June 30, 2015

Save the Date: 2016 How-to-Apply Workshop for Virginia’s Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Program

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To help get the word out about this important event, hosted by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) on Tuesday, July 21, we’re passing this invitation along to our affordable housing partners and stakeholders.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. Each year ARC provides funding for several hundred projects in the Appalachian Region, in areas such as business development, education and job training, telecommunications, infrastructure, community development, housing, and transportation. These projects create thousands of new jobs; improve local water and sewer systems; increase school readiness; expand access to health care; assist local communities with strategic planning; and provide technical and managerial assistance to emerging businesses.

During the workshop, DHCD will provide information on applying for funding. There is no fee to attend the event, but attendees need to register by July 17 to help DHCD provide adequate meeting space.
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June 26, 2015

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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New housing policy foundation breaks silence on housing crisis
http://www.housingwire.com/articles/34223-new-housing-policy-foundation-breaks-silence-on-housing-crisis
The J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting more effective national housing policy, is launching its inaugural initiative to bring housing policy issues to the forefront as the 2016 presidential race gets underway.  The Foundation wants to bring the "silent" housing crisis of rising rents and diminished access to homeownership into the national conversation.
Housing and mortgage finance reform remain backburner issues for too many policymakers, who are content to tinker around the edges or grandstand with empty rhetoric. This lack of reform has a measurable impact on the housing and finance industry, as well as the economy in general and millions of potential homeowners in particular.

CFPB Announces Delay in Integrated Mortgage Disclosure Rule Effective Date 

https://www.ncsha.org/blog/cfpb-announces-delay-integrated-mortgage-disclosure-rule-effective-date
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced yesterday that it will delay the effective date of its Integrated Mortgage Disclosure rule by two months.  The rule, which combines disclosure requirements from the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, was originally scheduled to take effect August 1, 2015.  CFPB Director Richard Cordray stated that the CFPB will issue a "proposed amendment" which will delay the effective date of the rule until October 1, 2015.

Yellen: Fed Looking for Ways to 'Improve' CRA Rules

http://www.americanbanker.com/news/law-regulation/yellen-fed-looking-for-ways-to-improve-cra-rules-1074949-1.html
Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the agency is examining ways to improve its implementation of the Community Reinvestment Act amid concerns that regulators are letting too many poor communities go unserved by banks.  Speaking at a press conference following the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting, Yellen said that the central bank takes CRA compliance "very seriously" and added that regulators frequently meet with community organizers to seek out ways to meet their financial needs. But she added that the Fed is examining whether the rules implementing the law need to be improved.  "We take CRA very seriously and … for those banks that we supervise, we have a set of guidelines and are very conscientious in attempting to evaluate CRA performance," Yellen said. "But we are looking at CRA and will continue to look to see whether there are ways in which implementation can be improved."

June 25, 2015

23rd Annual Don Ritenour Charity Golf Classic

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Despite the rain on May 21, the 23rd Annual Don Ritenour Charity Golf Classic was a huge success! The golf tournament enabled VHDA to give $20,000 to each of the following charities: CARITAS, Hope House of Scott County, Inc., Judeo Christian Outreach Center (JCOC), PACEM, Response Inc., Good Shepherd Alliance, Transitions Family Violence Services, and Hanover Habitat for Humanity. Associates will participate in the Hanover Habitat build coming this fall. Thank you to everyone involved in the tournament!

Since 1993, VHDA’s golf tournament has made more than $1.9 million dollars available to many emergency shelters across the state. For more information about this year’s VHDA charity award recipients, visit the Golf Classic’s website.
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June 24, 2015

HomeLIFT is coming to Virginia Beach and Norfolk through Community Housing Partners!

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We’re pleased to pass along this exciting opportunity being provided by one of our affordable housing stakeholders — Community Housing Partners. HomeLIFT is a national program from NeighborWorks® America and Wells Fargo that provides eligible homebuyers with $15,000 to use toward down payment and closing costs on qualified homes.

As a chartered NeighborWorks America member, Communily Housing Partners is hosting a HomeLIFT launch event on Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Admission and parking are free, and although walk-ins are welcome, only those who are pre-registered are assured of meeting with a professional to determine their eligibility for a HomeLIFT reservation of $15,000. You can learn more about this special homebuyer event here.
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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.


How Cities are Taking on Blight

(RECAP: Blight has reached crisis proportion in many cities across the country. But communities are fighting back, recognizing the severe impacts that blighted and abandoned properties can cause.)

