March 28, 2013

Alexandria’s Housing Master Plan is up for Review!

No comments:

The City of Alexandria embarked on an ambitious planning endeavor over two years ago to create a new Housing Master Plan for the city. Alexandria has been subjected to increasing real estate costs and substantial regional development pressures over the past decade. As a result of this, there has been a dramatic reduction in existing market affordable housing in the city, plus reduced opportunities for new affordable housing development.  In response to this situation, the Master Plan is intended to guide future development and preservation of affordable housing, community diversity, and economic sustainability over the next 20 years. A draft plan has now been developed and is undergoing community review.

From Alexandria's Office of Housing

The Process and What's In the Plan

March 21, 2013

Building Resilient Communities through Small-Scale Living

No comments:
To build safe, vibrant communities, there should be a continuous effort to promote sustainable methods within existing or newly developed neighborhoods. This focus on sustainable communities is centered around the idea of establishing better land-use efficiency, using alternative green construction and maximizing resources. One solution that has garnered attention is the concept of the Pocket Neighborhood

Developed by architect Ross Chaplin, these neighborhoods are clusters of neighborhood houses or apartments. Currently, there are several of these developments in the United States. A typical pocket neighborhood consists of eight to twelve households. These units are centered around an open space - a garden courtyard, a pedestrian street, a series of joined backyards or an alley. These units can be built in urban, suburban or rural areas. Such developments encourage resident interaction and stewardship in the neighborhood.

No comments:

March 19, 2013

What to Know When Applying for a VHDA Multifamily Loan

No comments:

Number One: Site Control

Location, location, location. The old phrase is most relevant when making an application. To get the process started, you need to have site control of the property.

There are three ways to obtain site control:

A) You already own the property. Obviously, this is the most secure position.

B) You have a valid contract on the property. A "valid" contract is one that puts a deposit from you at risk should you not be able to close the transaction. Some contract contingencies are acceptable and prudent. They include due diligence with respect to environmental issues, obtaining financing, verifying compatible zoning with your intended use and doing a market analysis on the potential demand for your rental units.

C) You have an option on the property that "ties up" the property while you complete some due diligence or have other potential pieces of real estate under consideration.

Number Two: Understand the Demand

March 14, 2013

Disabled, renting and looking for unit modification assistance?

No comments:
Then look no further! VHDA offers a Rental Unit Accessibility Modification Grant that assists renters with making upgrades to their units so that they are more accessible. All you have to do is find an approved agent to assist you with the application process, or contact me to be put in touch with an agent.

March 12, 2013

THE 2013 NOVA Housing Expo Is This Saturday, March 16, in Falls Church

No comments:

Know anyone looking for an affordable place to live in Northern Virginia? Then tell them to visit the 2013 Northern Virginia Housing Expo this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This annual event, which rotates throughout Northern Virginia, is being held this year in Falls Church. The Expo is a great way to check out free workshops and exhibits that make it easy to learn more about homeownership opportunities and resources — including location options and how to be prepared for buying or renting. You’ll find a list of exhibitors and free workshops at

March 11, 2013

New Fund to Link Housing and Health Care | Affordable Housing Finance

No comments:

It looks like 2013 is finally going to be the year housing and health care start getting linked together in a big way. A partnership between Morgan Stanley, The Kresge Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) has received a $100 million investment fund to build housing with health services. Find out the specifics in Affordable Housing Finance's post on the New Fund to Link Housing and Health Care.

March 7, 2013

Modification Grant Can Improve Daily Life for People with Disabilities

No comments:

We’re all born with a desire for independence. When physical disabilities threaten that independence, improved accessibility is one key to restoring it. But, improving accessibility — especially in rental housing — is often easier said than done.

Landlords are required by fair housing laws to permit modifications to an apartment to make it barrier-free. However, the renter usually bears the cost of these modifications, which can be substantial. Fortunately, help is available through VHDA’s Rental Unit Modification Grant Program.


March 5, 2013

A New Housing Paradigm

No comments:

You may have noticed that there’s an increasing focus on the challenges of providing safe and affordable housing for extremely low-income (ELI) households in Virginia. In housing parlance, ELI means folks with a household income at or below 30% of the median for their area and adjusted for family size. These households often include people with special needs, such as the frail elderly, disabled, homeless and ex-offenders.