March 31, 2015

EarthCraft Virginia Publishes Study on Energy-Efficient Rental Housing

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We’ve been looking forward to the publication of EarthCraft Virginia’s new report, The Impact of Energy Efficient Design and Construction on LIHTC Housing in Virginia, which they compiled with Housing Virginia and the Virginia Tech Center for Housing Research. This study demonstrates the impact of energy efficient incentives in the construction of affordable rental housing. VHDA has long encouraged developers to use green building construction techniques, and EarthCraft Virginia’s report uses real-world data to support these policies and preferences.

Read the full press release, report and additional articles about it at EarthCraft Virginia’s website.
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March 26, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: Virginia Housing Policy Advisory Council Holds First Meeting

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RICHMOND – Virginia’s Housing Policy Advisory Council held its first meeting last week to address important housing issues facing the Commonwealth. Created as a result of Governor McAuliffe’s Executive Order 32, “Advancing Virginia’s Housing Policy,” the council is chaired by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones and is tasked with developing housing policy initiatives aimed at addressing Virginia’s critical housing needs.

“One of my administration’s top priorities is to expand access to quality affordable housing in Virginia,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Strengthening our Commonwealth’s housing policy will help us build a new Virginia economy by creating jobs and improving the quality of life of all Virginians.”  

March 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.


Understanding Housing Needs

(RECAP: This website — provided by Housing Virginia and their SOURCEBOOK — is a comprehensive resource that includes the most current available information on housing affordability. The measures highlighted provide a benchmark of general affordability over time and illustrate the complexities of affordability.)
http://housingvirginia.org/sourcebook.aspx

When the Path to Homeownership Runs Through Public Housing

(RECAP: A federal government program is trying to turn our nation of low-income renters into future homeowners by helping them build up savings accounts.)
http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/03/when-the-path-to-homeownership-runs-through-public-housing/386785/

The Secrets of Successful Communities – Part 5: Cooperate With Neighbors for Mutual Benefit

(RECAP: Successful communities know that today’s world requires cooperation for mutual benefit. They also understand that very few small towns have the resources, by themselves, to attract tourists or to compete with larger communities.)
http://plannersweb.com/2013/07/the-secrets-of-successful-communities-part-5-cooperate-with-neighbors-for-mutual-benefit/

Photos Shine Light On Need For Medicaid Waivers

(RECAP: To educate both legislators and the public, a photographer is documenting the everyday lives of adults with developmental disabilities to highlight the need for Medicaid waivers, which provide funding for long-term care services in home and community-based settings.)
http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2015/02/23/photos-need-waivers/20082/

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 Keys to Virginia's Urban Revitalization: Live/Work/Play

(RECAP: The lesson to local governments, developers and urban planners is clear: a one-dimensional retail project, regardless of popular support or any government subsidy, fails to attract people in the same way that a diverse, mixed-use residential project does.) 
http://www.planetizen.com/node/74775

Community Fears About Shelters, Section 8 Don’t Materialize

(RECAP: NIMBY fights are a major obstacle to allowing lower income households access to "communities of opportunity." One of the things that is so frustrating about those fights is that they tend to be driven by misinformation and stubborn unfounded fears.)
http://www.rooflines.org/4053/community_fears_about_shelters_section_8_dont_materialize/

March 24, 2015

VHDA Announces New 3% Down Payment Assistance Grant

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In case you missed the news, VHDA has implemented a grant program to provide down payment assistance to Virginia residents. We have posted details about the grant program on our website. The resource pool is extremely limited; buyers must have household incomes at or below program limits. Because these resources are limited, they’ll be made available on a first-come, first-served basis. Once funds are exhausted, there will be no additional allocation. For more information, visit www.vhda.com/3percent.
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March 23, 2015

Partnership For Housing Affordability to Host Symposium on Regional Housing Plan

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It’s not too late to register to attend this important forum slated for March 31 at 3:30 p.m., at the University of Richmond Jepson Alumni Center. The focus of the event is a report commissioned by the Partnership for Housing Affordability, working on behalf of the Capital Region Collaborative, to address current and future housing needs for the Richmond region, impediments to meeting these needs and proposed strategies based on successful case studies.

The result of the report is an affordable housing gap analysis and potential strategies that might be employed to close the gap and measure progress during the next 15 years. VHDA is proud to be among the many area affordable housing stakeholders that helped support work on the report.

