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VOICE in the News

  • Mon, 06/24/2013 : Washington Post

    When Fairfax County spent $49.5 million to buy the Crescent apartment complex near Lake Anne in Reston, in 2006, it was with the stated goal of preserving affordable housing in the county as real estate values continued their upward climb. So it came as a surprise to the residents when they learned that Fairfax was already looking to sell or lease the property for redevelopment, as part of a bigger plan to revitalize the Lake Anne area. The county’s plan is to replace the 181 apartments in the 50-year-old, three-story buildings with up to 935 apartments overlooking the lake and close to shopping and a new Metro station.


  • Mon, 06/24/2013 : Sun Gazette

    Suggesting that only a small window of opportunity remains, proponents of more affordable housing in Arlington laid down challenges to themselves, and county officials, during a June 23 forum.

    The event, expected to draw 500 people from religious communities across the county and surrounding area, drew about 550, organizers said.


  • Mon, 06/24/2013 : Washington Post

    When Fairfax County spent $49.5 million to buy the Crescent apartment complex near Lake Anne in Reston, in 2006, it was with the stated goal of preserving affordable housing in the county as real estate values continued their upward climb. So it came as a surprise to the residents when they learned that Fairfax was already looking to sell or lease the property for redevelopment, as part of a bigger plan to revitalize the Lake Anne area. The county’s plan is to replace the 181 apartments in the 50-year-old, three-story buildings with up to 935 apartments overlooking the lake and close to shopping and a new Metro station. The current residents love the place, not only because their rents are low ($1,150 for a two-bedroom place) but because it’s near two elementary schools and many bus lines. “There are good people living here,” said Andres Paz, a dental assistant who’s lived in the Crescent for 8 1/2 years. “We are somebody. We are poor, but we are good people.”


  • Sat, 06/22/2013 : The Muslim Link

    At a roundtable, fifteen Muslims nervously share stories about their financial problems. It is a new concept especially for older immigrants, not used to airing their laundry in public, more so inside a masjid. They are at the Dar al Noor Islamic Center in Manassas, VA located in a county heavily hit by the mortgage crisis. Some skip their turn but then gain the courage to speak up, after seeing others in the same situation.


  • Fri, 06/21/2013 : Washington Post

    An interfaith group of housing and justice advocates is calling for the use of publicly owned land in Arlington for the development of affordable and workforce housing. The group, Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, says that Arlington County in particular needs 1,000 to 1,500 new housing units in the next five years that are affordable to people who make less than $50,000.


  • Thu, 06/20/2013 : NPR - WAMU

    Fifty interfaith leaders and foreclosure victims working as part of the group Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) protested outside the J.P. Morgan Chase office in the District today. The group says the bank has refused to invest in a $30 million federal pilot program to help Prince William County recover from the housing crisis, which saw 20,000 foreclosures. The group says J.P. Morgan Chase, General Electric and Bank of America were responsible for the bulk of those foreclosures.


  • Thu, 06/13/2013 : Mount Vernon Gazette

    A 200-person event, organized by the community organzation VOICE, brought together Route 1/Mount Vernon/Lee area youth, parents, and faith leaders to celebrate progress to improve youth recreation facilities and programming in the area on Monday evening, June 10, at West Potomac High School.


  • Wed, 06/12/2013 : Mount Vernon VOICE

    V.O.I.C.E. (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) members remain optimistic and as determined as ever to see turf fields installed at Mount Vernon and West Potomac high schools, as well as more recreational opportunities for youth of Audubon Mobile Home Park and Murraygate Village.


  • Mon, 06/10/2013 : Hola Ciudad/Telemundo Washington

    Alma López esta practicando un discurso que para ella es de suma importancia. Esta tarde presentó su caso a decenas de otros padres de Alexandria para mejorar su comunidad.

    Alma vive en el sector de Audobon sobre la ruta uno. Un vecindario mayormente hispano que está alzando la voz para que el condado de Fairfax les ayude a que sus hijos tengan las mismas oportunidades que otros jóvenes del condado.


  • Sat, 06/08/2013 : Washington Jewish Week

    Jews in Northern Virginia were part of a coalition of some 50 religious communities that announced a $30 million reinvestment plan to rebuild deteriorating communities in Prince William County. The coalition, Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, or VOICE, unveiled the plan June 3 at a Woodbridge school in the presence of U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and executives of financial institutions that agreed to finance the rebuilding.


