August 20, 2018

VHDA Teams Up with Five Lynchburg Organizations

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Tackling complex problems is a tough task for a city under the best of circumstances. But without having evidence-based data to help set priorities and develop strategies, it becomes nearly impossible.

That’s why VHDA is teaming up with five partner organizations in Lynchburg to conduct a study of the city’s interrelated problems of poverty, homelessness and housing. The five organizations – Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Rush Lifetime Homes, Miriam's House, Greater Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity, and Lynchburg Community Action Group – are known collectively as the Lynchburg Regional Housing Coalition. Its study is being funded by a one of VHDA’s Community Impact Grants.

Community Impact Grants are funded through VHDA’s Reach Virginia program. Each year, VHDA contributes a substantial portion of our net revenues to this program, which helps support our partners and nonprofits as they work to meet local housing needs.

The Lynchburg study will incorporate a new data platform that’s designed to aggregate and analyze data more effectively. Among other topics, it will look at the Housing Choice Voucher program, which helps low-income households with rent payments; the quality and distribution of rental units and single-family structures; the occupancy rates of rental units; and the circumstances of rent-burdened populations, including veterans, the homeless and people with disabilities.

“Strong housing networks provide cities with a host of social and economic benefits,” said Chris Thompson, director of strategic housing for VHDA’s Community Outreach division. “Our Community Impact Grant is designed to give Lynchburg the qualitative and quantitative data it needs to make informed decisions about how to strengthen its network.”
The study is expected to be complete next year. Its ultimate objective is to inform local leaders and make a compelling case for including affordable housing as part of the regional planning process.

Learn more about VHDA grant programs.

Using Data to Answer Key Housing Questions In the New River Valley

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When it came to regional housing issues, the New River Valley Planning District Commission had no shortage of questions: Do we have enough housing types and price points for people of all income levels? How do university student rental properties affect the availability of affordable rental housing overall? Do existing housing units match up well with buyer preferences? How can deteriorating housing stock be better preserved or rehabilitated?

Thanks to a grant from VHDA, the Commission will soon have answers to these questions and others, and gain a better understanding of how to meet the region’s current and future housing challenges.

The New River Valley in Southwest Virginia encompasses Montgomery, Floyd, Giles and Pulaski Counties as well as the city of Radford. Its planning commission will use VHDA’s Community Impact Grant funds to develop and implement a multi-pronged study. Among its components will be focus groups, an online survey and public meetings, all designed to gain feedback from real estate agents, builders, developers, residents and other stakeholders. The study will also tap publicly available data from real estate and housing sources. While designed from a regional approach, the project is also expected to yield data that will helpful to individual localities in developing strategies, policies and action plans.

VHDA has been awarding Community Impact Grants since 2015. Money for the grants comes from VHDA’s REACH Virginia program. Each year, VHDA contributes a substantial portion of net revenues to fund this program, which is used to address housing needs throughout the state.

“We’re encouraged that we’ve definitely seen an uptick in the number of applications for Community Impact Grants,” said Director of Strategic Housing Chris Thompson, in VHDA’s Community Outreach division. “Our evaluation and approval process ensures that REACH Virginia dollars are put to the best possible use – by organizations that share our goal of making affordable housing accessible to all Virginians.”

Learn more about VHDA grant programs

August 16, 2018

Housing Credit QAP Announcement | Proposed Changes Now Available

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VHDA's Housing Credit department just released the blacklined Virginia Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) showing proposed changes for implementation on Jan. 1, 2019. View the blacklined QAP.

Please consider joining us for the QAP Forum Discussion on Sept. 18. The forum is free, and registration for the Virginia Housing Alliance Housing Credit Conference is not required.


2019 QAP Forum
‎Sept. 18,‎ ‎2018 at ‎10‎:‎00‎ ‎a.m. - 11‎:‎30‎ ‎a.m. E.S.T.
The Omni Richmond Hotel
100 S. 12th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Register now

The following classes will be held in October:

How to Complete a Virginia LIHTC Application
VHDA Architect Certification & Universal Design Submission Requirements
Universal Design Certification: Glen Allen
Register for these events on our website.

August 15, 2018

Inclusionary Housing and Overcoming NIMBY 2.0 | New Training From Housing Virginia

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Join Housing Virginia for new Inclusionary Housing and Overcoming NIMBY 2.0 workshops. 

Dates and Times: 

Richmond: August 30

Hampton Roads: September 4

Charlottesville: September 5

Fredericksburg: September 6


Housing Virginia is excited to partner with Virginia Housing Alliance's HELP Center to to offer either half-day or full-day workshops focused on strategies to develop inclusive, mixed-income communities, as well as techniques for addressing resistance to affordable housing.

Register Now

Workshop Details

Workshop 1: Inclusionary Housing
TIME: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Following the release of the first Virginia-specific "Inclusionary Housing Guidebook" in 2017, Housing Virginia is offering a series of workshops that will demonstrate how localities can use old and new tools at their disposal to create vibrant, mixed-income communities. These sessions will explore why affordable homes are a critical component to healthy neighborhoods, what the state and federal legal framework allows regarding "inclusionary zoning" and other land use tools, how other localities in Virginia and across the nation are accomplishing this goal, and why communities must build custom-tailored solutions for their specific housing needs. These trainings are targeted to local officials, planners, advocates, and housing practitioners.


