From the Field: Virginia Advocates Launch the Restore $10 Million for Housing Campaign

Restore 10 million campaign banner final

This article was featured in NLIHC’s Memo to Members on October 27th, 2014

The Virginia Housing Coalition (VHC) and the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH), both NLIHC State Partners, have launched a campaign to build support in the Virginia General Assembly for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund (VHTF) and the Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) program. The goal of the campaign is to restore $8 million for the VHTF and $2 million for the RRH cut from the biennium budget in June, due to an impasse about Medicaid expansion (see Memo, 7/28).

This renewed effort coincides with Governor Terry McAuliffe’s (D) decision to participate in the Mayors’ Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. Governor McAuliffe is one of five state executives to participate in this HUD-led challenge to end veteran homelessness by 2015. The Governor’s participation was announced by John Harvey, Virginia’s Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, at a June statewide summit sponsored by VCEH.

The Governor’s support for ending veteran homelessness provided a welcome impetus for the Restore $10 Million for Housing Campaign, because the VHTF and RRH both address homelessness. Up to 20% of VHTF funds can be prioritized for people experiencing homelessness, while at least 80% must be used to reduce the cost of rental housing and homeownership for households with incomes of 60% or less of the area median income. Virginia’s RRH funds provide short-term crisis intervention and case management services that support families transitioning to stable housing.

However, prospects for passing a budget amendment to restore the funds in the upcoming General Assembly session are limited due to a $2.4 billion revenue shortfall and corresponding budget cuts recently announced by the Governor. Therefore, the campaign has chosen to focus on a multi-year strategy of building a broad base of support for housing funding and educating legislators. Throughout October, VHC has hosted a series of regional housing policy forums, updating advocates about VHC’s policy work and introducing the Restore $10 Million for Housing Campaign.

Another education element for the campaign is the Home Matters for Virginia report released by VHC this summer. The report provides an overview of basic housing policy concepts and Virginia housing need statistics, with special emphasis on the role that affordable housing plays in a broad range of social and economic outcomes.

One of the objectives of the campaign is to use Home Matters for Virginia to educate every member of the General Assembly before the start of the 2015 session. To accomplish this, VHC is gathering commitments from housing advocates to meet with state legislators and present them with copies of the report, or to mail copies with a signed letter. So far, VHC has received campaign commitments in more than half the Senate districts and more than one-third of the House districts.

VHC will also be working with a legislative champion to introduce a bill to create a dedicated source of revenue for the VHTF. The legislator proposes setting aside one cent of the 25 cents collected for the state recordation fee, which is $ 0.25 for every $100. Such a dedicated source could generate approximately $16 million annually.

Home Matters for Virginia is at Information about the Mayors’ Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness is at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning/veteran_information/mayors_challenge

For Virginia readers of Memo to Members, VHC urges you to make a commitment to meet with your state legislators by signing up at http://bit.ly/1sdDUV8

VHC Holds its 2nd Annual Virginia Housing Credit Conference

Senator Warner speaks on Housing Finance Reform and the future of the Housing Credit at the conference.

Senator Warner speaks on Housing Finance Reform and the future of the Housing Credit at the conference.

Earlier this month, VHC held its 2nd Annual Virginia Housing Credit Conference at The Westin in Richmond.

Here’s a quick look at the conference by the numbers:

Attendees: 315
Number of Nuts and Bolts attendees: 115
Sponsors: 35
Speakers: 51
Breakout Sessions: 12
Number of Exhibitors: 16
US Senators in Attendance: 1
Punch lines in David Smith’s Presentation: 23
Conference Tweets: 25 (its a start…)
Virginia Wine and Cider Winners: 45
Moderators dressed in Shark Suits: 1
Networking Meet-Ups: Too many to count

Click here for copies of the presentations from the breakout sessions and for our 2014 Housing Credit Directory

Click here to see pictures from the conference

Join us for VHC’s 2014 Housing Credit Conference in Richmond

2014Credit Conf graphic

 

The Virginia Housing Coalition is pleased to present Virginia’s 2nd Annual Housing Credit Conference on September 3rd-4th at the Westin Hotel in Richmond. This conference will give tax credit professionals of any experience level the information and training that they need to create stronger proposals and more sustainable projects. The conference is aimed at for profit and non-profit developers, lenders, investors, lawyers, accountants, market analysts, appraisers, consultants, planners, architects, housing authorities, and local governments – just about everyone who works in or with the Housing Credit program. The purpose of the two day event is to educate and inform new and current tax credit practitioners about the latest developments in the program and trends in Virginia. Conference participants will also have opportunities to network during the conference, giving them the chance to share perspectives and strengthen their business relationships.

Click here to learn more about the conference and register to join us

Click Here to View the Credit Conference Agenda

VHC Annual Awards Luncheon Photos

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Home Matters for Virginia

We are excited to release our Home Matters for Virginia report on Affordable Housing! VHC has produced this report in support of Home Matters (www.HomeMattersforAmerica.com), a national movement to make Home a reality for everyone by elevating the importance of Home’s impact on people’s health, education, personal success, public safety, and the economy.

This report is full of data on the Affordable Housing crisis in Virginia and the efforts that have been made and can be made to solve this problem. We hope to use this report to show residents, legislators, and anyone interested in Virginia that Affordable Housing is linked to many other issues and is truly lacking in our state.

Our goal is to get this report in the hands of every member of the general assembly in the next 6 months, so take a look (by clicking the photo below), ask us for a copy, and spread the word!

Home Matters VA Cover

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