We’ve changed our name. Housing Virginia is now HousingForward Virginia.
But organizations change names all the time, and such news rarely makes a headline.
It’s what is behind our new name and our refreshed look that truly matters.
Months ago, we came together as a team — our Board, our staff, and outside experts — to evaluate our work and create an overarching communications strategy that would make it clear who we are, what we do, and how we do it. That work began in-person, and after the pandemic settled in, wrapped up virtually this summer.
While there are numerous housing agencies and nonprofits in Virginia, the new name sets us apart and clarifies our mission: We equip advocates to advance affordable housing across Virginia.
We are a “first stop” for housing advocates, planners, developers, and mission-aligned organizations. We are partners to these groups in the work of expanding housing opportunity throughout the Commonwealth. If you are one such partner and have a need for affordable housing education, actionable insights, or relationships — we’re ready to work with you.
Our partners rely on us for affordable housing data and building necessary connections to advance their work. With our tools they’re able to better identify needs, influence decision makers, and ultimately increase affordable housing for all.
“For all.” That’s an important phrase, too. Especially today.
Racial equity is a core element of our efforts. For most Americans, homeownership is the principal path to building wealth. Yet decades of public policy in this country intentionally excluded African Americans from an equal opportunity to own a home. This created the vast disparity in wealth that we see today — one that is now exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognizing that housing is a critical social determinant of health — and that where someone lives impacts their opportunity to thrive —our efforts place priority on dismantling the disparities faced by families of color as well as improving access to quality affordable housing, wealth building, and better health for all our neighbors.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Six Steps to Nonviolent Social Change begins with information gathering and education — our work is at the forefront of these activities. We believe this approach can end the vicious cycles of poverty, racism, and unequal access to decent housing in our communities.
Virginia can be a model for the nation. We are assembling data for education, building actionable policy solutions, and working in partnership with other statewide housing groups. We will announce more on these initiatives in coming months. In the meantime, please send us your ideas.
We have a daunting job ahead. This is a moment of change in America, and we invite you to help us make this catalytic moment result in real change. This is who we are, moving forward… moving housing forward.