What the Governor Said in Norfolk, and Why We Should be Encouraged

Gov McAuliffe GHC 2014Governor McAuliffe gave a lively, energetic speech to 700+ enthusiastic housers last Thursday during his first visit to the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference.  Just returned from a trade mission to Asia the evening before, McAuliffe frequently made the connection between housing and his pursuit of jobs and economic development for the Commonwealth.  Here are some highlights from the speech:

He began his remarks on housing by pledging to be the first Virginia Governor ever to attend the Housing Conference in every year of his term.

Housing and Economic Development
McAuliffe talked about a host of issues on his plate, including economic development and transportation, but noted that “none of  these other issues matter if we don’t have a strong housing market… housing is of critical importance”.  He noted that in Virginia, the housing industry contributes $71 billion to the state’s economy – 16% of the state GDP.

“Companies looking to locate in Virginia need to know that good affordable is available for their employees”.

He also talked about how important housing is to individual development and success – “a stable roof over your head helps you to advance”.

“There are 8,400 homeless Virginians – 10% of them are veterans.  On any given night, 617 vets do not have a roof over their head.  These are men and women who have served us.  The least we can do is provide housing for them.”

The Governor committed that “by the end of 2015 – not one single veteran is homeless in Virginia”.  He asked the help of those in the audience to make this a reality.

Who Needs Good Housing

He cited a number of groups in the Commonwealth with significant housing needs, including seniors and persons with disabilities.  He noted that  “1/3 of young people return home to live with parents” due to a shortage of housing that they can afford.

He noted “correcting these issues will make life better for all of us”.

The Virginia Housing Trust Fund
The Governor described his actions to keep the funding for the Housing Trust Fund in the budget and he criticized the General assembly for removing it.  He described the success from the first round of HTF funding. “I am going to keep fighting for this money because it is so important”.

The Next Three Years

McAuliffe concluded his remarks by signing Executive Order 32. He noted that the EO reflected “a focused state housing policy agenda and a renewed commitment to meeting housing goals… I intend to make significant progress on this issue during my time in office … patience is not a virtue of mine.”

He finished by noting “You have an ally in the Governor’s office on housing policy … my door is open to great new ideas”.

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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