August 20, 2018

VHDA Teams Up with Five Lynchburg Organizations

Tackling complex problems is a tough task for a city under the best of circumstances. But without having evidence-based data to help set priorities and develop strategies, it becomes nearly impossible.

That’s why VHDA is teaming up with five partner organizations in Lynchburg to conduct a study of the city’s interrelated problems of poverty, homelessness and housing. The five organizations – Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Rush Lifetime Homes, Miriam's House, Greater Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity, and Lynchburg Community Action Group – are known collectively as the Lynchburg Regional Housing Coalition. Its study is being funded by a one of VHDA’s Community Impact Grants.

Community Impact Grants are funded through VHDA’s Reach Virginia program. Each year, VHDA contributes a substantial portion of our net revenues to this program, which helps support our partners and nonprofits as they work to meet local housing needs.

The Lynchburg study will incorporate a new data platform that’s designed to aggregate and analyze data more effectively. Among other topics, it will look at the Housing Choice Voucher program, which helps low-income households with rent payments; the quality and distribution of rental units and single-family structures; the occupancy rates of rental units; and the circumstances of rent-burdened populations, including veterans, the homeless and people with disabilities.

“Strong housing networks provide cities with a host of social and economic benefits,” said Chris Thompson, director of strategic housing for VHDA’s Community Outreach division. “Our Community Impact Grant is designed to give Lynchburg the qualitative and quantitative data it needs to make informed decisions about how to strengthen its network.”
The study is expected to be complete next year. Its ultimate objective is to inform local leaders and make a compelling case for including affordable housing as part of the regional planning process.

Learn more about VHDA grant programs.

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