Where insights advance affordability

HousingForward Virginia is the Commonwealth’s trusted resource for affordable housing data and actionable insights. Advocates, planners, developers, and mission-aligned organizations rely on us to help them build connections and advance their work. With our tools, they’re able to better identify needs, influence decision makers, and ultimately increase access to affordable housing for all.

What We Do

  • Inform public policy and housing regulations
  • Support local and regional housing networks
  • Encourage a healthy lending and financial environment
  • Convene key stakeholders
  • Provide leaders with actionable information  
  • Explore innovative methods to reduce housing costs
  • Promote strategies to preserve affordable housing 
  • Shine a light on racial disparities in housing 
  • Assist with development of equitable housing policy
  • Build a positive public image for affordable housing

An Approach with Intent

Our efforts place priority on racial equity. Our work ensures affordable housing in Virginia is planned, developed, and built with purpose to end the cycles of poverty, racism, and community violence. We recognize Housing is a Social Determinant of Health, understanding that where and how we live impacts an individual’s and a family’s health. We believe HousingForward Virginia’s efforts spark change and create a better quality of life for all our neighbors.

Our Board

Nathalia Artus, Chair

Atlantic Union Bank

Nathalia is a Senior Vice President and Director of Community Development and Reinvestment with Atlantic Union Bank. Her focus at work is promoting community economic development through financial assistance – including within the nonprofit and governmental sectors.

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Lisa Porter, Vice Chair

Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Lisa R. Porter is the Executive Director & CEO at the Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority and a member of the Virginia Housing (formerly VHDA) Board of Commissioners.

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Vaughn Poller, Immediate Past Chair

James City County

Vaughn has been a resident of James City since 1991. He worked in the James City County Office of Housing and Community Development as the Community Development Planner for ten years and was a founding member of the County’s Neighborhood Connections Office.

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Leslie Frazier, Treasurer

Virginia REALTORS®

Before becoming Senior Vice President of Community and Industry Relations for Virginia REALTORS®, Leslie worked for two Virginia governors, applying her skills and passion to an array of policy initiatives, from veteran and military issues to foster care.

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Shernita Bethea, Secretary

Hampton Roads Planning District Commission

Shernita L. Bethea is the Housing Administrator for the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission. In her capacity as a planner, she works with a variety of organizations and agencies in the effort to promote regional approaches to issues pertaining to the elderly population, services for persons with disabilities as well as various housing issues.

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Andrew Clark

Home Builders Association of Virginia

Andrew serves as HBAV Vice President of Government Relations. Andrew manages the HBAV government affairs and regulatory programs as well as the HBAV Build-PAC.

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Susan F. Dewey

Virginia Housing (Retired)

Susan served as the Executive Director of Virginia Housing (formerly VHDA) from 1999 through 2023. Prior to that, she served for three years as Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was an ex-officio Virginia Housing Commissioner.

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Jarrod Elwell

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Jarrod Elwell is the Community Development regional manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, serving Virginia and Washington, D.C. Jarrod joined the Richmond Fed in January 2023, bringing almost three decades of experience in community development.

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Tom Fitzpatrick

Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia

Thomas Okuda Fitzpatrick is the Executive Director of Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia (HOME). He leads HOME’s efforts in eradicating housing and lending discrimination and leveling the playing field to ensure equal access to housing for all people.

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Yolunda Harrell

New Hill Development Corp.

Yolunda Harrell originally hails from Alabama (Roll Tide) but grew up predominantly in South Carolina. She has worked, served, and lived in the Charlottesville area for the last 13 years. Yolunda is a Christian, wife, business partner, executive manager, entrepreneur and CEO and Founder of New Hill Development Corporation.

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Bryan Horn

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

Bryan Horn serves as the director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). He brings years of experience to the administration. He is a skilled attorney whose primary areas of practice were construction law, eminent domain law and general commercial and real estate litigation.

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Andy Kegley

HOPE, Inc.

Andy Kegley has served as Executive Director of Helping Overcome Poverty’s Existence, Inc. (HOPE) since its merger with Mountain Shelter, Inc. in 2007. Prior to that, he was the founding board chair in 1991, and became Executive Director of Mountain Shelter in 1995.

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Amir Kirkwood


As President and CEO, Amir Kirkwood leads Locus (formerly VCC) in its mission to promote an enhanced quality of life for the communities the organization serves. Amir has more than 20 years of banking and economic development finance experience.

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Jill Norcross

Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance

Jill Norcross became the Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance in January 2023. She has over 20 years of experience in fostering successful partnerships with diverse stakeholders around affordable housing planning and development.

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Bryan Phipps

People, Inc.

Bryan Phipps is the President and CEO of People Incorporated of Virginia. He has over 23 years of experience working in nonprofit development and management and is a Certified Community Action Professional.

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Austin Pittman

The Lawson Companies

Austin Pittman is the Senior Development Manager at The Lawson Companies, focusing on project feasibility and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). As a member of the development team he works directly with the state housing credit authority, while managing the LIHTC process from procurement to completion.

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Earl B. Reynolds, Jr.

City of Danville

Earl Reynolds is the Deputy City Manager for the City of Danville. Born in Roanoke, Virginia, Mr. Reynolds graduated from Lucy Addison High School in 1969. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Fayetteville State University and two Masters Degrees from the State University of New York at Albany.

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Sean G. Stevens

Dominion Energy

Sean G. Stevens is the Director of Electric Distribution Design and Project Management in Dominion Energy’s Grid and Technical Solutions Group. His areas of responsibility include design, customer contracts, joint use, right of way, and project management activities, as well as emergency response during restoration events.

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Carol Wilson


Carol is the Manager of Social Determinants of Health at Sentara Health Plans, where she develops programs and collaborations aimed at reducing the negative impacts of social factors in the lives of members.

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Carrie Schmidt, HUD Liaison

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Carrie has served as the Richmond Field Office Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development since 2011. She is responsible for ensuring that all HUD programs are effectively delivered across the Commonwealth providing coordinated opportunities to communities that support community economic development, quality housing, access and affordability.

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Our Staff

Jonathan Knopf

Executive Director for Programs

Jonathan directs HousingForward Virginia’s research and progam efforts across the commonwealth. This work includes regional and local housing needs assessments, policy generation and implementation, and communications strategies.

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Eric Mai

Executive Director for Strategy and Sustainability

Eric is a Senior Associate at HDAdvisors, where he specializes in policy research and outreach to gain a comprehensive understanding of affordable housing needs and opportunities.

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Erica Sims

Senior Associate

Erica Sims has worked in the non-profit management, affordable housing development and community organizing fields for over 17 years. Her focus has been on social and economic justice through housing and economic development.

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Maria Dougherty

Senior Associate

Maria Tova Enriquez Dougherty joined HDAdvisors in June 2022 as a Senior Associate. She is involved on a variety projects for the company, including providing policy research and programmatic development for HousingForward Virginia and the Virginia Statewide Community Land Trust (VSCLT) and affordable housing real estate development.

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Flora Valdes-Dapena

Junior Associate

As Junior Associate, Flora handles branded communications for HousingForward Virginia, including our website, social media, and email list, as well as organizing meetings, keeping records, and taking on special projects.

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Karin Sheets

Development Consultant

Karin has more than 20 years of fund development and administrative experience in the nonprofit sector.

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Our Supporters

Our work would not be possible without the generous support of our funders and partners. You can become a supporter by donating today.