Workshop 2: Overcoming NIMBY 2.0
TIME: 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

In 2016, Housing Virginia conducted its first round of "Overcoming NIMBY" trainings aimed at equipping housing advocates and providers with the tools necessary to counter common opposition to more affordable homes in their communities. This year, Housing Virginia is launching its next round of "Overcoming NIMBY" trainings with all new material and recommendations. Attendees will learn what NIMBY-ism (Not In My Backyard) is, why our current messaging often does more harm than good, and how new groundbreaking social research can help us get to "YES" in our back yard. These trainings are encouraged for anyone who aims to build, provide, or advocate for more homes available to persons at all incomes in their neighborhoods.


Housing Virginia | housingvirginia.org

VHDA partners with Housing Virginia to provide quality, affordable housing.

July 26, 2018

VMLA 2018 Annual Convention – Special Offer for First-time Attendees

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Join us at VMLA’s Annual Convention

Sept. 20 – 21, 2018 • Hilton Norfolk The Main

The Virginia Mortgage Lenders Association (VMLA) annual convention is a great place to build your network and learn about issues impacting the mortgage industry. Be sure to stop by VHDA’s booth, and drop your business card in our bowl — you’ll be registered to receive news updates from VHDA and be entered in our drawing to win an awesome prize! For details about the convention, visit VMLA’s website.

First time attending?
Here’s your chance to win: 
As an event sponsor, VHDA will provide four first-time attendees with complimentary VMLA convention registration, plus hotel room for the night of Thursday, Sept. 20. One winner each will be selected by random drawing from the Central, Western, Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia regions. Submit your entry at vhda.com/VMLA.

ENTRY DEADLINE:
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 5 p.m. ET

July 25, 2018

Arlington Senior High-rise Gets New Lease on Life

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What happens when an aging, deteriorating apartment building that houses low-income seniors reaches the twilight of its useful lifespan? Culpepper Gardens in Arlington, Virginia, was in just such a predicament, but its story will have a happy ending, thanks to VHDA and multiple partner organizations. 

VHDA has struck an agreement with Arlington Retirement Housing Corp., Wesley Housing Development Corp. and Virginia Community Development Corp. – among other entities – to give this eight-story apartment tower a top-to-bottom upgrade. VHDA is providing $27 million in bridge and permanent financing for the renovation, in addition to Housing Credits (also known as Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, or LIHTC).

VHDA is serving as primary lender for the deal, which proved to be even more complex in scope than most that the authority participates in. “Wesley Housing, VCDC, Arlington County and so many others really pulled together with us to make this a reality,” said Scott Charnock, senior development officer for VHDA’s Rental Housing division. “Their cooperation was outstanding, and it just goes to show what teamwork can accomplish.”

A ceremonial kickoff for the project was held on April 12, 2018. When renovations are complete in two years, the complex will have 129 efficiency, 74 one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom apartments – an increase of four over the current total. The average age and income of Culpepper Garden’s tenants is 77 years and $18,000. The renovations will cause minimal disruption to residents; they will be temporarily relocated within the complex itself while their apartments are being worked on.

Culpepper Garden was built in 1975, and its upgrades will be cosmetic as well as functional. Apartments will be repainted and receive new flooring, plumbing fixtures, appliances, cabinets and countertops. The building’s roof and windows will be replaced, as will its plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems. Its elevators will be updated and new sprinklers will be installed, and common areas such as the kitchen and laundry will be reconfigured and improved.

The Culpepper Garden renovation will ensure that hundreds of low-income seniors enjoy improved living conditions in a safer, more comfortable environment – all without changing their address. 

Learn more about Culpepper Garden.

Going the Extra Mile to Serve the Underserved

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One day they might lead a continuing education session for real estate agents. The next, meet with one or more of VHDA’s 86 approved lending agents. The day after that, they could participate in a trade show for the public or a professional group. They’re VHDA’s business development officers (BDOs) – professionals with mortgage banking backgrounds who help our partner organizations and the public understand and take full advantage of our many services. 

To better reach those who live in underserved areas, VHDA has moved to a regional BDO deployment model. Our officers are now located in all four of the state’s primary population centers: Central Virginia, Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, and Western Virginia. According to Business Development and Training Manager Dan Kern, in VHDA’s Homeownership division, this model is making a world of difference.

“In speaking to our stakeholders, they greatly appreciate the fact that our BDOs are now embedded in the community,” Kern said. “They’re more visible and accessible than in the past, and that means they’re better able to interact with the people we serve.”

Here is the contact information for our four business development officers. Please feel free to reach out to them directly if they can be of assistance.

Northern Virginia: Regina Pinkney | Regina.Pinkney@vhda.com  | 804-510-9122

Central Virginia: Joni Moncure | Joni.Moncure@vhda.com  | 804-840-7049

Hampton Roads: Gigi Houchins | Georgette.Houchins@vhda.com  | 804-389-5680

Western Virginia: Frank Webster | Frank.Webster@vhda.com  |  804-762-3078