July 31, 2014

Tax Credits Fund New Life for Old Hotel

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The National Affordable Housing Management Association recently recognized the former Hotel Warwick in Newport News as one of the nation's best affordable housing communities.

Built in 1928, the historic hotel had been vacant for years when it was acquired in 1995 by Community Housing Partners and converted into 88 single-room occupancy (SRO) affordable, permanent, supportive apartments for previously homeless individuals.

Financed in part by Low-Income Housing Tax Credits awarded by VHDA, the 2013 rehabilitation of the Warwick SRO included a new roof, updated plumbing, new windows, HVAC upgrades and other energy-efficiency improvements resulting in EarthCraft Virginia certification and a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency. The extensive renovation also included improved spaces for property management and resident services, a rehabilitated community room and new community kitchen.

© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

July 30, 2014

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.


HO921 Symposium: Homeownership in an Era of Change

(RECAP: As the housing crisis of the past decade shows signs of easing, a new era in homeownership is emerging. New technology, counselor certification and the qualified mortgage are just a few of the topics defining the way stakeholders in the housing industry will now conduct business.)
http://www.nw.org/network/ORL14Change.asp

Should Housing Policy Support Renters More?

(RECAP: The American public is now divided on whether homeownership is a good long-term investment, and a majority now see homeownership as less appealing than it once was. Should housing policy be more balanced, supporting rental housing and homeownership on a more equal footing? Read the discussion.)
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/07/15/should-housing-policy-support-renters-more


USICH Creates Checklist for Assessing Housing First Projects

(RECAP: The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness has developed a Housing First checklist for practitioners, policymakers and government officials. The checklist has two sections. The first is for the housing program or project level. The second is for elements at the community level.)
http://www.housingfinance.com/homeless-housing/usich-develops-checklist-for-housing-first-projects_o.aspx?dfpzone=news


How City Park Design Contributes to Resident Health

(RECAP: City parks are more than pretty outdoor spaces — research shows they can also be critical to improving a community’s health. In fact, from the earliest days of their implementation, parks have been tools for boosting air quality, encouraging safe physical recreation, reducing disease and discouraging crime.)
http://chicago.urbdezine.com/2014/07/16/how-city-park-design-contributes-to-resident-health/

Outdoor Art Takes Center Stage

(RECAP: For almost two years now, Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum has been putting classic paintings in very public, very outdoor places. The idea, called “Off the Wall,” came from the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, which launched its “Inside/Out” program three years ago.)
http://www.governing.com/topics/urban/gov-july-2014-last-look.html

How Low-Income Commuters View Cycling

(RECAP: If transportation systems should speak to the reality and desires of communities they serve, findings suggest policies might need to do a better job of listening to the poor. Here are three policy lessons for cities trying to achieve more transport equity.)
http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/07/how-low-income-commuters-view-cycling/374390/

July 29, 2014

Four Factors I considered when choosing a home, Part 5

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An article titled “The Cheapest Generation” stirred up a conversation about what led some of our young professionals to choose their current or future homes. We’re pleased to present this series, Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home, to shed light on what homebuyers may be looking for. Feel free to share your own factors or thoughts in the blog comments section!

Name: Brooke Scott
Hometown: Midlothian, VA
Current: Mechanicsville, VA
Education: Bridgewater College
Job Title: Program Liaison in Executive Services

Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home

My husband and I purchased our first home as a couple in April of 2013. He was already a homeowner and I was a first-time homebuyer. In many ways, I was glad to have someone by my side who knew the ins and outs. We ended up buying a short-sale (that’s a whole different blog post). The four factors we considered when choosing a home were: affordability, location, charisma and room.

Affordability: Our real estate agent referred us to several mortgage lenders. We contacted a lender for a mortgage pre-qualification so we would know about how much we could offer on a house. Though we were pre-qualified for up to a certain amount, we set our own budget after factoring other anticipated expenses.

Location: Location, location, location. It’s not a revelation. We didn’t want to commute more than 45 minutes to work, he felt strongly about staying in the town where he grew up, and we want our future children to attend quality schools. For that reason, Hanover County was our only option.

Charisma: I’m a feelings person. Literally, I am an ENFP on the Meyers-Briggs Personality Type. So a home has to feel and resemble me. Some people can turn anything into a beautiful living space. I don’t think I have that talent, so the bones of the home mattered. We like nature and having space to breathe. We used Zillow and the MLS to look for homes. All it took was a few photos to determine if it had our names on it. When we saw this house, we knew it was “the one.”

Room: We needed room to grow. Sharing 900 square feet was fine for a brief moment, but, for our sanity and to one day have a family, we knew it was important to move somewhere with space to fill.

© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

July 23, 2014

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy

(RECAP: On September 15 and 16, 2014, hundreds of private-sector experts, elected officials, scholars and industry leaders will gather in Washington, DC to discuss and debate America’s housing policy. Breakout sessions will be organized around three key themes: housing finance reform, affordable rental housing and homeownership.)
http://www.housingwire.com/events/281-housing-america-s-future-new-directions-for-national-policy

A Great Place to Put Community Health Clinics: Fire Stations

(RECAP: A new firehouse clinic in California shows how an abundant but under-used public resource can be made even more useful for a community. The genius of the idea is that fire stations are generally under-used facilities (in the sense that firefighters are either waiting around or out doing their jobs), and every city's got at least one.)
http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2014/06/a-great-place-to-put-community-health-clinics-fire-stations/373533/

Housing Affordability Is Our Problem, Not Their Problem

(RECAP: If it’s not “their” problem but rather “our” problem, there’s a growing opportunity to draw more—and different—people into discussions around increasing housing supply, preserving existing affordable housing, and maintaining and expanding government programs and policies that have been successful in expanding the availability of affordable housing.) 
http://www.rooflines.org/3784/housing_affordability_is_our_problem_not_their_problem/

Finding the right path through design review

(RECAP: Municipalities—searching for ways to better shape development — must tailor their approach to the community’s size and professional resources. That’s where design review comes in.)
http://bettercities.net/article/finding-right-path-through-design-review-21182

10 Things You May Not Know about the ADA

(RECAP: In preparation for the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July, the U.S. Census Bureau released its collection of the most recent data pertaining to Americans with disabilities. The numbers are striking. There are more people with disabilities living in America than the entire population of Canada.)
https://www.disability.gov/disability-connection-newsletter-july-2014/

How Can We Make Cities Quieter?

(RECAP: Noisy traffic might be just as dangerous to public health as traffic accidents. So how do we make the world a quieter place? We could start by thinking about the acoustics of new buildings and street networks—in effect, making noise reduction part of the city planning process.)
http://www.fastcodesign.com/3032603/slicker-city/how-can-we-make-cities-quieter

July 22, 2014

Four Factors I considered when choosing a home, Part 4

1 comment:
An article titled “The Cheapest Generation” stirred up a conversation about what led some of our young professionals to choose their current or future homes. We’re pleased to present this series, Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home, to shed light on what homebuyers may be looking for. Feel free to share your own factors or thoughts in the blog comments section!

Name: Jeb Hoge
Hometown: Tullahoma, TN
Current: Midlothian, VA
Education: Rhodes College, Memphis, TN
Job Title: Technical Writer

July 17, 2014

Reaching Out to Hispanic Homebuyers

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As we discussed in a previous blog article, when you have a great product that few know about, it's essential to get the word out.

In March 2014, VHDA launched a marketing campaign to promote our free Spanish language Homebuyer class. The campaign started in Richmond, using three media outlets: Telemundo (the area’s only local Spanish language TV station) and radio stations WBTK 1380AM and WVNZ 1320 AM.

July 16, 2014

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.


A learning series from the Financial Capability Demonstration Project

(RECAP: NeighborWorks America's new series of project briefs examine financial coaching as an approach to effectively integrate and support financial capability services in your organization.)

http://nw.org/network/neighborworksProgs/financialfitness/fincapbriefs.asp


Affordable, Mid-Term, Housing for All

(RECAP: Affordable housing and neighborhood development should be compatible goals. Creating mid-term affordable housing for low-income families for a discrete amount of time will extend the benefit of affordable housing to more families.)
http://www.planetizen.com/node/70096

The Next Big Thing In Urban Planning? Backyard Cottages

(RECAP: Backyard cottages can at least augment, though certainly not replace, the conventional infill strategy of big apartment buildings. Zoning laws that once prevented this type of development are quickly changing to encourage it.)
http://www.fastcodesign.com/3032633/slicker-city/the-next-big-thing-in-urban-planning-backyard-cottages

What to Do When Environmental and Housing Needs Collide

(RECAP: Some developments really can have negative environmental impacts, particularly where existing infrastructure will not adequately support it. However, environmental issues are also used sometimes to disguise other reasons for opposition to affordable housing.)
http://www.rooflines.org/3767/what_to_do_when_environmental_and_housing_needs_collide/

11 Projects That Prove Affordable Housing and Good Design Go Together

(RECAP: The best social housing being designed and built today features a combination of creative social programming, cutting-edge sustainability strategies and a keen aesthetic awareness to rival anything available on the private market.)
http://www.shareable.net/blog/11-projects-that-prove-affordable-housing-and-good-design-go-together

Dispersing Millennials 

(RECAP: There is no question that the millennial population has risen in urban cores in recent years. Yet the growth in the younger population in urban cores masks far larger increases in the same population group in other parts of major metropolitan areas and in the nation in general.)
http://www.newgeography.com/content/004410-dispersing-millennials

July 15, 2014

Four Factors I considered when choosing a home, Part 3

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An article titled “The Cheapest Generation” stirred up a conversation about what led some of our young professionals to choose their current or future homes. We’re pleased to present this series, Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home, to shed light on what homebuyers may be looking for. Feel free to share your own factors or thoughts in the blog comments section!