  • Wed, 06/05/2013 : Woodbridge Patch

    Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement brought in $30 million in committed funds to rebuild foreclosed communities in Prince William County. More than 500 religious leaders were present June 3 at Woodbridge Middle School as VOICE unveiled the committed funds from Bank of America, General Electric and the Virginia Housing & Development Authority. BOA committed $10 million, General Electric committed $5 million, and the VHDA committed $15 million.


  • Tue, 06/04/2013 : Washington Post

    Replete with Biblical allusion and allegory, the motif of good vs. evil and the prophets of earth and the Holy Book, leaders of a Northern Virginia interfaith group summoned higher powers Monday night to describe the 2008 foreclosure crisis and its aftermath.


  • Tue, 06/04/2013 : Washington Post

    Replete with Biblical allusion and allegory, the motif of good vs. evil and the prophets of earth and the Holy Book, leaders of a Northern Virginia interfaith group summoned higher powers Monday night to describe the 2008 foreclosure crisis and its aftermath. Leaders of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement also focused on how they could hold those who sinned — in their view, the major banks who engaged in subprime lending in low-income, minority communities in Prince William — accountable and seek to right past wrongs.


  • Mon, 06/03/2013 : Prince William Today

    A vocal group of religious leaders on Monday night plans to announce a $30 million pilot program to rehabilitate townhouses in Prince William County left vacant by foreclosure. Organizers of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, or VOICE, said the Prince William Restoration Plan will rehabilitate more than 100 vacant properties in Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park.


  • Mon, 06/03/2013 : NBC 4 Washington

    The foreclosure crisis is long over in Prince William County, but hundreds of the abandoned, decaying properties are still left behind. A coalition of religious organizations is launching a plan to use $30 million to rehab foreclosed units and create more affordable rentals. Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) has spent the past three years pressuring lenders at the center of the foreclosure crisis to help financially with the fallout.


  • Mon, 06/03/2013 : MyFox 5 DC

    WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Prince William County and Manassas were the hardest hit communities in Virginia by the 2008 housing collapse. Now a group of religious leaders has announced a $30 million plan to help families who lost their homes to foreclosure. At a meeting Monday night at Woodbridge Middle School in Woodbridge, VOICE (Virginians Organized For Interfaith Community Engagement) announced a pilot program to rehab 100 vacant and blighted townhomes and to build 1,500 units of affordable rental housing over a 15-year period.


  • Mon, 06/03/2013 : Washington Post

    By Jeremy Borden. Millions in funding for a housing pilot program that would go toward restoring communities affected by the 2008 foreclosure crisis in Prince William County will be promised by two major financial institutions and a Virginia housing agency Monday, according to Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement.

    Prince William suffered more than 20,000 foreclosures during the housing market collapse and was the hardest hit locality in Virginia, according to the coalition of interfaith groups, which has organized around housing issues in the county.


  • Wed, 05/22/2013 : Reston Connection

    By John Lovass. It was a lovely Sunday afternoon, ideal for marching to support our neighbors in Lake Anne’s Crescent Apartments and support some old-time Reston values. The march consisted really of walking and stops for speaking of personal memories by past and present Crescent Apartment residents and pleas to protect affordable housing and Crescent residents by Reston faith community leaders.


  • Wed, 05/22/2013 : Reston Connection

    By Lauren Young. On Sunday, May 19, V.O.I.C.E (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) walked with many residents of Reston, and tenants of Crescent Apartments to raise awareness of affordable housing in Reston and more specifically—plans to redevelop the Crescent Apartments on North Shore Drive from 181 units to much larger 700-900 units. These would be privately developed. The issue that V.O.I.C.E and those who participated in the walk on Sunday are addressing is that many of the current residents would be displaced due to the expensive rent of the new apartments. This could force 80 percent of the residents out of the apartments, and possibly out of Reston.


  • Wed, 05/22/2013 : Fairfax Times

    A local advocacy group is raising concerns that the redevelopment of a county-owned Reston apartment complex could displace the 181 low-income families who live there.

    About 250 people attended a walk at the Crescent Apartments near Lake Anne Village Center on Sunday. Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) organized the event.


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