Playgrounds for Seniors Popping Up in U.S.

(RECAP: The parks, which feature low-impact exercise equipment designed for adults, started abroad and are just now taking off in the U.S., where the approach seems to favor playgrounds that cater to multiple generations instead of being designed exclusively for the elderly.)

Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities

(RECAP: Infill development can bring many benefits, including financial savings for municipalities, increased property values for residents and businesses and economic stabilization of neighborhoods. Here are 30 strategies to help local governments overcome obstacles and encourage infill development in distressed communities.)

About Income Limits: An Interview with Peter Kahn

(RECAP: Income limits are used in various ways. The primary purpose for their creation was as an operating parameter in HUD’s rental assistance programs. However, there are at least 10 other HUD programs and 14 other federal programs that use some variation of HUD’s income limits.) 

Google Putting Up Millions For Disability Initiative

(RECP: The Internet search giant said this week that Google.org — the company’s charitable arm — is offering up $20 million to nonprofits “using emerging technologies to increase independence for people living with disabilities.” As part of the initiative, the company is also asking people with disabilities to suggest problems they would like to see addressed with the grant money.)

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.

Are Millennials Really More Urban Than Previous Generations?

(RECAP: Blowback against the urban legend of the millennials has begun. We’re still seeing 10 stories a day about how they’re reviving city neighborhoods, but traditionalist pundits suggest that we have reached “peak urban millennial.”)

What You Need to Know About Recapitalizing Affordable and LIHTC Housing

(RECAP: Did you know that many low income housing developments are coming to the end of their tax credit lifecycle? In MHN’s recent webinar Preserving and Recapitalizing Low Incoming Housing Tax Credit and Affordable Housing, the presenters discussed how to reinvigorate affordable housing.)

June 23, 2015

VHDA Congratulates the 2015 Housing Counseling Award Recipients!

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News from HUD: The following announcement was shared in the May issue of Region III HUDline News.

Congratulations to the following award winners, recognized during the Virginia Association of Housing Counselors 2015 Annual Spring Conference at the Hampton Roads Convention Center!

New River Community Action’s Gabriel “Gabe” Martin was recognized as Rising Star Counselor of the Year.

New River’s Jeanne Curtis and Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s Jill Simmons, received Housing Specialist of the Year awards.

Other winners included Erica Holmes of Housing Families First for Community Service of the Year; Shelley Murphy, Piedmont Housing Alliance for Mountain Mover of the Year; and Commonwealth Catholic Charities received the Agency of the Year award.
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June 22, 2015

Governor’s Housing Conference Call for Housing Award Nominations!

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Don’t miss out on this opportunity to nominate a worthy affordable housing development, housing program/service, housing preservation/revitalization effort, affordable housing energy conservation effort or IMBY project/practice. The 2015 award winners will be recognized during the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference scheduled for November 18-20.

Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, August 14. For more information or questions, visit the Virginia Housing Awards' webpage or contact Rhonda Spear at 804-371-7000 or rhonda.spear@dhcd.virginia.gov.

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Governor Kicks Off 100-Day Challenge to Improve Housing for Individuals with Disabilities

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Governor McAuliffe announced the launch of a 100-day challenge to kick off the Commonwealth’s Housing and Supportive Services (HSS) initiative to increase integrated, independent housing options for people with an intellectual or developmental disability in the Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads and Richmond regions.

“Virginia is committed to providing more housing options for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities who desire to live in a home of their own,” said Governor McAuliffe.  “The Commonwealth is making a purposeful shift away from using institutional settings, and helping individuals and their guardians choose where to live, how to live and with whom to live.”

With the help of HSS, teams from the three regions involved in the challenge are working to develop a set of goals that they can reach within the 100 days of the challenge.

“The implementation of the Olmstead Community Integration Plan, which is a priority of the state’s housing policy, seeks to expand community living options for people with disabilities, which is at the heart of this initiative,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel. “The planning and implementation efforts of these regional teams will provide an increasing number of community-based independent and integrated housing opportunities to these individuals.”

“Our talent is our most important asset, and we owe that talent the infrastructure necessary for them to be their best,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “High-quality, affordable housing in our communities is essential for those residents with intellectual and physical disabilities to live and thrive.”

At the conclusion of the 100-day challenge in October, all the teams will meet again to share their accomplishments and plan the next steps with state leaders and other community teams to keep this initiative moving forward.

