June 8, 2018

Attend Housing Virginia's Home Remedies:Connecting Housing and Health for Stronger Communities

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Join Housing Virginia on July 11 for a day of exploring the best practices in linking health outcomes and housing conditions throughout Virginia's communities. Home Remedies: Connecting Housing and Health for Stronger Communities will explore the connection impacting individuals, neighborhoods, and defined populations.

Early Bird registration ends June 11. 

Detailed session topics and agenda will be announced soon.

More information and to register.

This blog post was contributed by Housing Virginia.

June 7, 2018

Minimum Design & Construction Requirements: VHDA Would Like Your Feedback

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VHDA will begin the biennial review of the Minimum Design and Construction Requirements (MDCR) shortly. Modifications to the 2018 requirements will affect:
  • All VHDA multifamily loans applied for in 2019 and 2020
  • Properties receiving 2019 and 2020 Housing Credits 
The MDCR Committee would like your feedback on the 2018 requirements. For those interested, please forward your comments and suggestions to Angela.Coates@vhda.com.

Comments must be received by July 6th to be considered by the committee during the review process. Due to the expected volume of comments, a formal response cannot be guaranteed.

We appreciate your help with the 2019/2020 VHDA Minimum Design and Construction Requirements review process.

Click on the following link to review the 2018 Minimum Design & Construction Requirements.

June 6, 2018

Governor’s Housing Conference 2018

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Register now for the 2018 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference on Nov. 14-16, 2018, in Arlington. It’s Virginia’s largest housing event, offering educational sessions led by experts in housing, finance and community development, plus opportunities to network with colleagues from across the commonwealth.

Register Now
Book Your Room
Stay Connected: www.vaghc.com

May 30, 2018

Leadership Changes at VHDA

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It’s an exciting time to be in the housing industry, and we'd like to tell you about some changes we've made in our organizational structure, to help us better address the needs of our housing partners and respond to changes in our operating environment. As a result, some of our Leadership Team members have taken on new roles:

  • Janet Wiglesworth - Chief of Operations
  • Pat Carey - Chief Program Strategy / Chief Financial Officer
  • Tammy Neale - Chief of Staff
  • Paul Brennan - Chief Counsel
  • Llew Anderson - Managing Director of Administration

We also welcome these NEW members to our Leadership Team:

  • Toni Ostrowski - Managing Director of Homeownership
  • Fred Bryant - Deputy Chief Counsel
  • Hil Richardson - Managing Director of Capital Markets

May 17, 2018

First-time Homebuyer? A Top Producing Loan Officer Can Help!

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The journey to becoming a first-time homeowner can seem overwhelming. Finding your potential home is the fun part – but going from shopping to owning is a process that is much easier with a trusted lending partner at your side.

Each year, VHDA honors those dedicated loan officers who have gone the extra mile to help Virginians achieve their dream of homeownership. VHDA’s Top Producing Loan Officers are experts in helping first-time homebuyers. For example, they have information on VHDA Programs like the popular “Loan Combo,” which includes down payment money and more. VHDA offers a variety of affordable mortgages for all types of homes including manufactured homes, townhomes and condos. A Top Producing Loan Officer is familiar with all these programs and can help you select the one appropriate for your situation.

They can give you advice on how to improve your credit score so that you quality for the loan you need.  They also offer VHDA’s free homebuyer class. Available online or in person, the class covers everything you need to know to become a successful homebuyer.

So if you are thinking about buying a home, or are ready to see how much you qualify for, reach out to a VHDA Top Producing Loan Officer today.

Learn more at vhda.com/TPLO.

May 16, 2018

VHDA Offers Programs for Military Service Members

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VHDA honors the service of current and past members of our military through a variety of programs. Here’s a rundown of the services that active duty, Reservists, National Guard, veterans and their families can find at VHDA:

