November 28, 2014

Top Producing Mortgage Loan Officers Recognized by VHDA

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The Virginia Housing Development Authority recently recognized 50 mortgage loan officers across the state for originating the most VHDA loans during the past year to help provide safe, affordable homes for Virginians.

“These loan officers have done a great job of helping us meet our affordable housing goals,” said Michele Watson, Director of VHDA Homeownership Programs. “In addition to originating loans using VHDA’s products, they have enthusiastically embraced our affordable first-time homebuyer and alternative loan options to help more Virginians realize the dream of homeownership.”

November 26, 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.


Symposium: Exponential Impact: Connecting Health, Housing and Community 

(RECAP: Explore tools, resources and best practices to expand your impact in the communities that you serve, and enable you to efficiently and effectively tackle funding and partnership opportunities. The one-day symposium will be held in Washington, DC, at the Washington Marriott Marquis on December 10.)

Working With Locals—A Senior Living Developer’s Friend and Foe

(RECAP: As conversations about building senior housing play out in local media outlets nationwide, developers who secure prime locations for their senior housing pipelines say marketing strategies that educate local community members about senior living are key to moving plans forward.)

Project-Based VASH: Powering the Push to End Chronic Homelessness Among Veterans

(RECAP: In order to substantially end homelessness among veterans by 2015, we need to leverage more project-based VASH to build more supportive housing developments for veterans. While construction takes time, new developments are the foundation of a long-term solution.)

Small cities and towns are urban places, too

(RECAP: The Washington Post recently told the story of Drew Murphy — an educated young man living the walkable urban life like many in his generation, with a twist. He doesn't live in the city.)

Opinions on Housing 

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

What happens when housing for the poor is remodeled for Millennials

(RECAP: Widely applied, the Supreme Court case of Koontz vs. St. Johns River Water Management District could hamper programs of many kinds that cities run requiring developers to create affordable housing or to pay into affordable housing funds.)

Being a renter doesn’t make you a financial failure

(RECAP: Homeownership has for decades been key to the achieving the American dream. But should that dream be deferred in our still recovering economy?)

November 25, 2014

New Development Helps APAH Celebrate 25th Anniversary

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It seems only fitting that while celebrating its 25th year of operation, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) continues to do what it does best — help create more affordable housing opportunities. APAH’s current undertaking is the redevelopment of Carlyn Springs Apartments. This Ballston-area apartment community, built in 1963, was originally purchased and renovated by APAH in 1997. Funding for this redevelopment, renamed The Springs Apartments, comes in part from Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and VHDA mortgage programs.
Rendering: KGD Architecture

November 21, 2014

On Dec. 9th, Learn How YOU Can Overcome NIMBYism!

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How can YOU overcome NIMBYism when developing or planning affordable housing? What about when undertaking non-residential community development? When do you need to start planning? Are there stakeholders in your community who can help? On December 9, join VHDA and Housing Virginia at the Virginia Housing Center for the answers and ideas that you need to move affordable housing development forward in your community.


NIMBY, "Not In My Back Yard", is a pervasive challenge for many affordable housing and community development endeavors. Housing Virginia will walk you through the process of overcoming NIMBYism with this innovative training. This workshop combines presentations and interactive exercises that will provide tools for overcoming opposition and building support for affordable housing.

Workshop topics include:
  • Understanding the causes of NIMBY
  • Using data to make your case
  • Building trust and communicating effectively
  • Finding supporters and using them strategically
  • Case studies from seasoned practitioners

Who should attend:
Developers, housing providers, planning staff, planning commissioners, program administrators, lenders, funders and elected officials.

This $95 session runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes lunch. Space is limited, so register today!
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

November 20, 2014

Three P's of Community Transformation

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Today’s post is courtesy of Mike Hawkins, Managing Director of VHDA’s Community Outreach division. It originally appeared in VHDA’s Fall 2014 Community Outreach Report.

Typically, the development and availability of a variety of housing options is an important component in revitalizing and transforming communities. However, the ultimate success of revitalization efforts often hinges on what I call the three P’s of community transformation.

November 19, 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.


HUD Guidance on Using CDBG for Code Enforcement

(RECAP: HUD’s Notice CPD-14-16 provides guidance on using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for code enforcement activities. The Notice reiterates the provisions that allow CDBG to be used for code inspection and enforcement only if carried out in deteriorated or deteriorating areas in which code enforcement may be expected to arrest an area’s decline.)

