February 26, 2015

VHDA’s Advisory Boards Help Us Stay On Mission

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During December, VHDA's Leadership Team hosted a luncheon to thank our Advisory board members for their feedback and suggestions over the past year. After lunch, attendees broke into groups to discuss issues such as Mortgage Credit Certificates, FHA Risk Share and housing for seniors and people with disabilities.

VHDA's success relies heavily on partnerships with other housing advocates, and our advisory boards play a big part. We currently have advisory boards representing homeownership, rental housing, people with disabilities, seniors and the Northern Virginia area. The insight and expertise they bring to the table are invaluable in helping us address the affordable housing issues across the state.

To each member of all our advisory groups, thank you for your time and your input — and for sharing in our mission of helping Virginians attain quality, affordable housing.
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February 25, 2015

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.


Is Buying a House Still the Best Way to Build Wealth?

(RECAP: Real estate is a shakier investment than it once was, but it's still one of the most viable options for building a financial future.)

The Secrets of Successful Communities – Part 1: Have a Vision for the Future

(RECAP: Successful communities always have a plan for the future. Unfortunately, “planning” is a dirty word in some communities, especially in small towns and rural areas. In some places, this is the result of a misunderstanding of planning and its value.)

A Critical Mission: Developing Veterans Housing

(RECAP: Developments serving needy veterans are being built across the country. Each is unique. Some stand out because of their special focus on women, seniors or veterans with families. Some because of the sheer scope of the housing and services they offer. And, others because of their location on or near Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities.)

The Promise of the $20,000 House

(RECAP: In Alabama, the Rural Studio design workshop has spent years refining 16 prototypes for a cheap, well-made small house. Soon, they'll start selling the plans.)

New report presents ideas for strengthening public land policies to spur more affordable housing

(RECAP: A new report presents eight recommendations for how localities can work effectively with the private sector to reduce development costs and maximize the potential for affordable homes on these various forms of public land.)

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 Anti-Poverty Case for “Smart” Gentrification, Part 1

(RECAP: Gentrification – the migration of wealthier people into poorer neighborhoods – is a contentious issue in most American cities. Many fear that even if gentrification helps a city in broad terms, for instance by improving the tax base, it will be bad news for low-income residents who are hit by rising rents or even displacement. But this received wisdom is only partially true.)

February 24, 2015

Don’t Miss the “Housing the Richmond Region: Needs, Impediments and Strategies” Symposium

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Did you know that Affordable Housing Awareness Week is coming up in April? The Partnership for Housing Affordability is observing the occasion with the presentation of "Housing the Richmond Region: Needs, Impediments and Strategies," developed by the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech – the official housing research center for the Commonwealth. This free event takes place at 3:30 p.m. on March 31, 2015 at the University of Richmond's Jepson Alumni Center. It will be followed by a cocktail reception.

The Regional Housing Plan is a collaborative effort that includes the Regional Housing Alliance and the Capital Region Collaborative. More than 250 affordable housing advocates are expected to attend to learn about recommendations for addressing the region’s housing needs. Although this event is free and open to the public, registration is required.
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February 19, 2015

Piedmont Housing Alliance Adds New Board Members

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VHDA welcomes the five new members joining the board of the Piedmont Housing Alliance. We look forward to working with Crystal Napier, Ramona Chapman, Stacey McDonough, Steve Nichols and Frank Stoner, as well as the rest of the PHA organization, in our continuing partnership to provide affordable housing for Nelson County area residents.
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February 18, 2015

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.

Amazing Urban Revitalization: The Creative Power of Collaborative Design

(RECAP: The Masonic Amphitheatre and Smith Creek Pedestrian Bridge supported the urban redevelopment of the distressed community in the town of Clifton Forge, and at the same time, gave students the chance to gain lifelong practical experience through the creation of a new, high-quality built environment.)
 

As numbers of homeless kids rise, resources fall short

(RECAP: Kids who crash temporarily with friends or in hotels account for the majority of the country’s 1.3 million homeless students. But HUD only counts people sleeping on the streets or in shelters as homeless.)
 

