Housing Virginia Connections
July 2017
In Case You Missed It: Housing Virginia's Microblog

Each Thursday morning, Housing Virginia sends out a brief snippet on one housing issue. These posts will keep you up to date on the latest housing research and trends in Virginia and beyond.
You can find a collection of our microblogs hereDon't miss a post - you can sign up to receive the microblog here.

Housing Virginia Introduces New Messaging Toolkit

When making the case for affordable housing, compelling data is only half of the equation - without a supporting narrative to frame the message in a way that resonates with the audience, data can sometimes do more harm than good. That's why Housing Virginia has begun assembling a Messaging Toolkit to help advocates and supporters of affordable housing best utilize the data and tools on our website.
The initiative kicked off with Dr. Tiffany Manuel (Enterprise Community Partners) and Dr. Mackenzie Price (FrameWorks Institute) presenting preliminary findings on their research around "re-framing the affordable housing message" at Housing Virginia's annual policy retreat. You can find their presentations on our new Messaging Toolkit page

Exploring Housing Affordability in Virginia with MAPBOOK

Housing Virginia's web-based mapping tool, MAPBOOK, now features three mapping examples that help tell the story of housing affordability in Virginia. This tool aims to pair the data from our other tools and research with a visual element to highlight the meaning of the data and make it more accessible to the typical user.
The exploratory maps are platforms that allow users to view and explore housing data at the state, regional, and local levels and better understand their spatial relationships. These include:

The Maggie Walker Community Land Trust Breaks Ground in Church Hill on First Home
On June 1st, the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust (MWCLT) celebrated the groundbreaking of its first home, located at 1114 North 26th Street. The home is being constructed by project:HOMES.
The house, which is currently under construction, will be about 1,680 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths and will have a sales price of approximately $195,000, which is about $40,000 below market value. The MWCLT is hoping to hand the keys over later this fall to a family making no more than 115% of the Area Median Income.
"The purpose of a land trust is to create affordable housing in perpetuity," Laura Lafayette, chairwoman of the MWCLT and CEO of the Richmond Association of Realtors®, said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Virginia Housing Alliance Celebrates 30 Years of Awards

Last month, the Virginia Housing Alliance held their 30th Annual Awards Luncheon at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. In honor of the milestone, VHA presented a Legacy Award to Senator Tim Kaine for his dedication to expanding and protecting housing opportunities for all Virginians.
Keynote speaker Diane Yentel of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) spoke in support of affordable housing advocacy efforts throughout the Commonwealth and urged the audience to oppose budget cuts and to push for reform of the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID).
This year's luncheon recognized 11 industry professionals with inductions to the Housing Hall of Fame and Top 40 Network, with Game Changer Awards, and with the Legislative Leadership Award.
CHACE Aims to Bring Housing to the Forefront of Virginia's Fall Campaigns

Housing affordability is rarely a key issue in electoral politics in Virginia and elsewhere in the nation. With the exception of the Foreclosure Crisis of 2009 to 2012, housing seldom finds its way above the fold on the front page of most newspapers. A group of Virginia housing providers and advocates is working to change that.
The Campaign for Housing and Civic Engagement (CHACE) seeks to make housing a more prominent issue in both the statewide and House of Delegates races in Virginia this fall, where all 100 seats are on the ballot. The group's efforts will be particularly focused on candidate engagement and education.
Materials highlighting housing challenges and opportunities are being prepared for the state and for individual districts. Meetings and tours with candidates are being scheduled for later this summer and fall. Housing-related questions for advocates to use in local and statewide candidate forums are being developed, and CHACE is engaging with statewide and local groups planning forums during the campaign season.

Register Now: Upcoming Housing Conferences in Virginia

1. Housing Virginia's Most Vulnerable Conference, August 16-17 in Richmond (VHA)

The Housing Virginia's Most Vulnerable Conference, hosted by the Virginia Housing Alliance in partnership with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, will be August 16-17, 2017 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Midlothian. 

2. Housing Credit Conference, September 26-27 in Richmond (VHA)
The Virginia Housing Alliance's 2017 Housing Credit Conference will be September 26-27 at the Omni Richmond Hotel in downtown Richmond. Bobby Rozen, who serves as Washington Council at Ernst & Young and has been a long-term supporter of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, will be the keynote at the conference this year.

3. Virginia Governor's Housing Conference, November 15-17 in Norfolk (DHCD)
Registration is open for the annual Virginia Governor's Housing Conference in Norfolk from November 15 through 17 later this year. This conference is Virginia's largest housing event packed full of educational sessions led by experts in housing, finance, and community development, as well as amazing networking opportunities with colleagues from across the commonwealth.
This year's theme is "Fostering Inclusive Communities," and it will also include a Blueprint for the Future competition to design a home that meets affordability, sustainability, and accessibility criteria.

In Case You Missed It: NLIHC Releases Out of Reach 2017

Last month, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released their annual Out of Reach Report. This analysis demonstrates the need for affordable housing around the country by framing it into a "housing wage" - that is, how much a person would need to make per hour to rent a modest apartment in a given state or locality.
The report found that nowhere in the country could a minimum wage full-time worker (making $7.25 an hour) can afford to rent a modest 2-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent. In only 12 counties nationwide can a full-time worker afford a modest one-bedroom apartment. 

In This Issue
Retooling Our Crisis Response System
Aug 6 in Salem
This free symposium, hosted by the Blue Ridge CoC, is focused on strengthening our crisis response system to ensure that homelessness is rare, brief, and non-reoccurring.
Participants will come away with a wealth of information designed to enhance their practice with homeless families and individuals as well as resources for a new framework for thinking about our community's response to homelessness.
Click here to register

Housing Virginia's Most Vulnerable Conference
Aug. 16-17 in Midlothian
This conference, hosted by the Virginia Housing Alliance and the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, is a great opportunity for front-line staff of homeless service providers as well as management to come together for information on the latest trends and best practices in homeless services.

Zero Energy Housing: Performance & Cost
Aug. 17 in Richmond or Online
Join Viridiant to discuss findings from a multi-year study of Community Housing Partners' Grissom Lane Apartments that aims to evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of zero-energy housing. 

VHA Housing Credit Conference
Sept. 26-27 in Richmond, VA
The annual VHA Housing Credit Conference is the premier opportunity in Virginia for tax credit professionals to stay up to date on the latest industry trends and connect with others in the field.

Rural Planning Caucus of VA Annual Conference
Oct. 18-20 in South Boston
2017 marks 39 continuous years that RPC has been hosting an annual conference for rural planning professionals. Unless noted, all sessions will have AICP Certification Maintenance (CM) credits.

VAGHC 2017
Nov. 15-17 in Norfolk
The GHC is Virginia's largest housing event and is packed full of educational sessions led by experts in housing, finance, and community development. Participants also benefit from amazing networking opportunities with colleagues from across the state.