As Boomers Age, Walkable Cities Become More Important

(RECAP: Seniors aren't going to walkable neighborhoods (in part because of high housing prices), so walkable neighborhoods will have to go to seniors. That’s why the lobbying powerhouse of the AARP is emerging as a key advocate for a built environment less oriented toward private automobiles.)

Private Money Successfully Fixing Public Housing

(RECAP: HUD is investing in an innovative tool designed to preserve access to long-term and quality affordable housing. The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) allows public housing agencies access to the same private financing already available to private owners of affordable housing units.)

This Home Makes All Its Own Energy. Will We All Soon Be Living In One?

(RECAP: How close can we come to building affordable houses, on a mass scale, that produce as much energy as residents tend to consume during a given year? This goal reaches beyond the increasingly common motif of "greener" living. It's aimed at the far harder ideal of true sustainability.)

Opinions on Housing 

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

The Next Housing Crisis May Be Sooner Than You Think

(RECAP: More and more American households, especially middle- and working-class people, are having a harder time affording housing. It’s time to impose stricter underwriting standards and encourage the dense, mixed-use, more flexible housing options that the knowledge economy requires.)

FHA Policies Discourage Density

(RECAP: At a time when people are flocking to cities, federal policies still heavily promote single-family homes and make it harder for people to buy condos.)

November 18, 2014

Virginia Housing Search Expands Capabilities for Veterans

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VirginiaHousingSearch.com, an online rental housing locator service launched in 2009 by VHDA, has been growing steadily. Earlier this year, the site reached a milestone of more than 100,000 registered units!

An exciting new development for VirginiaHousingSearch.com is a specialized Veterans option that helps landlords promote themselves as housing providers for veterans. This complements Virginia’s 100-Day Challenge to house veterans experiencing homelessness and makes it easier for landlords to connect with veterans and organizations that support veterans in need of housing assistance.

As always, VirginiaHousingSearch.com is provided at no cost to either those looking for housing or listing a property. VHDA sponsors this service as a way to provide a comprehensive online listing of available rental properties across Virginia.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

November 12, 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.

Trailer Parks: An Underdog Solution to the Housing Crisis

(RECAP: Some may judge these pre-fab homes as shoddily built, cheap eyesores in a country that’s increasingly eschewing the suburbs for walkable urban areas. But pre-fabricated homes just might be part of the solution to America's affordable housing crisis.)

Closing the Workforce Housing Gap

(RECAP: The demand for affordable workforce rental housing is outpacing supply. Research shows that around 440,000 additional apartments will be needed each year for the next 10 years to meet coming demand; the historical average is around 300,000 a year.)

Uber Comes to Senior Living With New UberASSIST Rides

(RECAP: At just five years since its inception, Uber has revolutionized how we get a ride from Point A to Point B. It has become a household name, and valued at an estimated $18 billion. And now, the company is taking aim at the way seniors get around.)

The Cooperative Solution

(RECAP: Cooperatives align closely with the goals and values of community developers and deserve more attention as an economic development strategy.)

Support Urged For Families Weighing Out-Of-Home Placements

(RECAP: In a clinical report this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics said doctors should be well-versed in community-based options available to families with children who have disabilities and guide them in how to select an appropriate setting.)

Homes for the homeless...inside billboards

(RECAP: Billboard ads are expensive to construct, maintain and rent, but they don't serve any functional purposes -- so Michal Polacek redesigned them to house the homeless. His concept would create two-room wooden billboard structures fitted with noise and thermal insulation.) 

Opinions on Housing 

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

Why Middle-Class Americans Can't Afford to Live in Liberal Cities

(RECAP: There is a deep literature tying liberal residents to illiberal housing policies that create affordability crunches for the middle class.)

Blue Markets Face Bigger Housing Challenges Than Red Markets

(RECAP: Because blue markets are less affordable, have lower homeownership and have greater income inequality, political leaders in Democratic-leaning and Republican-leaning metros may push for different policies. The differences may add to the challenge of reaching agreement on national housing policies.)

Is Urban Revitalization Without Gentrification Possible?

(RECAP: New discussions of turning existing urban neighborhoods into “ecodistricts” may just be gentrification in a green dress. How can cities encourage growth but also provide a sense of continuity? How can over-taxed city planning departments accommodate the forces of change while also respecting local communities and cultures?)

November 10, 2014

Thanks to Boot Camp, 100-Day Challenge Off to a Great Start

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Today’s post is a collaboration between VHDA’s Erika Jones-Haskins and Virginia Williams of the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness.