Presenters from the Partnership for Housing Affordability, TowneBank Richmond, The Community Foundation, the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech and the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at Virginia Commonwealth University will share insights from the report during the symposium. Elected and appointed officials, community leaders and housing policy advocates will be in attendance.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, visit http://bit.ly/housingsymposium.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

March 19, 2015

Two Organizations Call for Nominations for Awards

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‘Tis the season for housing awards nominations, and today’s post highlights two different organizations wishing to recognize outstanding developers and developments.

First, the Better Housing Coalition is calling for nominees for its 2015 Golden Hammer Awards, to be presented on May 21, 2015, at the Better Housing Coalition’s 25th Anniversary event, TransformRVA. Golden Hammer Nominations are now being accepted for best neighborhood revitalization projects in the following categories:

  • Best Single-Family Residential Renovation
  • Best Adaptive Reuse Project – Category I and Category II
  • Best Placemaking Project – New in 2015!

The Better Housing Coalition is also introducing a public voting component to its awards program for 2015, so this is certain to be a high-energy process leading up to the awards event. The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 10. Find out more about the 2015 Golden Hammer Awards here.

Next, the June 23, 2015 annual meeting of the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) will feature the presentation of Housing Achievement Awards to organizations and individuals that have provided outstanding affordable housing projects, programs and support for low- and moderate-income citizens of the greater Washington, D.C., metro area (Baltimore to Richmond) during 2014.

The categories for awards are:

  • Nonprofit Developer of the Year
  • Best Small Affordable Housing Project
  • Best Large Affordable Housing Project
  • Virginia Peters Nonprofit Friend of the Year
  • Best Housing Partner and President’s Choice Award.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 24. Learn more about award category descriptions, judging criteria and how to submit a nomination.
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March 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.


Getting to yes: April Solutions convening to tackle the perennial problem of NIMBY

(RECAP: The goal of this convening is to bring together over 200 affordable housing developers, advocates, funders and government officials for panels, workshops and roundtable discussions on challenges and opportunities in overcoming NIMBYism and building community acceptance. It will be held in Seattle, Wash., April 7-8.)

Three charts that explain the renters next door

(RECAP: One of the unexpected legacies of the mortgage crisis has been the replacement in many neighborhoods of single-family homeowners with renters. But who exactly are these renters and which homes are they renting?)

New Housing Concept Emerging For Those With Disabilities

(RECAP: Financed primarily with low-income housing tax credits, this gated community is expected to alleviate a waiting list for safe, affordable housing for adults with developmental disabilities.)

The Secrets of Successful Communities – Part 4: Pick and Choose Among Development Projects

(RECAP: All development is not created equal.  Some development projects will make a community a better place to live, work, and visit. Other development projects will not.)

Age-Friendly Communities - USA Project Report

(RECAP: An overview of a three-year effort, supported by the Tides Foundation and Atlantic Philanthropies, to assist low-income communities through an asset-based, age-friendly approach. Included are case studies of four diverse communities working to apply the practices of age-friendly communities.)


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.

Op-Ed: Don't Excuse Displacement when Rationalizing Gentrification

(RECAP: A recent article in Washington City Paper pushes back on the notion that the ill effects of gentrification are overblown. Resurgent cities must, according to the article, find ways to achieve the benefits of gentrification—without the displacement.)

U.S. Housing Policies No Longer Reflect Reality

(RECAP: HUD’s goal in 2015 is to increase homeownership rates. But, there is a distinct possibility that homeownership rates will never return to their pre-recession levels given the number of young Americans who either cannot or will not buy homes.)

March 17, 2015

Introducing Generation HAND!

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VHDA is pleased to pass along information about the newest program offering from the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND): Generation HAND, an emerging leader initiative designed to support the unique needs of practitioners who are on the rise within the affordable housing and community development industry.

The goal of this initiative is to provide needed tools and guidance to our developing leaders as they pursue successful careers in the public and private sector. The program launches on April 1 with an in-depth panel discussion and networking.

To learn more, or register to attend, click here.
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March 16, 2015

Session Proposals Now Being Accepted for the 2015 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference

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VHDA is passing along this call for session proposals from our friends at the 2015 Governor’s Housing Conference. Suggestions are being accepted for both concurrent and snap sessions to be offered during the conference, set for November 18-20 in Hampton. The deadline for submissions, which can be submitted through the online proposal system, is 5 p.m., Friday, March 27.

This year's housing conference's theme is Driving the New Virginia Economy.

Virginia's new economic strategy includes various components for building the New Virginia Economy, and the conference is looking for innovative proposals that will address:
  • Workforce development
  • Homelessness
  • Innovative banking partnerships
  • Community revitalization
  • Veterans services
  • Rural/urban development
  • Affordable housing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Infrastructure
  • Economic development
  • and more!
If you have questions, email ghc@dhcd.virginia.gov. For information about the conference, visit http://www.vagovernorshousingconference.com.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

March 11, 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.