For more information about the HSS Initiative, visit www.vahss.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: June 19, 2015
 

Office of the Governor

Contact: Brian Coy

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

Contact: Amanda Pearson
Phone: (804) 840-0129

Virginia Housing Development Authority

Contact: Brian Matt
Phone: (804) 343-5520

June 18, 2015

Don’t Miss Out on These Virginia Housing Trust Fund How-to-Apply Workshops!

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As you may know, applications for Virginia’s Housing Trust Fund program will be opening soon. To help housing stakeholders take advantage of this program designed to help create and preserve affordable housing and reduce homelessness, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will be holding several how-to-apply workshops to cover the application process for the Homeless Reduction Grant Program and the Competitive Loan Fund.

To register for a workshop, see workshop dates and locations, or learn more about these two funding components, click here.
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June 17, 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.


Ideas, new and old, converging for housing opportunity

(RECAP: The effort to ramp up realistic approaches to the challenges of community affordability reached some sort of tipping point in the spring and summer of 2015. Get-‘er-done determination, inspired in part by the planning and building paralysis of the Great Recession, has helped spawn new urbanist sub-movements like Tactical Urbanism and more recently, Lean Urbanism.)

Three Reasons to Use Livability as a Vehicle for Sustainability

(RECAP: Understanding how livability relates to sustainability will help planners bridge the desires of residents in the present moment with longer-term needs associated with a sustainability vision.) 

Putting homeownership into perspective

(RECAP: We know stability, not owning vs. renting, is what matters most for children. We know there are ways to make homeownership stable and achievable for low-income families in growing neighborhoods. We know rental housing can be a platform for essential supportive services, such as those being used by veterans in need. And most of all, we know Americans are still struggling to afford stable housing, be it rented or owned.) 

Designing a City for the Deaf

(RECAP: Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the leading institution for the deaf in the U.S., has released a set of DeafSpace Guidelines that could have an impact on urban development.)

Getting to the table early for green

(RECAP: Green means dollars and green means environmentally friendly. Affordable housing stakeholders in every state can pursue both goals by getting involved with state clean power plans.)

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.

Should Rural Housing Be in HUD or Agriculture?

(RECAP: One of the issues for rural housing is clearly the need for capital —predevelopment financing, construction financing, gap funding and more — and that capital ought to come from the federal government, given the resource constraints of many small communities. However, figuring out just where the federal government is on rural housing is an analytical challenge for policy observers.)

The next president needs to speak up about housing right now

(RECAP: As the 2016 presidential campaign shifts into high gear, the candidates of both political parties must start speaking to the severe and growing problems in housing, and offer some clear-cut solutions.)

June 16, 2015

There’s Still Time to Register for the Housing & Schools Symposium on 6/19!

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We want to remind our stakeholders that time is running out to register for Housing Virginia’s second annual Housing & Schools Symposium! So if you plan on attending, you’ll want to reserve your spot today.

This year's symposium, scheduled for June 19 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the VCU Commons Building, is entitled: “Schools in the Face of Changing Demographics” and will provide even more in-depth and comprehensive information than last year’s event!

It’s our understanding that VCU's Center for Urban and Regional Analysis is set to reveal some groundbreaking research about how school performance may be affected by the neighborhood climate. It sounds like there’ll be something for everyone — comprehensive research and data for housing stakeholders, new resources for educators and a great opportunity for both sectors to connect.

To register for the event, or learn more, click here.
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June 11, 2015

Housing Virginia Updates SOURCEBOOK

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To better understand housing affordability in Virginia, the SOURCEBOOK website hosted by Housing Virginia is indispensable. The measures highlighted on the site provide a benchmark of general affordability over time and illustrate the complexities of affordability.

The latest update includes interactive graphs and maps developed by Housing Virginia’s research partners at the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech. Data are presented in clear and specific terms with detailed sources for citation.

June 10, 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.


Housing Resources

(RECAP: Housing Virginia understands that getting the facts straight — current and truthful — is the challenge for housing messaging efforts. The challenge includes understanding how data can inform and educate policy makers, and provide opportunities to bring credibility, focus and relevance in addressing affordable housing issues in the broader community context.)

Small urban developers movement picks up steam

(RECAP: A small developer and builders group associated with CNU is gathering momentum and has the potential to fill a gap in the industry. Resources are available for big urban developers and sprawl builders, but few educational materials and support systems can be found to help small-scale infill developers.) 

Housing for Older Adults — Location, Location, Location

(RECAP: Location is important to all of us at all life stages, but becomes even more important as we get older and -- either through choice or necessity -- need more options to connect and stay engaged in the community.)

