In March of 2020, the General Assembly passed H.B. 854, which mandates that the Department of Housing and Community Development and Virginia Housing carry out a study of housing policies, programs, and conditions in the Commonwealth as well as assess several specific program concepts. HousingForward Virginia is the prime contractor for this work.
DHCD and Virginia Housing have formed a Stakeholder Advisory Group made up of housing experts and practitioners from across the state. This group will review the findings of the study and make recommendations for action.
The bill lays out several charges for the Stakeholder Group:
- Determine the quality and quantity of affordable and workforce housing
- Conduct a review of current programs and policies
- Develop a projection of future housing needs
- Make recommendations for the improvement of housing policy in Virginia
In addition, the study will examine the impact of the pandemic on affordable housing as well as the status and impact of racial inequity in affordable housing. Finally, the project will look specifically at several program areas: state rental assistance, utility rate reduction, property tax reduction, bond financing, and other programs that increase housing supply.
The final report will be completed in the fall of 2021. Per H.B. 854’s requirements, it will include a full analysis of existing policies and programs, assessments of potential new housing programs, and a quantitative determination of the quality and quantity of affordable housing in the commonwealth.
June 17, 2021
We’re on track to complete the H.B. 854 study by the end of the year.
Since work began during the last quarter of 2020, we’ve convened the Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) three times, completed a survey of housing providers across the state and held focus groups to better understand the results, and drafted findings and recommendations for four out of six SAG subgroups.
Right now, we’re compiling and analyzing housing, demographic, and socioeconomic data from across the Commonwealth to complement what we’ve learned from providers so far. Virginia Housing and DHCD are helping us collect and analyze program data as well. There’s also surveys of clients, users, and community members to pore over, plus more findings and recommendations from the SAG subgroups.
We’re looking forward to meeting with the SAG several more times this summer, then beginning on the draft final report. The report will include all the results of our engagement with providers and their clients; housing needs assessments and projections for the whole state; analysis of existing programs’ scope, scale, and effectiveness; and findings and recommendations for new and existing programs and priority areas of the Commonwealth.