February 13, 2019

Helping Make Local Government Better for 100+ Years

VML's Town & City Magazine, Nov 2018
When an organization remains in operation for more than a century, it’s doing something right. A case in point is the Virginia Municipal League, which has been helping improve local government in urban communities since 1905.

As in past years, VHDA was a sponsor and exhibitor at VML’s 2018 conference – and this year we were also part of the program, delivering a presentation on housing’s economic impact and leading a panel discussion on how our partnerships with localities help to increase affordable housing inventories.

The presentation was made by Chris Thompson, VHDA’s Director of Strategic Housing. He described how the housing industry generated 314,499 jobs, $14.2 billion in labor income and $1.66 billion in state and local taxes in 2015. In total, the economic impact reached $47.8 billion, making housing the sixth largest industry in Virginia. 

The panel discussion included Chris Thompson and officials from two Virginia cities: Karen Prochilo, Housing Development Administrator for Virginia Beach, and Helen McIlvaine, Director of the Office of Housing for Alexandria. Both of them discussed how they used VHDA Community Impact Grants to tackle housing challenges in their cities. Community Impact Grants are resources awarded by VHDA to help local governments revitalize neighborhoods, in particular by promoting the development of mixed use / mixed-income properties that spur economic growth. Grant funds are often used to produce studies, plans, assessments or analyses that help in this process.

Another presentation on housing resources was given by VHDA Managing Director of Community Outreach Mike Hawkins, to VML’s 2018 Virginia Mayors Institute – a gathering of approximately 50 mayors, local elected officials, and executive staff from across the Commonwealth. He explained various ways VHDA works with local governments to assist with their housing planning and revitalization efforts. He also focused on the relationship between housing and economic development. According to VML, the 2018 Mayors Institute was one of the most successful in event’s history, and participant feedback on the housing resource session was very positive.

The Virginia Municipal League is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that works with
stakeholders to find new and better ways to deliver essential services, and to ensure that sufficient governmental resources exist to help Virginians lead safe and productive lives. Among other activities, VML represents localities before the General Assembly, trains newly elected local government officials, operates a member inquiry service and provides self-insurance programs for Virginia public entities.

The League also publishes a monthly magazine for its members. In the November 2018 edition of VML’s Town & City Magazine, there is a feature article describing in detail how VHDA has worked with local governments around the state, providing Housing Credits, Community Impact Grants and other resources. The article begins on page 9 of the November edition.

VHDA congratulates VML for another successful annual conference, and another productive year working in partnership with Virginia’s local governments.

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