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Housing Virginia E-News
September,  2011
 
Housing Policy Must Be a Priority
  
  • President and Chief Executive Officer of Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia (HOME) In 2006,
  •  HOME received an award for Best Housing Organization in the state from Virginia's Governor.  
  • Housing Virginia Board Member
Virginia and the nation are just beginning to emerge from the most serious economic crisis in generations.  At the center of this crisis has been the collapse of the housing market.  Homeowners in Virginia have lost billions of dollars of equity in their homes, rental costs are rising faster than incomes, foreclosures are hollowing out neighborhoods, and homelessness is on the rise for the first time in a decade.   The homebuilding industry is in depression with housing starts at record lows.  The future of the mortgage industry is uncertain, and young families are left with fewer housing options than their parents. 

Housing policy must be a top priority now. Over a million Virginians are suffering from the housing cost burden. On average, over three years from 2007-2009, 1,004,050 million Virginians paid more than 30 percent of their income for housing. That's 35 percent of all Virginians. With the homebuyer market in crisis, new pressure on rental housing is driving up rents and pushing affordable housing out of reach for many workers. Job growth has been weak, wages have remained stagnant for years, and many Virginians have seen their salaries and work hours reduced. Because of this, housing is a huge and rising cost burden on many Virginians that will only get worse given the slow economic recovery, stagnant wages, weak job growth, and rising rents.

Economists, business leaders, and policy makers all agree that restarting the housing market is essential to our economic recovery. Yet, we have just seen the deepest cuts to federal housing programs in 30 years.  Eliminating federal funding for housing counseling makes recovery of the housing market more difficult. Housing counselors are trained professionals who prevent foreclosures by helping homeowners get loan modifications. Slashing housing counseling funding in the middle of housing crisis is bad public policy.

 Read More...  

Carrie S. Schmidt Named HUD Richmond Director

Earlier this summer, Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Jane C. W. Vincent announced Carrie S. Schmidt as the HUD Richmond Director. In this capacity, Schmidt  oversees the coordination of HUD programs throughout Virginia with the exception of Northern Virginia.

"Carrie brings a wealth of experience to the position having worked in several other capacities at U.S.D.A. Rural Development," said Vincent. "She has the wherewithal to implement public policies collaboratively with HUD's partners while providing outstanding customer service."

Carrie has over 25 years experience in housing, community and economic development. She recently served as Director, Community Programs for USDA Rural Development serving all rural communities across the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, she served as Deputy Director for the Rural Housing Service in Washington, DC, and held numerous positions within Rural Development.
"Her experience will prove invaluable in connecting HUD to its partners and customers," said Vincent "Having worked at Rural Development, she will help grantees leverage available HUD programs to serve their objectives and to fulfill HUD's mission."

"I'm excited to be part of the HUD family," said Schmidt. "I look forward to working with our partners and customers to strengthen communities, increase affordable housing and improve the quality of life for citizens."

Taking the podium in Charlottesville in August, Trip Pollard of the Southern Environmental Law Center presents at a fourth regional forums on Jobs, Housing and Transportation based upon a Housing Virginia whitepaper by the same name. Co-sponsored by the Coalition for Housing Opportunity, these forums bring together housing providers , land use & transportation planners, private developers and decision makers to examine the connectedness between these key regional engines for economic health. Two more forums remain in Fredericksburg and Front Royal in October (see the calendar right)

Housing Virginia to Release New White Paper Later this Year

Housing Virginia's next white paper is in the final edit and design stage. The release is scheduled for early December.  The topic of the paper is the Economic Impact of Housing.  The report includes five short essays that look at this issue from different perspectives.  These include:

 

  • The Housing Multiplier:  A primer on how housing construction and operations impact economic activity  -using the IMPLAN model that projects jobs, tax revenues and economic spin off impacts from residential construction.
  • Fiscal Impact of Housing on Local Government: This paper will explore the commonly held belief that residential development has a negative impact on local government budgets - that it does not "pay for itself" in terms of education and services. 
  • Sustaining Homeownership: The future of homeownership policy has been called into  question by the collapse of the housing market over the past four years. The  wave of foreclosures and changing underwriting standards create real issues for the next generation of homebuyers. This paper will frame strategies for re-thinking homeownership. 
  • The Economic Benefits of Mixed Use Development:  Mixed use developments that combine residential and commercial uses can provide a powerful stimulus for new investment and development in revitalization areas.  Case studies in Virginia localities will provide examples of how such development, including workforce housing, create positive conditions for subsequent investment.
  • Housing Affordability and Economic Competitiveness: This section will look at the role that affordable housing plays in corporate decision making  - including decisions to locate or expand facilities.  Companies now consider neighborhood quality, housing affordability, opportunity and choice  as  important elements to consider relative to their employees' quality of life. The healthcare sector has been a leader in bringing housing into the corporate boardroom. 

As the economy continues to struggle to recover from the deep recession of the past several years, there is increasing recognition of the significant role that the housing industry plays in the broader economy.  This paper is designed to help stimulate further discussion and greater understanding of this important and timely issue.







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In This Issue
Carrie S. Schmidt Named HUD Richmond Director
Housing Virginia to Release New White Paper Later this Year
Other Articles

 Roanoke Valley - Allegany Housing Study Explores Regional Trends

Governor's Housing Conference Links Housing and Transportation

Fredericksburg Realtors are Training their Peers on Housing Opportunity
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.
Calendar
 
September , 2011 and October 6, 2011 Free Money Management and Credit Recovery Class for consumers and potential homeowners, Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Richmond

October 26, 2011 Unlocking Doors and Minds for 40 Years. HOME's celebration at the Richmond Marriott.

November, 16 - 18th 2011 Governors Housing Conference - Navigating and Changing Environment. Hampton Roads Convention Center.

October 18, 2011 - Housing Virginia Fredericksburg Regional Forum (tentative date)

November 4, 2011 Housing Virginia Front Royal Regional Forum

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