Looking to the Future with RAD

(RECAP: The Cambridge Housing Authority in Massachusetts is converting its public housing units to project-based assistance under the RAD program. Read about these efforts and the recent expansion of RAD.)
 

5 Trends That Will Shape The Future Of Tiny Housing

(RECAP: Nonprofit think tank the Urban Land Institute has just released a new report on the future of micro-housing. Here's what to expect from the burgeoning world of compact urban living.)
 

Autism Speaks Putting New Focus On Adults

(RECAP: Starting as a pilot project in three states, Autism Speaks is working with locally-based disability advocacy groups and policymakers to identify legislative goals and mobilize its own network to push for expanded housing options and community-based services for adults on the spectrum.)
 

Can Washington, DC be a little more like Utah?

(RECAP: In much the same spirit as Envision Utah, Mapping America’s Futures is meant to allow the public, leaders and stakeholders to deliberate the local implications of national trends.)
 

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.
 

Is Ending Segregation the Key to Ending Poverty?

(RECAP: Chicago's experiment in relocating poor African American families to rich white suburbs seems to be a success. So why are so few other cities doing the same?)
 

Does the mortgage industry still need Appraisal Management Companies?

(RECAP: Now that the GSE’s have the ability to instantly review every appraisal submitted to them—via Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter — and will advise the lender of its accuracy, it occurs to me that Appraisal Management Companies are no longer needed.)

February 17, 2015

Georgetown South: NoVa Neighborhood Making a Comeback with Homebuyers

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Today’s post originally appeared in VHDA’s Fall 2014 Community Outreach Report.

A community of 860 townhomes, Georgetown South in the City of Manassas celebrated its 50th anniversary in September. Originally built to accommodate the housing demand of IBM employees working nearby, over time most of the original owners moved on as their housing needs changed. Georgetown South became less competitive in the local housing market, but remained a source of affordable housing as the area grew more expensive.

Many Hispanics who moved to Northern Virginia during the jobs boom of the early 2000s saw Georgetown South as a way to achieve homeownership. By the height of the recent housing bubble, its homeownership rate had reached 67 percent. However, after the 2007-2009 recession and foreclosure crisis, the community’s homeownership rate declined to around 37 percent.

February 12, 2015

An Invitation to Attend VHDA’s Neighborhood Revitalization Training

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Do you have an interest in neighborhood revitalization efforts and learning how to mobilize the resources to address such opportunities? If so, save the date for VHDA’s training on “Revitalizing Neighborhoods through Housing and Economic Development,” scheduled for March 5 and 6 at the Virginia Housing Center.


During this two-day event, you’ll gain critical insight into neighborhood-based economic development, housing, tourism and transportation through interactive sessions led by VHDA staff. Plus, if you’re a planner with AICP certification, you can earn 14 CM credits!

Review the agenda for the complete list of topics. Submit the registration form with your registration fee by February 18. Scholarships to waive the registration fee are available. Please email Debbie.Griner@vhda.com for the scholarship application.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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.


Social Innovation Fund Grants 2015

(RECAP: The Corporation for National and Community Service, the nation’s largest grantmaker for service and volunteering, has approximately $40 million available for new grants to grow innovative, evidence-based solutions to challenges facing low-income communities. Application deadline is March 17. Applicants are encouraged to submit a Notice of Intent by February 20.)
http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/social-innovation-fund/social-innovation-fund-grants-2015

Recap of 2014

(RECAP: 2014 held some interesting developments for the affordable housing sector, despite little housing legislation enacted. From changes in HUD and Congressional leadership to the FHFA decision to fund the National Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund, changes happened at many levels.)
http://www.nhcopenhouse.org/2015/01/recap-of-2014.html

Rural America's Silent Housing Crisis

(RECAP: Accounting for only 20 percent of the population, residents of more isolated areas struggle to find a safe, affordable place to live — and to make anyone else care.)
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/01/rural-americas-silent-housing-crisis/384885/

Success Measures adds health to outcomes

(RECAP: As interest grows in the interaction between community development, housing and health, NeighborWorks is developing a method for measuring impact.)
http://www.neighborworks.org/Media-Center/Blog/2015/Success-Measures-assesses-health-outcomes

Part 4: How Form-Based Codes Are Written

(RECAP: Previous parts of this series explained the fundamentals of Form-Based Codes, how they differ from conventional zoning codes, why they’re important to communities and typical elements of these codes. This final part discusses how the planning process can bring to life the vision for the community’s future that a form-based code can help achieve.)
http://plannersweb.com/2014/12/fbc4/

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.

