Housing Virginia E-News
January, 2011

Steve Lawson, Housing Virginia Board Member and Hampton Roads Homebuilder

SteveLawson As a builder of homes and apartments intended for a wide range of owners and renters, I have found the greatest challenge and the most satisfaction in creating housing opportunities for the working families that are the backbone of our communities. While home prices have fallen in most areas of the Commonwealth, they have not come down enough to make a significant dent in the basic affordability problem that has plagued us for many years. 

Mortgage rates are still low by historical standards, but the extremely difficult mortgage approval environment has denied many qualified working families the economic and emotional benefits of homeownership. To make matters worse for struggling households, competition in the rental market has recently caused rents to rise in many areas.
As our communities continue to grow, we have the responsibility to foster the development of healthy and affordable choices for new households - they are our young people coming of age, forming their own families, and having children. But in the traditional suburban model of development, the most affordable housing is often the greatest distance from employment centers. This does not relieve burdened families from the high cost of housing but simply shifts the cost to transportation and creates more congested roads.

Our land use policies need to address housing within the context of jobs, transportation, and affordability, but zoning codes are notoriously slow to change. Existing homeowners are often wary of higher housing density, but it is the surest way to increase affordability and can be accomplished in extremely attractive ways that add value to surrounding neighborhoods. These are just a few of the challenges we face every day as housing providers.
SOURCEBOOK now Updated with 3rd Quarter 2010 housing data

SOURCEBOOKSOURCEBOOK, launched in November, is the comprehensive, interactive Housing Virginia resource for housing affordability for Virginia communities. It now has been updated to include recently released housing price data to reflect the median price of housing through the third quater of 2010. In addition the SOURCEBOOK data has been updated to reflect the latest American Community Survey data from the US Bureau of Census. 

The Housing Affordability indexes have all been recalculated through the 3rd quarter of 2010 to reflect the most current housing cost data and estimates of Household income available. All of the charts and maps illustrating the characteristics of housing affordability have been updated incorporating this new information.
While there was little change in overall housing affordability statewide between the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2010 the new Census data for 2009 indicates a steady increase of households that are paying more than 30% of their income for housing. Now over 1,000,000 VA households, or 35.8% of all households, are now cost burdened. This has been a steady increase of slightly less than 1% per year for the last 5 years. Check out how housing affordability has change in your locality.  

SOURCEBOOK continues to be the most reliable, comprehensive and most current source of information on housing affordability for your area. Go to SOURCEBOOK at www.housingvirginia.org for the latest housing information on your community.

In this issue, see more information on SOURCEBOOK, including
  • SOURCEBOOK information on Assisted Rental Housing
  • Housing Affordability: What Does the SOURCEBOOK Show?
    • Ted Koebel, Center for Housing Research, Virginia Tech
"Connecting Home and Work" Regional Housing Symposium Attracts 100 in Hampton Roads

HamptonRoadsHousing Virginia and the Southern Environmental Law Center presented "Jobs, Transportation and Housing: Connecting Home & Work on January 13 in Chesapeake. The half day event attracted over 100 professionals from housing, community development, economic development and transportation interests. The purpose of the symposium was to stimulate, inform and advance local dialogue on the connection between jobs, transportation and affordable housing.

Event co-sponsors  were the Hampton Roads Housing Consortium, Hampton Roads ULI, Tidewater Builders Association, Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation, The Housing Roundtable and Light Rail Now, Inc. During a presentation on the white paper "Connecting Home and Work" author Trip Pollard focused specifically on the interwoven issues as they relate to the Hampton Roads region.  


Additionally, a cross sector panel discussion was presented by J. Barry Frankenfield from the City of Virginia Beach, Camelia Ravanbakht from the Hampton Roads, TPO, F. Andrew Heatwold from Ripley Heatwole Developers, Warren D. Harris from the City of Virginia Beach, Frank Spadea, Franciscus Company and Cynthia Whitbred-Spanoulis, from the Virginia Beach Economic Development Office.


Charlottesville Coalition for Housing Opportunity Connects Housing to a Range of Policy Issues
The Coalition for Housing Opportunity was formed in early 2010 to carry out a regional housing marketing campaign to promote the message that "Housing is the foundation of community prosperity". This campaign, funded in partnership with Housing Virginia, was an action item in the Regional Housing Action Plan that emerged from the Regional Housing Conference, held in March 2008.

The Coalition, made up of a number of regional partners, has developed a series of informational briefs on housing and its connection to community prosperity. The briefs provide an analysis of housing affordability in the greater Charlottesville region and highlight recent research revealing the broader implications of providing sufficient housing opportunities for all members of the community. This includes economic development, transportation, education, public health, and accessibility. A list of partners in the Coalition and the white papers are available on the TJPDC website at http://www.tipdc.org/housing/cho.asp



For more information, contact Daniel Nairn at 434-979-7310 ext 290, dnairn@tipdc.org.    

In This Issue
SOURCEBOOK now Updated with 3rd Quarter 2010 Housing Data
"Connecting Home and Work" Regional Housing Symposium Attracts 100 in Hampton Roads
Charlottesville Coalition for Housing Opportunity Connects Housing to a Range of Policy Issues
More News

Housing Affordability: What Does the SOURCEBOOK Show? -Ted Koebel, Center for Housing Research, Virginia Tech

Assisted Rental Housing Supply Data Now Available in SOURCEBOOK

Richmond Area Affordable Housing Week Set for April 2011

Give to Housing Virginia

Your generous gift helps Housing Virginia to make the case for increasing the supply of affordable housing options across the Commonwealth.

Your tax-deductible donation may be sent to:
Housing Virginia
P. O. Box 4658
Richmond, VA   23220

Or you can make a secure online donation here.

Housing Virginia also participates in the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign.  Please use CVC code # 3690.

VAHCDO 2011 Annual Winter Conference - January 30th-February 1st, 2011

Housing Advocacy Day - Richmond, VA - February 2, 2011 -- For more information contact afaruk@phonehome.org

Housing Virginia SOURCEBOOK Training Session - February 4, 2011

 Richmond Affordable Housing Awareness Week - April 25-30, 2011

VAHCDO 2011 Annual Conference & Scholarship Luncheon - May 11th-13th, 2011

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