Letter: Helen Chang, Potomac Falls

Editor: I have been a parent liaison at Potomac Falls High School in Loudoun County for the past seven years. Previously, I was the parent liaison at Potowmack Elementary for over 13 years. During these years, I worked closely with socioeconomic at-risk families with children in our school system. I helped them find food, clothing, medical and dental resources, and housing.

Of all the resources we have in Loudoun, and there are many, affordable housing in the richest county in the U.S. is the hardest to find. Most of the families I work with are in “double-up” living situations where two or more families share one housing unit/apartment. Or they live in basement “apartments” in other people’s homes with no access to a kitchen. We often see a whole family of 4-6 sleeping in one bedroom, sharing a bathroom with another family, and students with barely enough space to do their homework. I want to make sure you understand that these are families of all ethnicities.

There are low-income rentals available but those are few and rarely become available. Our county keeps growing which is great as a whole as more money is brought into the county. However, with the added economy is the need for workers, many of whom do not make enough to support themselves and their families with our current housing availability. We can’t keep building our economy without providing the infrastructure to support it. Part of that infrastructure must be more affordable housing for the working-class families who will stay here and make Loudoun their home.

A half penny from our tax dollars towards affordable housing will go a long way, but we also need to ensure that a majority of those funds go to support those earning less than 40% of the area median income. As a tax paying resident of Loudoun, I would rather see affordable housing be made available to these families than homeless shelters. I would rather see the children of these families have a place to do their homework so they succeed in school and are able to become contributing members of our county, instead of potentially drop-outs who put more strain on our county resources. 

Please consider more affordable housing for the hard-working families who keep our county’s infrastructure intact.

Helen Chang, Potomac Falls

7 thoughts on “Letter: Helen Chang, Potomac Falls

  • 2022-02-17 at 8:51 pm

    Loudoun is the wealthiest county in America. But it’s also rich in compassion & generosity. So I’m optimistic affordable housing will become more & more prevalent. For so long, advocates were afraid to speak out — fearing they’d be labeled “freeloaders” or “moochers.” But as the writer suggests, affordable housing is good for everyone. It keeps families stable & helps children succeed in life. Happy Black History Month Loudoun!

  • 2022-02-17 at 9:08 pm

    Government has failed at “affordable housing” for the entire time it has promised affordable housing. Of course, government has failed at fixing the roads, managing traffic, affordable and reliable public transport, sports venues and controlling crime.

    Maybe it’s time to look somewhere besides government for solutions to these problems. Government is really is just a group of people who seem to think they are smarter than everyone else but ultimately just waste everyone’s tax dollars on wild, failed schemes.

    The solution to this problem and most other problems will not be found in the county offices.

  • 2022-02-18 at 2:20 am

    Do not subsidize those who cannot afford homes with taxpayer dollars. That is my half cent.

  • 2022-02-18 at 9:38 am

    There’s a truly great quote by Thomas Sowell, which applies to appeal such as these:

    “What exactly is your ‘fair share’ of what ‘someone else’ has worked for?”

  • 2022-02-18 at 2:47 pm

    1 Fairfield County in Ct is far richer than Loudoun!
    2 There is nothing wrong with young professionals renting.
    3 There is nothing wrong with young professionals grouping up for a rental to lower costs.
    4 What is wrong is people in elected positions selling out for a diminutive campaign donation!

  • 2022-02-18 at 7:03 pm

    And now come the deluge of refugees from Afghanistan into Loudoun County. I suppose we’ll be taxed to support them too. As a Marine combat veteran I can tell you 99 % of the people were not our allies.

  • 2022-02-20 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you for your wonderful work with these families and schoolchildren!

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