Where Will Our Jobs Sleep at Night?

(RECAP: A few voices are emerging with strategies that would foster innovation, encourage business diversification and job growth and promote healthy, vibrant communities, and localities would do well to take note.)
http://www.handhousing.org/where-will-our-jobs-sleep-at-night/

'Housing First' Policy for Addressing Homelessness Hamstrung By Funding Issues

(RECAP: The new approach may spring from good intentions, but is undermined by a lack of affordable housing stock. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, federal support for low-income housing has fallen 49 percent between 1980 and 2003, and the Joint Center for Housing Studies found about 200,000 rental units are destroyed annually.)
http://prospect.org/article/housing-first-policy-addressing-homelessness-hamstrung-funding-issues

The Downsides of a Neighborhood 'Turnaround'

(RECAP: A former D.C. housing official gives a hard look at what worked, and what didn't, in an award-winning redevelopment project.)
http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/gov-redeveloping-without-gentrifying.html

February 11, 2015

NOMINATE TODAY! 6th Annual EarthCraft Virginia Sustainable Leadership Awards

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Every year, EarthCraft Virginia recognizes top performers in various categories related to sustainable leadership. VHDA is pleased to have played a part in financing last year’s Multifamily New Construction of the Year: Beckstoffer's Mill, Richmond - Better Housing Coalition. Who will be among this year’s winners? We’ll find out during the 6th Annual Sustainable Leadership Awards ceremony to be held Thursday, March 26 from 4 - 6:30 p.m. at the SunTrust Building in downtown Richmond.

Nominations are now being accepted for award categories that include:

  • Single Family Builder of the Year 
  • Single Family Project of the Year 
  • Multifamily New Construction Project of the Year
  • Multifamily Renovation Project of the Year 
  • Habitat for Humanity Affiliate of the Year

The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. February 20, 2015. Click here to nominate a person or company!
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

February 10, 2015

VHDA Offers Asset Management Training Courses to Business Partners

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VHDA invites you to attend any of our upcoming Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Compliance training sessions. These courses are designed to help our business partners better understand the income and occupancy compliance guidelines for LIHTC communities.

The property management classes build a foundation for success in managing multifamily investment properties. Check out some of the courses offered, described below, to decide which training session best suits your needs. Visit our website to view the new 2015 training schedule and register for classes.

VHDA offers basic, intermediate and advanced tax credit training classes useful for site managers of all experience levels, as well as other management staff, developers and corporate finance officers.

February 5, 2015

An Introduction to Low-Income Tax Credits and Tax-Exempt Bonds

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Join Mike Scheurer, VHDA’s Community Housing Officer in Northern Virginia, on February 19 for an Introduction to Low-Income Tax Credits and Tax-Exempt Bonds. The Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) will host this hands-on learning experience for practitioners interested in learning about these programs and how they work separately and together to produce affordable housing.

This new training opportunity is free to current HAND Members and $45 for Non Members. Click here to register.

REACH Capacity Building Grant – Strengthening the Housing Delivery Network

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Today’s post originally appeared in VHDA’s Fall 2014 Community Outreach Report.

The funding and policy landscape for affordable housing is constantly evolving. Housing non-profits across Virginia must constantly adjust to new changes, and find resources to support their programs, policies and operations.

