Prince William Board of County Supervisors are learning the feasibility of a program to assist county workers afford houses in Prince William to allow them to stay nearer to work.

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Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chair Deshundra Jefferson has ordered employees to review the feasibility of a program to assist county workers afford houses in Prince William to allow them to stay nearer to work.

Jefferson stated the transfer is primarily aimed toward regulation enforcement, academics and hearth responders, all county service employees who are sometimes not excessive earners. Many workers in these teams commute from out of the county, coming from Stafford or Spotsylvania counties, the place they’ll afford to personal a house, officers stated.

“That’s type of what I wish to see is people who find themselves on the entrance strains, serving and defending communities in order that they’ll actually be part of the group,” Jefferson stated, noting the instance of a police officer she lately spoke with who commutes north from Spotsylvania County as a result of they’ll’t afford to purchase in Prince William.

Jefferson stated county employees members are anticipated to deliver a advice earlier than the board on a possible program within the coming months.

She’s hoping to mannequin it off a program supplied to workers in Loudoun County, which supplies a $10,000 mortgage grant for the acquisition of a house throughout the county. Those loans are forgivable at 20% of the mortgage quantity yearly over a five-year interval if the worker doesn’t go away county employment or the house.

The transfer is meant to assist alleviate staffing shortages within the vital fields like first responders and educators, which have been affected by an absence of employees for the previous few years.

Prince William County Police Chief Peter Newsham stated he helps Jefferson’s initiative. He stated “time will inform” whether or not the plan will assist alleviate staffing shortages, however the division has had a better time recruiting in current months after the board authorized a collective bargaining settlement that raised pay for police.

But Newsham stated housing affordability stays a serious impediment for the Prince William police power.

“I’m a agency believer that cops ought to stay in the neighborhood that they work in, and I additionally perceive that lots of our officers don’t stay in Prince William County due to the price,” Newsham stated. “If you speak to them, they would like to not commute. A whole lot of them would like to stay within the county, and so they don’t do it as a result of they’ll’t afford it.”

Newsham continued, “The worth that I see for our officers residing in the neighborhood that they serve is that they develop into a part of the group. They get to know folks. People usually tend to inform them issues that they don’t know as a neighbor versus only a police officer.”

Representatives with the Prince William Education Association, the native academics’ union, didn’t return a request for remark.

“Although we don’t have particular data on this directive, PWCS helps efforts to draw and retain high quality workers,” college system spokesperson Meghan Silas stated in an announcement.

Another county division that has confronted staffing shortages is the planning workplace, however officers indicated Jefferson’s directive would bear little affect on the division.

“There is not any information that reveals that the planning staffing challenges have been associated to housing alternatives for workers,” county spokesperson Nikki Brown stated in an e mail.