June 25, 2013

Recap of What’s Ahead for Housing: A Symposium on Federal Housing Policy Change - Hosted by Housing Virginia

On Friday, June 14, Housing Virginia hosted its first Symposium on Federal Housing Policy Change at the Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville with almost 200 housing executives and officials in attendance! Kicked off by Kit Hale, the Chair of Housing Virginia, the action-packed agenda included a video presentation featuring Senator Mark Warner; the view from Washington with a panel of national housing experts; the view from Richmond with Susan Dewey, VHDA and Bill Shelton, DHCD; a working lunch with HUD Deputy Secretary, Maurice Jones; and three breakout sessions on critical affordable housing topics.

At the federal level, the discussions primarily centered on the potential impacts of government-sponsored enterprise (GSE), mortgage finance and tax reform, and the very real impacts of the sequester and federal budget reductions, as well as the regulatory impacts of Dodd/Frank on housing.

On the state level, Susan Dewey and Bill Shelton shared information on the importance of cost containment with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and the critical nature of partnerships with state housing entities, private sector organizations, local housing agencies and nonprofits.  Also, information was provided on the importance of the State Housing Policy, focusing on the homeless, special needs populations and the coordination of resources like those made available through the newly created Housing Trust Fund.

Maurice Jones focused his comments on critical changes in the housing markets and the role of the Administration in addressing the housing crisis, the impact of the federal budget reductions on HUD programs, and the results of the sequester on housing programs.

The day ended with three breakout sessions hosted by a variety of housing experts: 1) Homeownership:  Finance, Foreclosure and Beyond; 2) Affordable Housing Programs: Increasing Needs/Dwindling Resources; and 3) Neighborhood Renewal and the Fiscal Impact on Localities.

Housing Virginia did a splendid job of providing a successful, well-structured and engaging dialogue on the enormous changes evolving as a result of ongoing federal housing policy changes!  Symposium materials can be located at the Housing Virginia website.

Contributed by Herb Hill, Director of Policy, Planning & Communication for VHDA.
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