To support and strengthen the current network, VHDA created the Capacity Building grant program. Funded through our REACH Virginia initiative, the grant provides up to $60,000 in funding for capacity building projects that:

  • Increase an organization’s ability to create, preserve and/or manage affordable housing units.
  • Expand or bring new housing-related services to an underserved area.
  • Improve an organization’s ability to implement community revitalization projects.
  • Establish or strengthen a regional collaboration.
  • Align with specific state policies (such as ending veteran homelessness).

Grants are available to agencies with a demonstrated vision and strategic plan to extend their mission and/or geographic coverage in a way that results in significant enhancement of their capacity. These funds aren’t a subsidy for ongoing operations. Instead, they’re used to enable our strategic partners to better ensure the long-term viability of their affordable housing efforts.

We are currently working with 32 organizations across the state on various capacity building initiatives.

To learn more, contact Community Housing Team Lead Monica Jefferson at 804-343-5736 or send an email to ReachGrants@vhda.com.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

February 4, 2015

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.

Are Millennials Different, or Just Delaying Homeownership?

(RECAP: As a result of extreme economic conditions, Millennials have had to delay milestones generally preceding homeownership. Now, as they’re increasingly prepared to become homeowners, it is important that the supply and policies be in place so that they don’t delay the wealth building associated with homeownership as well.)
http://www.rooflines.org/3994/are_millennials_different_or_just_delaying_homeownership/

NMHC Special Report: Working Towards Workforce Housing

(RECAP: Apartment starts for 2015 should fall in the 500,000-unit range. Of those, 100,000 units are developed with federal LIHTC for people earning 60 percent or less of AMI. If you earn 61 or 65 or 68 or 80 percent of AMI, there are no such programs.)
http://www.multihousingnews.com/news/nmhc-special-report-working-towards-workforce-housing/1004113763.html

Minorities and the 'Slumburbs'

(RECAP: Despite bleak forecasts, families of color are finding more equitable conditions in suburbs. But the type of suburb matters.)
http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/01/minorities-and-the-slumburbs/384680/


How to Encourage More 'Lifelong' Housing

(RECAP: With one in three Americans now 50 or older, being prepared as a nation to support the needs — and benefit from the contributions — of older adults is becoming more and more important.)

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 Quiet Shift in Housing Policy

(RECAP: Homeownership used to be the means by which middle class economic security was obtained; from now on it will be the ends by which that economic security is measured.)

The Rise of the Development Agreement

(RECAP: The evolution of the development agreement reveals how its proliferation as a land use tool is a symptom of a larger struggle between increasingly complicated land use regulations, the public’s conflicting goals and developers’ desire for certainty.)

February 3, 2015

HAND’s Meeting on Permanent Supportive Housing is Feb. 12

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As a proud foundation sponsor of HAND, VHDA hopes you’ll join Holly Denniston, Senior Program Manager at the Corporation for Supportive Housing as she provides an overview of Permanent Supportive Housing including: six principal supportive housing features; outcomes; QAP requirements/opportunities in MD, VA and DC; and supportive housing models and project profiles.

The meeting will also include a panel of practitioners who have been on the ground developing and operating PSH developments in the Washington region. They’ll each speak to: unique aspects of their projects; models for service delivery; public and private funding/financing streams for developments and operations; lessons learned/hurdles; importance of partners; and compliance.

This event is free to current HAND members and $45 for non-members. Click here to register.

Housing Virginia Uses Housing StoryWorks to Demonstrate the Difference Affordable Housing Makes

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Quality affordable housing is a basic need if individuals, families and communities are to flourish. As we’re all aware, in many communities a complex set of historical, cultural and economic issues surrounds the development of housing that is affordable. One result is that negative perceptions cloud the value of affordable housing. Housing StoryWorks, a part of Housing Virginia’s Whole Communities Project, is using short video clips to share real stories that show how affordable housing makes a difference for everyone.

The hope is that the voices of these consumers, housing providers (including VHDA’s Community Outreach Managing Director Mike Hawkins), political and business leaders, and neighbors can balance the effect of NIMBY and help shape new conversations around affordable housing in Virginia.


VHDA salutes Housing Virginia for this important affordable housing effort, and hopes you’ll check out one clip or all 33 clips here!
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