June 25, 2019

VHDA + Virginia’s Planning District Commissions: Working Together to Jumpstart Housing Development

Because we share a goal of creating sound, livable and connected communities, VHDA is proud to partner with Virginia’s 21 planning district commissions (PDCs).

Virginia’s PDCs are made up of elected officials, citizens appointed by local governments, and an executive director selected by the commission itself. PDCs assist governments with grant applications, program implementation, and land-use planning and mapping, among other activities. They also work closely with local and state agencies on highway planning, ridesharing, airport planning and specialized transit projects.

VHDA supports PDCs and local governments in their planning efforts; one of the most important ways we help is through our Community Impact Grants (CIGs). These grants are used to revitalize communities and spur economic growth through the development of mixed-use/mixed-income properties. Many PDCs have used grant funds for regional market studies or comprehensive housing plans, which serve as strategic playbooks. Such data-driven reports are especially valuable, because housing development is a long and complex process whose success pivots on many variables. Having complete and accurate upfront data yields a more successful outcome.

We’ve met with a number of PDCs to offer our housing expertise, including:
Central Shenandoah PDC (based in Staunton).
Commonwealth Regional Council (Farmville).
George Washington Regional Commission (Fredericksburg).
Middle Peninsula PDC (Saluda).
New River Valley Regional Commission (Radford).
Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission (Front Royal).
Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission (Culpeper).

During our meeting with the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission, we gave a presentation on the importance of affordable housing to a region’s economic growth. Their executive director remarked that the information shared would be very helpful in pushing their discussion of housing development forward.

Our longstanding partnership with PDCs throughout the state will continue, as we work together to put quality, affordable housing within reach for more Virginians.

For more information about VHDA planning resources, including Community Impact Grants, please contact Chris Thompson, VHDA’s Director of Strategic Housing, at 804-343-5692 or Chris.Thompson@vhda.com.

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