HUD Visits Prince William County to Hear About County’s Housing Programs

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The Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator for the Mid-Atlantic Region, Matthew Heckles, recently visited Prince William County to hear about the county's housing programs as part of his regional tour.

During the visit, Heckles met with Prince William Chair At-Large Deshundra Jefferson, County Executive Chris Shorter, Deputy County Executive Elijah Johnson, and county staff for a roundtable discussion to discuss affordable housing initiatives.

Heckles emphasized the importance of communities having a clear understanding of their challenges and working together to establish solutions.

"It's important for communities to have a … vision, a real truthful analysis of what's happening in their community, and what people are faced with, what are their challenges and then to have a process that is a real process of establishing a solution to those challenges," Heckles said. "It's great to come to a place like this and see all the right pieces coming together and understanding. When I walk into the room, I can see that you know each other, that you work together, that you have a shared vision."

Jefferson noted the Board of County Supervisor’s commitment to affordable housing in the county.

"Housing is a key issue in this area, particularly in Prince William County. I moved here nine years ago because this is an affordable place to be. And, you know, when I was working on Capitol Hill... I didn't have a lot of options," Jefferson said. "Luckily, Prince William County afforded me the chance to be a homeowner. And that's one of the things we're looking at is making sure that we're able to do the same for other people."

Heckles talked of the work HUD has done in the last few years in issuing vouchers, making the voucher program more accessible, reducing barriers, creating the Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit Program and streamlining other programs.

County Executive Chris Shorter talked about the importance of affordable housing and the housing programs in supporting the community.

"We appreciate all the work that's being done and what is coming in terms of programs," said Shorter. “Programs that provide access to safe and affordable housing options are a critical resource in helping families create stability and opportunities for a better future and can have a profound impact on the community."

Deputy County Executive Elijah Johnson provided an overview of some of the programs the Board of County Supervisors is implementing to establish more affordable housing in the county.

"We're fortunate to have a Board, County Executive and leadership that's behind this effort," Johnson said.

The county’s director of Housing and Community Development, Joan Duckett, thanked Heckles for his visit and recognized the people in her office for the work they do.    

"We are a working family team. We're all in this together. We help each other and we help those we serve, and they are at the forefront of what we do," Duckett said.

Watch the Buzz video of the visit here.

To learn more about the Office of Housing and Community Development, visit

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