Name: Katrina Minor
Hometown: Ashland, VA
Current: Varina, VA
Education: Virginia State University, Bachelors of Science in Psychology; Masters of Human Resource Management from the University of Richmond
Job Title: Human Resources Program Support Trainee

July 10, 2014

Virginia Housing Search Tops 100,000

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VirginiaHousingSearch.com, an online rental housing locator service launched in 2009 by VHDA, reached a milestone earlier this year when it surpassed 100,000 registered units. Participation by property managers and owners is growing, due in part to more awareness of the website.

To keep the momentum going, VHDA is partnering with the cities of Roanoke and Lynchburg and the Fairfax County/Falls Church CSB to promote this free online service through a digital marketing campaign.

The goal of the campaign is to encourage landlords and local organizations to post more of their accessible housing units on VirginiaHousingSearch.com. The Blue Ridge Independent Living Center, the City of Roanoke's Planning, Building and Development department, and the Lynchburg area Center for Independent Living are using online ads to promote the website and the many ways it can benefit both landlords and renters.


© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

July 9, 2014

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.


Some Cities Are Spurring the End of Sprawl

(RECAP: A new report claims there's an historic shift in suburbs from being car-dependent to walkable places, blurring the lines between "urban" and "suburban.")
http://www.governing.com/topics/urban/gov-end-of-sprawl.html

Lifting the Voices of Housing Voucher Holders

(RECAP: Logistically, it is difficult for voucher tenants to be heard in the policy arena or within their local housing authorities. That is even more true for families in mobility programs. Housingmobility.org aims to address this gap.)
http://www.rooflines.org/3750/lifting_the_voices_of_housing_voucher_holders/

By Design | The Franchising of Architecture

(RECAP: Building in a place where you don’t live, it’s easy to experiment, even to be outlandish. On the other hand, an architect building in his hometown is aware that he, his neighbors, his colleagues and his friends will have to live with the result.)
http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/11/gehry-norman-foster-moshe-safdie-starchitects-locatects-franchising-of-architecture/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=1&

Forbes: New Models Give Rise to Senior Housing Alternatives

(RECAP: Reimagining what a community looks like and applying technology to meet home health care needs can help seniors stay in their homes for longer, according to The National Aging in Place Council, Forbes reports.)
http://seniorhousingnews.com/2014/06/17/forbes-new-models-give-rise-to-senior-housing-alternatives/

How to make cycletracks public art

(RECAP: Most cycletracks around the US use flexposts or concrete curbs to separate the bike lane from car traffic. A few use other methods like parking stops or zebras, but there are better-looking options available.)
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/23256/how-to-make-cycletracks-public-art/

FCC Launches American Sign Language Support Line for People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

(RECAP: People using videophones can be connected to an ASL Consumer Specialist who can help file informal complaints, provide information and answer questions about technology-related laws and regulations.)
https://www.disability.gov/fcc-launches-american-sign-language-support-line-people-deaf-hard-hearing/

July 8, 2014

Four Factors I considered when choosing a home, Part 2

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An article titled “The Cheapest Generation” stirred up a conversation about what led some of our young professionals to choose their current or future homes. We’re pleased to present this series, Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home, to shed light on what homebuyers may be looking for. Feel free to share your own factors or thoughts in the blog comments section!


Name: Mario Wells
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Current: Highland Springs, VA
Education: VCU, BA/BS Political Science and Criminal Justice; MURP with a Certificate in Urban Revitalization
Job Title: Community Outreach Program Support Trainee

Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home

Home is where the heart is, but what if you don’t know where it is? It seems everyone wants to live in an area where there’s a low crime rate, great schools, a warm sunny climate, affordable housing and plentiful jobs. However, individuals and families must be able to keep in mind the choices that will allow them to grow within their community.

This September, my fiancée and I will be moving to the Manchester Neighborhood District of Richmond. In recent years, the Manchester section of Richmond has seen an influx of new developments such as Legend Brewery, refurbished industrial building loft condominiums, SunTrust's Riverview Center and the Plant Zero Café. The continued revitalization efforts of this neighborhood have made this an attractive location for people to move to.

Here are our four deciding factors in choosing our new home:

Shorter commute time to work: This was the most important factor that we considered in choosing our new place. On average, we spend a total of one hour and forty minutes a day traveling from Eastern Henrico to downtown Richmond and Chesterfield County. The new location will also help us save monthly expenses on gas and tolls.

Closer proximity to my family: There’s nothing like going over to your parents for great meals and great talks. Having my parents live five minutes away from us will be an added bonus. While some may move as far away from their parents as possible, having mine close by really means a lot to me.

