Microblog #103: Open doors and larger pockets.

Our doors are open—to new Virginians and new dollars for housing

Last week’s microblog touched on the changing immigration landscape as one reason America’s big cities aren’t growing. That trend is likely to continue given a recent announcement that the US seeks to slash annual refugee admissions, which have been steadily cut each year of the current presidency, down to a historically low 18,000. 

Since 2002, Harrisonburg and Richmond have seen more refugees resettle than any other localities in Virginia—though this number has been dropping in recent years. It is widely accepted that communities benefit from refugees, and that is no different in Virginia

Virginia’s Governor affirmed this with a letter renewing the Commonwealth’s commitment to welcoming refugees: “Virginia’s lights are on and our doors are open, and we welcome new Virginians to make their homes here.” 

As housers know, words alone don’t build a home. To that end, the Governor’s recent proposal to increase the Virginia Housing Trust Fund by $84 million dollars over the next three years will help Virginia remain a welcoming destination for immigrants. 

Newly resettled Virginians face many challenges: navigating new languages and new customs, facing discrimination, and dealing with the stress and trauma that often comes with relocation. These challenges compound the pressing needs to secure employment, education for family members and, of course, housing.

So let’s reciprocate the benefits our newly resettled neighbors provide us, and use this newfound momentum for affordable housing to build inclusive communities everywhere.

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