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County explores tech upgrades for public and senior housing

The Fairfax County Government Center (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority is looking at upgrading properties to get residents more connected.

County staff are evaluating whether it could add Wi-Fi to common areas in public housing and create computer rooms at senior housing properties.

“Currently, residents must purchase internet service through a service provider for their unit,” FCRHA spokesperson Ben Boxer said in an email. “That utility is not provided by the FCRHA in each unit.”

FCRHA Mount Vernon District Commissioner Elisabeth Lardner introduced the proposal at the commissioners’ Jan. 20 board meeting. She suggested developing a pilot program with the county’s Neighborhood and Community Services Department or a nonprofit.

County staff are still assessing the ideas and in the early stages of research and analysis, Boxer said last Thursday (March 3).

As of last June, the authority owned and operated 3,005 units of multifamily housing, 505 units of independent senior housing, 112 beds of assisted living, and 205 units/beds of specialized housing — including group homes, shelter facilities and a mobile home park, according to an audit.

“Unfortunately, due to the diversity that exists between the different properties owned by the FCRHA, there is no hard and fast unit criteria that can be used to indicate which properties have ‘common areas’ and which do not,” Boxer told FFXnow.

It’s unclear how much the upgrades would cost.

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