Housing Virginia Connections
January 2016
Housing Virginia has a new look - and a new tagline: Inform ǀ Connect ǀ Unlock. We Inform with our data tools, such as Sourcebook, Playbook, and our Research Library. We Connect housing with other sectors - schools, transportation, health, and more. Through our work, we help Unlock housing opportunities for families and individuals throughout the state.
As we mark the close of our tenth year of operation, we are pleased to unveil a new approach to deliver our data tools and messaging to affordable housing supporters and providers in Virginia. Our mission remains the same - to help all Virginians have access to high quality, affordable housing in suitable locations. So as we ring in the New Year, we hope you'll stick with us for another 10 years and beyond.

Housing Virginia's New Website & Sourcebook Update

Housing Virginia has big news - our website has gotten a complete redesign so we can provide our tools and information in a more user-friendly way. This new design also aligns with our new tagline:  Inform ǀ Connect ǀ Unlock. Visit the site today to get a feel for the new navigation!
We have also just completed our final Sourcebook update for 2015 - many of our sections are now showing data through the 3rd Quarter of 2015, and the new website design makes navigating quicker and easier than ever. Sourcebook is the most up-to-date comprehensive source for affordable housing data in the state.

In Case You Missed It: 2015 VA Governor's Housing Conference

This year's VAGHC was the largest yet - nearly 800 housers gathered in Hampton to connect with each other and attend a wide variety of conference sessions and plenaries. 

Housing Virginia had a considerable presence at the conference as well - in addition to partnering with DHCD, VHDA, USDA-RD, and HUD to host the conference, we discussed rural housing needs and gaps with over 50 rural housers at a pre-conference session, held a number of snap and concurrent sessions, honored our founding organizations at our annual reception, and helped to identify candidates for the In My Back Yard "IMBY" Award at the awards luncheon.

Housing Virginia Launches Rural Housing Network Initiative

Housing Virginia is launching a project with USDA-RD and BB&T over the next year that will focus on housing needs, gaps and capacity in rural Virginia. We kicked this work off with a meeting just prior to the opening session of the Governor's Housing Conference in Hampton.
We used the session to begin a dialogue about changing conditions in rural Virginia housing markets. We asked over 50 rural housers in attendance about the trends that they are seeing in housing needs and demand as well as resources and capacity. 

Good News for Affordable Housing Advocates: From Washington and Richmond
(1)    LIHTC Permanently Extended with 9% Fixed Rate

On December 15th, the House released language for the tax credit extender bill that will permanently extend the Housing Credit and fix the rate at 9% for new construction and substantial rehabilitation. The bill is retroactive to January 1, 2015 and is a major victory for the tax credit program. This will simplify administration of the program by allowing states to allocate more Housing Credit equity into individual developments when needed for financial feasibility.
Introducing the Virginia Multifamily Energy Efficiency Council 
Throughout the summer, a group of energy efficiency advocates, weatherization providers, affordable housing providers and environmental organizations began meeting around finding ways to improve the energy efficiency of Virginia's multifamily housing stock. Over a series of meetings, this multi-sector group agreed to form an ongoing coalition - the Virginia Multifamily Energy Efficiency Council (VA MFEEC).

The group decided to focus specifically on the affordable multifamily residential stock due to the unique programmatic challenges it presents, and the impact lower energy costs have for low and moderate income renters, and the potential towards helping the state meet its energy goals. In Virginia and nationwide, multifamily housing lags behind other sectors in terms of energy efficiency and is currently underserved by state, federal, and utility weatherization programs in the state.

Happy New Year from Housing Virginia!
Thank you to all of the dedicated people and organizations who support affordable housing in Virginia.
We wish you a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

In This Issue
Housing Day at the VA GA
Feb 11 in Richmond, VA
The first Housing Day hosted by the newly formed Virginia Housing Alliance. Advocate for state policy that supports affordable housing at the VA General Assembly. More details to come.

2016 Age Wave Strategic Update
Mar 25 in Richmond, VA
Learn about plans for Age Wave in 2016 and how you can collaborate. E-mail Sara Link to RSVP

VA Governor's Conference on Aging
May 2-3 in Richmond, VA
The Governor has called for the first Conference on Aging since 2003 this year. The day and a half conference will feature plenary & breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall.
Click here for more information