  • Operation Homeownership – Free homebuyer classes geared especially for service members and their families, to help them become savvy homebuyers and owners. Classes are presented by VHDA’s Housing Education team, military financial educators and local area subject matter experts. Topics include Personal Finances, Credit and Credit Reporting, Working with a Lender, the Role of the Real Estate Agent, the Home Inspection, Loan Closing, and the benefits of developing a savings and spending plan. Operation Homeownership addresses the unique issues service members must consider before deciding to buy a home.
  • VA Home Loan Program – VHDA carries on a proud tradition that began in 1944 when President Franklin Roosevelt launched the Veterans Affairs Home Loan Program (also known as the GI Bill of Rights). Today, the VA Home Loan Program helps eligible and qualified active duty service members, veterans and survivors of veterans to obtain mortgages for up to 100 percent of a home’s sale price so they don’t have to spend years scrimping and saving to make a big down payment.
  • Granting Freedom (Accessibility Modification Grants) – This program provides grant money to help Virginia’s veterans and service members who were disabled by an injury in the line of duty. Grant funds can be used to install ramps, grab bars and other features to make their homes more comfortable and accessible. With a grant of up to $4,000 per residence or rental unit, recipients work one-on-one with an agent and a contractor to modify their home according to their needs. According to VHDA Grant Programs Officer Carolyn Coleman, “It’s a great feeling to be able to give back to those who have sacrificed … to protect and serve our country. In fiscal year 2017 alone, we provided assistance to 118 service members.” One of these grant recipients was SFC Sue Collins, now retired from the U.S. Army, who applied for funds in 2017 to install a seated tub in her home in Hampton, Va., to make bathing with a knee injury safer. She was pleased with the process and said, “Working with VHDA was awesome, and it couldn’t have been smoother. I wish more people knew about this grant.”
  • VirginiaHousingSearch.com – This free website is a big help to those searching for quality, affordable rental housing. The site includes a link to find veteran housing (rental homes whose landlords are interested in renting to veterans or Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) recipients). Visitors to the site can use a variety of filtering tools to find homes that will best suit their lifestyle, as well as accessibility features, if needed.
  • "How to be a Successful Renter” – Download this free eBook at vhda.com/RenterEd. It answers many questions renters have, such as how to find the right place to rent, navigating leases and applications, tenant rights and responsibilities, how to get a security deposit back, and much more.
  • Cell Phones for Soldiers – VHDA has participated in the Cell Phones for Soldiers no-cost recycling program since 2010 as part of our internal “Go Green Initiative” within our own buildings and the communities we serve. So far, we’ve donated 522 phones to recycle, which buys calling cards for our troops. Each phone valued at $5 equals an estimated 2.5 hours of free talk time. This effort was launched in 2004 by 12- and 13-year-old siblings Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, and to date has provided more than 300 million precious calling minutes for our troops around the world.

Learn more about VHDA’s programs and loans for the military at vhda.com/Military.

May 14, 2018

Operation Homeownership: VHDA and U.S. Military Celebrate 20th Year

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“Operation Homeownership” is the name of VHDA’s partnership with the U.S. military to provide free homebuyer classes for active duty personnel, reservists, veterans, National Guard and Department of Defense personnel and their dependents. It launched in 1998 and is still going strong. The program helps service members stationed in Virginia and their families, as they consider the prospect of homeownership.

We celebrated the 20-year anniversary of Operation Homeownership with a ceremony in Norfolk on May 14, 2018. The event was held at Nauticus and attended by representatives from military command, service personnel and their families, program volunteers and elected officials.

Chief Petty Officer Mario Santiago, who is now retired from the U.S. Navy after a long career, spoke to the group about how Operation Homeownership changed his life 20 years ago. After attending VHDA’s first military homebuyer class, he used what he learned to qualify for a VHDA mortgage and buy his first home, where he and his wife still live today.

Of course, military life can be unpredictable. Less than two weeks after Santiago and his family moved into their new home, he was deployed on sea duty — but he was prepared! “There was one more important thing that came with owning a home which I considered to be the end goal of Operation Homeownership, and that is the peace of mind owning a home gives to every service member when they deploy,” said Santiago. “Knowing that your family will be safe and protected in their own home while you are deployed is a priceless feeling that comforts you until you come back home.”

It takes a lot of committed people to keep Operation Homeownership running smoothly. The 20-year celebration at Nauticus gave us the opportunity to thank those who have helped make this program a success. We awarded plaques and medals to our Housing Heroes (the people who have helped coordinate classes on military installations), and we recognized individuals from the private sector who have volunteered countless hours to help teach.

Operation Homeownership began as a partnership with the U.S. Department of the Navy. Over time, it grew to include more than 3,700 participants from all service branches who attended more than 300 classes to become educated homebuyers and responsible homeowners.

VHDA’s housing education team works on-site with military financial educators to teach topics that include Personal Finances, Credit and Credit Reporting, Working with a Lender, the Role of the Real Estate Agent, the Home Inspection, Loan Closing, and the benefits of developing a savings and spending plan.

Operation Homeownership also addresses the unique issues military homebuyers face. For example, the military lifestyle is typically transient, so service members must decide if buying a home is a good idea for them, and have a Plan B in place in the event they must relocate. Qualifying for loans may be complicated by calculations of a military housing allowance/allotment and any pending retirement income. Military homebuyers also need to learn about the VA loan program’s benefits and eligibility requirements.

Service members who attend Operation Homeownership classes have the opportunity to meet local real estate agents, lenders, home inspectors and other industry professionals in the classes. These professionals are able to provide valuable insights on neighborhoods, schools, recreation options and more. This is especially beneficial to recently deployed service members who are new to the area. Those who complete the class receive a Certificate of Completion and a copy of VHDA’s Homebuyer Handbook for future reference.

Operation Homeownership is just one of many programs VHDA offers the military. Other initiatives we sponsor or participate in include:
  • VA Home Loan Program. 
  • Granting Freedom program, providing grant money to help disabled service members and veterans make their homes more accessible. 
  • VirginiaHousingSearch.com, a housing search site listing homes and apartments for rent throughout the state, including housing for veterans.
  • Free eBook on “How to be a Successful Renter.”
  • Cell Phones for Soldiers to provide free phone time to those on deployment.

Learn more about VHDA’s programs and loans for the military at vhda.com/Military.