February 11, 2016

Using Grant Funds for Condo Outreach and Education

Today’s post originally appeared in VHDA’s Fall 2015 Community Outreach Report.

The importance of condominium housing as a resource for low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers is widely recognized in the Northern Virginia market. In fact, condos in Alexandria are over 47 percent of the city’s total stock of ownership housing. While condos have represented the most affordable type of housing, many have declined in value. In addition, many condominium communities have experienced rapidly increasing monthly fees and special assessments that can jeopardize affordability.

In 2013, the City of Alexandria and Arlington County responded to this situation by collaborating on a series of educational workshops to increase public understanding of common-interest communities and strengthen the management practices of these communities. Supported in part by a $5,000 REACH non-profit support grant from VHDA, the workshops cover governance practices, restrictive covenants and other important topics. To date, the initiative has reached more than 250 Northern Virginians, including Habitat for Humanity homeowners living in condo communities.

The city and county both have long histories of offering VHDA first-time homebuyer classes and pre-purchase counseling. Condominium education is an expansion of that outreach. Since VHDA holds a portfolio of condo mortgages in Northern Virginia, the initiative should also increase educational opportunities for many VHDA mortgagees.

For more information, contact Director of Community Housing Beth Seward at 804-343-5615 or Elizabeth.Seward@vhda.com.

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