to continuing this conversation with residents and stakeholders.