July 7, 2016

The State of Rural Housing in Virginia: A Rural Network Forum Series

This is a guest post from Housing Virginia.

Rural Virginia is changing and with that, rural affordable housing needs are also in transition. Housing Virginia is assessing demographic and housing trends and has surveyed local rural providers around the state to hear their most pressing needs and their perceptions of the changes happening in their communities.

Housing Virginia will be holding 5 regional forums around the state in July and August where it will present preliminary findings and facilitate discussion to develop an action plan to address these gaps and needs as well as recommend policy alternatives. This plan will be released at the Governor’s Housing Conference in Roanoke this November.

They have also begun to develop a directory of rural housing and service providers by region with data provided by the Virginia Housing Development Authority. Click here to see the first publication of the directory. If you would like to update or add an entry, please contact alise@hdadvisors.net with the information you would like added to a finalized digital version to be uploaded to our website.

Find a meeting near you below!

7/14 – Martinsville 

In partnership with the Martinsville, Henry & Patrick Counties Association of REALTORS®

Click here to register

7/15 – Abingdon 

In partnership with the Southwest Virginia Association of REALTORS®

Click here to register

7/28 – Warrenton 

In partnership with the Greater Piedmont Area Association of REALTORS®

Click here to register

8/11 – Middle Peninsula 

In partnership with the Chesapeake Bay & Rivers Association of REALTORS®

Click here to register

TBD (August) –Southside

Stay tuned for registration information!

They are partnering with local REALTOR® Associations for each meeting, which will run from 8:30-11am at each location. The forums will be split into two parts: Housing Virginia’s presentation of findings – from both the provider survey and regional mapping data – and a facilitated group discussion about their area’s needs and gaps. Please contact alise@hdadvisors.net to be added to the Rural Initiative mailing list for updates!

Why do we need this program? Rural residents face very different demographic, social, and housing challenges than their urban counterparts. Particularly in the southwest corner of the state in Central Appalachia, residents have experienced widespread and persistent poverty that has been exacerbated by the economic downturn, resulting in additional job losses and a further decline in the availability of resources. Their struggles have become visible in the substandard housing conditions they endure, where many still live without plumbing and other modern housing features.

Housing Virginia aims to work closely with on-the-ground rural housing practitioners and service providers to develop a comprehensive action plan to address these unique needs and gaps. Keep an eye out for more news about the findings and the release at the Governor’s Housing Conference in November!

This initiative is made possible with the generous support of BB&T, USDA – Rural Development, the Virginia Community Development Corporation, and local REALTOR® Associations in cooperation with the Virginia Association of REALTORS®.

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