Housing Virginia Connections
March 2016
Playbook Updated for 2015 Q3

Housing Virginia offers Playbook as a resource for policy makers, housing advocates, and others interested in affordable housing. Playbook is a comprehensive inventory of affordable housing policies and programs within Virginia. Playbook provides the name and description the affordable housing policy or program and, optionally, additional details about the policy or program including local contact.

New Webinar Series: Utilizing Housing Virginia's Online Tools

Housing Virginia is excited to announce that we will hold a series of webinars focused on how to best utilize our web tools: Sourcebook, Playbook, the Research Library, and the Economic Impact Calculators for New Construction and Acquisition/Rehab.
These 30-minute free webinars will acquaint participants with the new website layout and suggest the best ways to get the most out of each tool. If you are interested in learning how to best utilize our web tools, be sure to sign up for one of the sessions below!

Virginia Nonprofit Housing Coalition Releases New Report on Manufactured Housing

The Virginia Nonprofit Housing Coalition released a new report this month, called Understanding the Myths and Realities of Manufactured Housing. This report explores the challenges and benefits of this type of housing. It also finds that some types of manufactured housing offer significant affordability benefits to lower income households and points to the improved quality of this type of housing that was manufactured after 1976.
Key findings:
  • Manufactured housing (especially smaller "single wide" designs) offer clear affordability benefits well beyond site-built housing and are among the most affordable homeownership options for lower income households. Manufactured housing accounts for 43% of all homes under $150,000.
  • Post-1976, manufactured housing has been required to meet stringent federal quality and safety standards that are set by HUD. This has resulted in a dramatic improvement in quality, durability and safety, as well as energy efficiency
  • When well-sited and maintained, research shows that manufactured housing does retain its value and does not affect property values in neighboring communities.
Over the last year, several mobile home parks in the Richmond area have come under scrutiny as a result of the physical deterioration of homes and park infrastructure. Advocates and affordable housing providers have been working together to help the residents of these parks to improve their housing and find alternative housing, if needed. Christie Marra, President of the Mobile Home Park Coalition (MHPC), applauded the release of the report: "There are many misperceptions about mobile home communities - this report provides the facts that help us understand the reality of this form of affordable housing." 

Virginia Housing Alliance's Housing Day at the Virginia GA
Every year, the Virginia Housing Alliance and its partners hold a Housing Day at the General Assembly in Richmond. 

Over 100 advocates gather for a morning training followed by meetings with their state legislators to discuss items on the legislative agenda and discuss housing needs in their districts. This year February 11th was the Alliance's first Housing Day as the newly merged organization, and the turnout exceeded expectations.
Housing Virginia Debuts Rural Housing Initiative Newsletter
As a part of Housing Virginia's Rural Housing Initiative, we have launched a newsletter specific to rural issues in housing and services in Virginia. We hope to connect with rural housing and service providers around the state to inform them of the latest rural workshops and events and keep them updated on our initiative.
We are continuing to collect responses to our rural housing needs and gaps survey so we can report the results at regional meetings around the state later this year. These sessions will also provide an opportunity for discussion and input to Housing Virginia's Rural Housing Assessment, scheduled for release in the fall. If you haven't already, please take a few minutes to fill out the simple survey so we can learn exactly what your area's needs and gaps are. You can find the survey here.
If you are a rural housing or service provider and would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact alise@hdadvisors.net with your name and organization.

Save the Date: Richmond's Affordable Housing Awareness Week Scheduled for April 24th-30th
The Partnership for Housing Affordability has scheduled the ninth annual Affordable Housing Awareness Week for April 24th-30th. 

During this week-long event, hundreds of volunteers across the Richmond region will mobilize to help area nonprofits at dozens of worksites, with many receiving a day off from their employers to work individually or in teams.

Save the Date: 2016 Virginia Governor's Conference on Aging May 2nd-3rd in Richmond
Governor McAuliffe has called for the first Virginia Governor's Conference on Aging since 2003. The day and a half conference will be held May 2-3, 2016 at the Hilton Short Pump in Richmond. 

The first day will be a full conference program of engaging and interactive plenary sessions, a large variety of breakout sessions, networking opportunities, an exhibit hall and an evening reception. The second day is an optional, half-day, moderated session that will result in a number of state policy recommendations. Housing Virginia will be leading a session on the challenges and opportunities in meeting the housing needs of Baby Boomers.

of the Month

Calculate Your Personal Commuting Cost

Last month, we looked at the Housing + Commuting Affordability Index that brings to light a very substantial hidden cost in housing affordability. This index, however, calculates the average transportation cost for your locality. What if you want to calculate the cost for a specific situation? That's what the Personalized Commuting Cost Calculator is for.

Last year, we noted the disparity in home sales prices in Hampton Roads. Many low-income service and hospitality workers cannot afford to live in Virginia Beach where they work, so they commute from more affordable areas such as Portsmouth. 

For comparison, the median sales price of a home in Virginia Beach is $249,000, where a home in Portsmouth is only $135,500. That amounts to a monthly homeownership cost of $1,258 in Virginia Beach versus only $688 in Portsmouth. Renters also feel the squeeze - the median gross rent (including utilities) for Virginia Beach is $1,262 per month, and in Portsmouth it is only $940 per month.

In This Issue
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

VHA Federal Lobby Day
April 13 in Washington, DC
On Federal Housing Day, we will travel to Capitol Hill to meet with our U.S. Congressmen and discuss important federal housing issues. We will carpool from Richmond to Washington, D.C. We can also help arrange carpools from other parts of the state.
Click here to register

Affordable Housing Awareness Week 2016
April 24th-30th
Each year, residents from across the Richmond region look forward Affordable Housing Awareness Week, when more than 500 volunteers put on t-shirts instead of office clothes to participate in a volunteer-driven event that makes a difference for hundreds of members of our community.

2016 VAHCDO Annual Conference and Scholarship Luncheon
April 27-29 in Virginia Beach
The VAHCDO Annual Conference and Scholarship Luncheon aims to provide leading housing professionals with the opportunity to stay up to date with the latest state and federal programs, best practices, regulations and initiatives. The theme for this year's conference is "Happy Birthday VAHCDO" in recognition of VAHCDO reaching its 75th year of service.

NHC: Solutions 2016
April 28-29 in New York, NY
This conference will connect affordable housing developers, advocates, funders and government officials for panels, workshops and round-table discussions on challenges and opportunities in community acceptance

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

VACo Annual Conference
Nov 13-14 in Bath County
Registration for this annual conference opens on Aug 15th. 

2016 VA GHC
Nov 16-18 in Roanoke, VA
Save the date for the annual VA Governor's Housing Conference at Hotel Roanoke.