Effect of QAP Incentives on the Location of LIHTC Properties

(RECAP: As the competition for credits has increased, it seems likely that Qualified Allocation Plan criteria — such as providing set-asides for developments with existing housing subsidies or awarding bonus points for locating developments in particular types of neighborhoods — will play a greater role in shaping where tax credit developments are built.)

Who Decides Where Autistic Adults Live?

(RECAP: For many intellectually disabled people, large campuses or farmsteads may be better options than small group homes. But new state laws could make it hard for big facilities to survive.)

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.

Senior housing transitions can lead to stigma and isolation

(RECAP: In senior housing facilities where residents are required to relocate as heath issues worsen, seniors tend to isolate themselves and may hide health conditions out of fear of relocation, according to a new study.)

June 9, 2015

Virginia Housing Coalition Award Winners Announced, includes VHDA Leaders

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The Virginia Housing Coalition (VHC) has announced their 2015 Game Changer Award Winners, Top 40 Network, and Hall of Fame inductees, and we’re pleased to see a number of current and former VHDA leaders listed among the award winners. VHC will formally recognize the winners at its annual awards luncheon on Thursday, June 18 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Photo courtesy of
Dementi Studio
The 2015 VHC Hall of Fame will see the addition of Don Ritenour, (shown left) retired Managing Director of Development; Charlie McConnell, (shown right) former Chairman of VHDA’s Board of Commissioners; and Karl Bren, (not pictured) formerly VHDA’s liaison to non-profit housers.



Our Director of Community Housing, Beth Seward, is newly inducted to the VHC Top 40 Network for her instrumental role in advancing the VHDA Capacity Building grant initiative.

We look forward to honoring all of VHC’s awardees for 2015 and are proud that VHDA continues to contribute to the mission of affordable housing in Virginia. For a listing of all award winners and details on the Annual Awards Luncheon, visit HousingVirginia.org.

June 4, 2015

Special Event for Struggling Borrowers

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Today’s post originally appeared in VHDA’s Spring 2015 eNews. Sign up for VHDA eNews.

VHDA hosted a free event on May 2, to explain options available through our Loss Mitigation program. Customers having financial difficulties were sent a personal invitation to come and meet our Loss Mitigation Staff, learn about potential solutions for saving their home, and submit a Borrower's Financial Package.


The event was one example of how VHDA is reaching out to support our mission of helping Virginians attain (and retain) quality, affordable housing.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

June 3, 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.


How Can We Build Support for Affordable Housing?

(RECAP: That's the question at the heart of a recent report from the Center for Housing Policy, "Building Support for Affordable Homeownership and Rental Choices." Gaining an understanding of what we need and what we mean by affordable housing is a necessary step to building support.)

Worst Case Housing Needs: 2015 Report to Congress

(RECAP: HUD finds worst case housing needs decreased during the 2011-to-2013 period but persist at high levels across demographic groups, household types and regions. The unmet need for decent, safe, and affordable rental housing continues to outpace the ability of federal, state and local governments to supply housing assistance.)

Millennials Aren’t Happy About Their Housing Options

(RECAP: A new report, America in 2015, by the Urban Land Institute counts 15 percent of millennials as “dissatisfied with their community’s quality of life and their current homes, and 21 percent are dissatisfied with their housing options.” Across the board, 25 percent of renters are unhappy with housing options.)

OCC Newsletter Focuses on Financing Small Multifamily Rental Properties 

(RECAP: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has published the latest edition of its Community Developments Investments electronic newsletter entitled “Small Multifamily Rental Property Financing.” The edition is part of a group of resources available to national banks and federal savings associations interested in financing multifamily rental housing.)

HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Fee Study: A Study in Collaboration

(RECAP: The study asks and answers two questions we have had since the mid-1970s: how much should HUD be compensating the more than 2,300 public housing agencies (PHAs) to administer 2.1 million housing choice vouchers, and what are the cost drivers that HUD should use in a formula to fairly distribute those resources?)

In This Rotating Apartment Of The Future, Everyone Gets A Penthouse View

(RECAP: The housing project, which industrial designer Yi-Chen Shin Kuo  envisioned for 2035, would allow city dwellers to enjoy a new landscape every day when they look out their window.)

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 Swiss Army Knife of Community Development

(RECAP: The flexibility of development finance—money that earns less than the market rate but serves a community need—is critical to creating places where people can thrive. We never know exactly which tool we we’ll need, but having a community development financial institution (CDFI) is like having a Swiss Army knife in your pocket.)