The Secrets of Successful Communities – Part 3: Use Education and Incentives, Not Just Regulation

(RECAP: Successful communities have identified a variety of creative ways to influence the development process outside of the regulatory process. In Staunton, Virginia the Historic Staunton Foundation offered free design assistance to any downtown business owner who would restore the façade of their building.)

HUD Awards $36 Million to Promote Jobs, Self-Sufficiency for Public Housing Residents

(RECAP: HUD has awarded nearly $36 million in grants to public housing authorities and non-profit organizations across the nation — including four in Virginia — to hire or retain service coordinators to help residents achieve economic and housing independence. The funding will also link the elderly and people with disabilities with supportive services that allow them to maintain independent living and age-in-place.)

Serving Those Who Served

(RECAP: Many housing providers say that chronically homeless vets face the same challenges finding housing as do the chronically homeless population. Community organizations, including some not veteran-specific, are figuring out how best to reach and serve an increasing number of veterans in need.)

New Risks–and Incentives–to Build Resilient Communities

(RECAP: In the wake of unprecedented storms and flooding, the design world has begun to treat resiliency as a new discipline for creating better, more risk-ready communities. Yet the building developers and architects on the front lines of implementation are facing a daunting new challenge: How to fund resilient design.)

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.

Size Does Matter: How The Tiny House Movement Is Solving The Homeless Crisis

(RECAP: This social and architectural trend ranges from practical solutions to chronic homelessness and affordable housing, to experimental projects that initiate a conversation about the interplay of space, social outcomes and fringe societies in an increasingly dense world.) 

5 Trends Shaping The Future Of Architecture

(RECAP: Architects predict that these buildings won't be as flashy, but they'll be far more useful on an everyday basis. The divide between public and private space will melt away. And they may be built of a material you haven't even heard of yet.) 

Is YIMBYism the Next Big Single-Issue Political Platform?

(RECAP: YIMBYism has emerged as a rallying cry in many cities as a counteractive to NIMBYism, the pejorative term for neighborhood resistance to new development. And one San Francisco mayoral candidate is making "Yes in My Back Yard" her mission statement.)

March 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.


What If There Was a Middle Option Between Renting and Owning?

(RECAP: An innovative shared-equity program in Vermont helps low- and middle-income people ease into homeownership.)

The Secrets of Successful Communities – Part 2: Inventory Community Assets

(RECAP: Too many communities think that economic revival is about the one big thing. Successful economic development is rarely about the one big thing. More likely, it is about lots of little things working synergistically together in a plan that makes sense.)

Exploring Unsubsidized Affordable Housing

(RECAP: As fast as the subsidized affordable housing system can create more units, need outgrows production. Light-touch rental housing — a new approach to ensure housing affordability in the unsubsidized affordable market —  can be highly-tailored to respond to specific market conditions and local community needs.) 

Urban Land Institute And The John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Launch How Housing Matters Online Portal

(RECAP: The interdisciplinary online portal is focused on housing's role in individual and neighborhood wellbeing. It offers up-to-date, easily searchable research and news connecting housing with a broad range of topics.)

Homelessness Ends With Housing

(RECAP: Does giving houses to the homeless and helping families get back into housing work? The evidence suggests that it is by far the best and most cost effective (for your tax dollars and mine) solution out there.)

The federal budget and local responses to housing needs: Research on funding and flexibility

(RECAP: The Center for Housing Policy, the National Housing Conference’s research division, strives to increase understanding about how local housing programs are related to and are supported by federal housing programs.)


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 2

(RECAP: Gentrification certainly comes with attendant dangers for low-income families, which policy makers should be on guard against. But it comes with potential benefits too, so we should be careful about simply “protecting” neighborhoods from the process.)

March 3, 2015

Virginia Ranks 4th in Top 10 States for LEED

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VHDA wants to get the word out about Virginia being one of the Top 10 states for LEED in 2014! We’re proud to promote LEED and make sustainability a priority though our Low-Income Housing Tax Credit funding and supporting other affordable housing initiatives, such as EarthCraft Virginia, which also made the Top 10 list in 2013.

In 2014, Virginia’s developers increased the amount of LEED-certified space to 2.33 square feet per resident. That adds up to over 18 million square feet of LEED-certified space in 150 developments. VHDA promotes LEED-certified spaces because they use less energy and water resources. The result saves money and makes affordable housing even more affordable — benefitting families, businesses and taxpayers.

LEED, the world’s most widely used and recognized green building rating system, was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
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