Looking Backward on 2021

H.B. 854 Statewide Housing Study

Since the summer of 2020, HousingForward Virginia has worked with Virginia Housing and DHCD to complete the statewide housing study commissioned by the General Assembly earlier that year. The report, which assesses the Commonwealth’s housing needs, evaluates state housing programs, and recommends solutions to improve and expand current efforts, will be finalized and delivered to lawmakers by the new year.

Key areas explored in the study:

  • Housing demand, changing demographics, and the economy
  • Housing instability in the pandemic
  • Effectiveness of state housing programs
  • New state initiatives:
    • State-funded rental assistance
    • Property tax reductions
    • Utility rate reductions
    • Bond Financing options
  • Addressing racial equity in housing

Robert J. Adams Fund for Racially Equitable Housing

In November, HousingForward launched this fund to support our efforts to advance better housing opportunities for Black and brown Virginians, and to honor our newly-retired executive director. The fund was first seeded with a large donation from Atlantic Union Bank and promoted at this year’s Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference. To date, the fund has raised $31,170—well past the original $25,000 goal.

Most read news item:

A Message from our New Co-Executive Directors

Bob Adams retired after nearly 50 years in affordabel housing. The shoes he left were so big that Erica Sims and Jonathan Knopf both stepped in to fill them.

144 email clicks, 203 pageviews

Accessory Dwelling Unit Study

Working with researchers at George Mason University and the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech, HousingForward Virginia helped complete the first statewide study on accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Dozens of key stakeholder interviews, reviews of local ordinances, and research of best practices were conducted to determine the current scope of ADUs in Virginia, their role in providing greater housing choices, and opportunities for the Commonwealth to support their further development. The study was commissioned by the General Assembly (HB2053, 2021 Special Session I) and delivered to lawmakers in November.

Potomac Health Foundation

In 2020, the Potomac Health Foundation asked HousingForward Virginia to evaluate their community’s health and housing needs and to lay the groundwork for new initiatives to address those challenges. Earlier this year, HousingForward delivered our research report following data analysis and virtual townhalls with community members. We also coordinated with the newly-formed Community Health Coalition of Greater Prince William to set goals and establish priorities for greater collaboration between local housing and healthcare sectors.

City of Danville Eviction Report

The City of Danville has one of the highest eviction rates in the Commonwealth and wanted to make use of a new DHCD funding initiative known as the Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot program (VERP). In order to be competitive in the application, Danville needed to conduct a thorough quantitative and qualitative analysis of its eviction conditions. It hired HousingForward Virginia, along with Conor White and the SparkMill. The final report provides a detailed snapshot that can help shape local eviction policy.

By the Numbers:

The FWD in 2021

Over 100,000 emails sent
Over 500 emails opened per week on average
Over 1,000 email clicks
Over 3,500 individual post views

Harrisonburg Housing Summit

Photo: Ian Munro / Daily News-Record

Poised to undertake major zoning and affordable housing policy changes, the City of Harrisonburg asked HousingForward Virginia to hold two days of learning sessions with City leaders and the public. This work allowed Harrisonburg to understand affordable housing policy more deeply and make a concrete plan for next steps towards a comprehensive city housing policy. HousingForward can help jurisdictions around the state as they navigate these unique conversations.


Triple xChats.

xChats: Affordable Housing Beyond Our Borders

Housing practitioners from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America brought their insights to our audience in Virginia.

May 26th • 180 registered • Virtual

xChats: Can 3D Printers Fill In the Gap?

Housing practitioners from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America brought their insights to our audience in Virginia.

October 6th • 154 registered • Virtual

xChats @ VAGHC: The Treatment Plan

Housing practitioners from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America brought their insights to our audience in Virginia.

November 10th • 117 registered • Hybrid

We’ll see you in Newport News in May 2022 for the next HousingX Un-conference!

Where did we go?

HousingForward’s statewide reach was on display in 2021. We did work all around the Commonwealth, reaching an estimated 500 people at 12 separate engagements.

Where will we go in 2022?

Keep in touch to find out! Subscribe to our email list and find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

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