As a member of both the Governor’s Homeless Outcomes Committee and the state’s Veteran’s Homeless Subcommittee, VHDA is proud to actively support the Commonwealth’s goal of ending veterans’ homelessness by 2015. As part of this support, we provided funding for a multi-community Veteran’s Housing Boot Camp, held at the end of September, which kicked off a 100-Day Challenge to house 370 homeless vets.

November 6, 2014

Housing First: Veteran Centered Outreach

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Today’s post is courtesy of VHDA Community Outreach Officer Erika Jones-Haskins.

People often wonder, “How can you take someone who has lived on the streets and immediately put them in their own apartment? Don’t they need a transition? How does that work?” The idea of immediately housing individuals with a history of chronic homelessness is known as Housing First. Although many people might not be aware of this program, which started in 2006, it’s proven to be an effective tool in the efforts of many communities to end chronic homelessness. To find out how it works, take a look at the video produced by the Veterans Administration. It provides a great overview of the Housing First model and how it’s being used as part of the goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015.
Video not showing? Click here to view: http://youtu.be/BGNE7m_BFvE

To learn more about our programs for Veterans and Members of the U.S. Military, follow these links:

Home Loans for Veterans and Members of the U.S. Military
VHDA has several home mortgages available for active duty and retired military personnel.

Grants for Virginia's Disabled Veterans
Learn how our "Granting Freedom" fund helps Virginia's disabled veterans pay for ramps, stair chairs, grab bars and other improvements to make their homes more accessible.

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

VHDA-supported Developments Recognized at Governor’s Housing Conference

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Congratulations to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing and the Better Housing Coalition for their award-winning dedication to creating innovative and effective solutions for Virginia’s diverse housing needs. We’re proud we could help them in their efforts by providing some of the financing for Arlington Mill Residences, winner of “Best Housing Development,” and Somanath Senior Apartments at Beckstoffers, winner of “Best Affordable Housing Energy Conservation Effort.” Both of these affordable housing nonprofits received these well-deserved recognitions during the 2014 Governor’s Housing Conference.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

November 5, 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.


EPA Invites Communities to Apply for Assistance to Build Resilience, Pursue Revitalization 

(RECAP: The EPA is offering this technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program to help communities across the country, including underserved communities, coastal communities, small cities and rural areas, adopt sustainable growth strategies.) 

Veterans have created a housing boom

(RECAP: There may be fewer military boots on the ground overseas, but here at home major campaigns in the housing market have been directed this year at veterans. Big banks and mortgage companies have stepped up efforts to help returning veterans obtain decent and affordable housing.)

Coming to Consensus

(RECAP: A core principle for most community land trusts and other community-based housing organizations is resident and community empowerment. How do we foster this? One way is to welcome all voices at the table where decisions are made.)

Grants Will Help Fight Housing Discrimination

(RECAP: HUD has awarded $38.3 million in grants to help prevent housing discrimination. The funding was awarded to more than 100 fair housing organizations and nonprofit agencies in 43 states, including nonprofit Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Inc. which received $325,000.)

Greenbuild 2014: Financing Green Retrofits for Affordable Housing

(RECAP: The inherent complexities of the affordable sector make financing green retrofits at affordable properties particularly demanding tasks. Yet our industry has some very creative professionals who are turning to numerous sources to make federally assisted properties more efficient.)

Opinions on Housing 

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

How the Federal Government Can Foster the Role of Anchor Institutions in Community Revitalization

(RECAP: This report provides an overview of how the federal government has worked with anchor institutions over the years, the potential roles anchors can play in communities, and how to measure the community benefits of this work.)
  

It's Time to End 'Exclusionary Lending'

(RECAP: Today, mortgage lenders have put in place excessively restrictive approval standards that have all but shut the doors to conventional mortgage lending to African-Americans and Latinos. This could be termed exclusionary lending, and it's time for regulators to define and prohibit it.)

November 4, 2014

A Mobile Education in Affordable Housing

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Today’s post is provided by VHDA’s Jessica Braden, an Asset Manager in our Rental Housing division. 

Did you hear about the VHDA bus tour? The bus was filled to a cozy capacity and we made the news!

On October 6, VHDA gave a mobile tour of affordable housing communities in Roanoke to support the 109th Virginia Municipal League annual conference which focused on several properties downtown. I had the pleasure of hosting the tour along with Mike Hawkins, our Managing Director of Community Outreach, who you can see in the Channel 7 news clip. The tour’s goal was to educate local government officials about affordable housing, the programs offered by VHDA to facilitate development of affordable communities, and the positive impacts these communities have in localities across Virginia.