Experience downtown urban living: Since my fiancée is not from the Richmond Metropolitan area, she will experience living in an urban setting for the first time in her life. Although there was some hesitancy with her moving away from a suburban setting, she welcomes the opportunities and challenges of starting our lives as newlyweds living in the big city.

Volunteer with a neighborhood civic association: Volunteering with a neighborhood civic association is something that I have wanted to do since I was a kid. Becoming involved not only supports the work of the community but also can garner awareness and goodwill for community members. If given the opportunity, I plan to serve on the local civic association board.



© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

July 3, 2014

Discovering PrezCat: A Database of Affordable Housing Preservation Policies

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PrezCat is an online, searchable catalogue of state and local affordable housing preservation policies created in a joint effort shared by the National Housing Trust and Novogradac & Company LLP. Launched in early 2014, PrezCat allows affordable housing preservation developers, housing finance authorities, housing advocates, state and local decision makers and other stakeholders to easily search and query policies, data and programs that are most relevant to their short- and long-term needs.

July 2, 2014

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Rocking the walking: Millennials drive new urban spaces

(RECAP: In many cities, planners and residents who once opposed dense urban spaces are shifting gears. In places such as White Flint, Md., near Washington, D.C., neighborhood groups mobilized around a major new development and demanded higher density "because they wanted great urbanism that their kids could walk to.")
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/17/walkable-urban-places-findings/10623587/

How Good Data Can Help Low-Income Elderly Age in Community

(RECAP: We need to envision a new kind of housing provider that recognizes how prevalent aging in community is becoming, understands the challenges facing low-income older adults and wants to be part of the solution.)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robyn-stone/how-good-data-can-help-lo_b_5488917.html

The Effects of NIMBY and How to Overcome Them

(RECAP: This is Part 4 in a series on NIMBY and affordable housing, and continues a discussion of the results of a survey of affordable housing developers in New York State on their experiences of community opposition to their development projects.)
http://www.rooflines.org/3744/the_effects_of_nimby_and_how_to_overcome_them/

StoryCorps Looks To Record Disability Experience

(RECAP: As the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act approaches next year, a new project is launching to encourage people within the disability community to share their stories.)
http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2014/06/16/storycorps-disability/19443/

27 Musicians And Their Hits Reimagined As Buildings

(RECAP: What if you could live inside your favorite songs, from "Bohemian Rhapsody" to "Space Oddity?" These sonic fortresses—from sleekly designed small-scale homes to funkier buildings that could be apartments or symphony halls—come together in a city truly built on rock 'n' roll.)
http://www.fastcodesign.com/3032014/27-musicians-and-their-hits-reimagined-as-buildings

July 1, 2014

Four Factors I considered when choosing a home, Part 1

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An article titled “The Cheapest Generation” stirred up a conversation about what led some of our young professionals to choose their current or future homes. We’re pleased to present this series, Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home, to shed light on what homebuyers may be looking for. Feel free to share your own factors or thoughts in the blog comments section!

Name: Micah Kemp
Hometown: New York, NY
Current: Richmond, VA
Education: James Madison University
Job Title: Single Family Servicing Program Support Trainee

Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home

Looking at new places to live is a lot of fun. Each place has different features that make it exciting to imagine yourself there. When it came time for my wife and me to look for a place to live, I was lucky enough to find myself in a position to buy a home. Before we started, we sat down and thought about what our priorities were for a new home. We found we had four main factors we considered: proximity to activities, adequate yard, quality of home and resale value.

Proximity to activities: Some people might call these amenities or some other fancy word, but I like activities. We wanted to be close enough to do stuff: go for long walks, play in a park, grab dinner down the street or walk to go see a movie. Even with all those desires, we wanted to be close to the action, but not necessarily so close that we were overrun by pedestrians out for a walk.

Adequate yard: We wanted a place with a large enough yard for a small garden and a place for a dog to stretch his legs. My wife and I are both pet people, so having somewhere we could let a dog out to play was important. Eventually we settled on a place with a rather small yard, but in very close proximity to a huge park (“our yard 2.0”). We figured we could deal with the smaller immediate confines if we could walk a hundred yards and be somewhere with huge amounts of grass I wouldn’t have to mow twice a week.

Quality of home: We defined the quality of home as the solid makeup of the building itself (including piping, flooring, etc.) and the overall physical appeal of the home. We wanted an attractive place to live that we could decorate and which we know was built to last.

Resale value: As newer entrants to the workforce, we knew we would likely be relocating before too long to find new work. While we’re both very much invested in our jobs and our home, we wanted to be sure that this wasn’t a place that we would lose money on if we sold it or needed to rent it out in five years. We took a long look at housing trends within the city, and got professional opinions of the home’s resale value to make sure we were making a smart financial decision.


© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.