October 29, 2013

VHDA as a Public Housing Agency

Today's blog post comes to us from VHDA's Diana Crosswhite, Policy Specialist for the Housing Choice Voucher Program department, explaining one of VHDA's secondary roles for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Most people are familiar with VHDA as a lending agency that provides mortgage loans for single and multifamily dwellings. However, many may not realize that VHDA also administers a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, which also makes VHDA a public housing agency or PHA, among its many other roles.

Funding for the HCV Program comes directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is intended to provide rental assistance to extremely-low and very-low income families. HUD defines an extremely-low income family as earning 30 percent of median family income for an area, and a very-low income family as earning 50 percent of median family income for an area. HUD publishes an updated listing of income limits every year.

In 1976, the Virginia General Assembly asked VHDA to apply for voucher funding on behalf of localities that were not eligible for the HUD program. VHDA contacted each county and city in Virginia to gauge their interest in the HCV Program. The first localities to indicate their interest included Campbell, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Lynchburg and Martinsville. The program grew to serve over 13,000 families by the year 2000. Today, VHDA has a voucher allocation of approximately 9,600 and partners with 32 agencies across Virginia to administer the voucher program.

VHDA is only one of 44 PHAs in Virginia reporting directly to HUD. Many people assume that VHDA has oversight of the other PHAs in Virginia. However, each PHA reports either to the HUD Richmond Field Office or the HUD District of Columbia Field Office. Any questions or concerns related to a particular PHA should be directed to the appropriate HUD field office.
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