Microblog #115: Ready for some good news?

Good news is difficult to find these days, so a National Housing Trust Fund increase is welcome news to stressed-out housers. 

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In partnership with the Virginia Housing Alliance, we’ve interviewed two dozen leaders of non-profit housing providers in the Richmond region over the past week. It’s been a grim descent into the harsh realities of the pandemic’s impact on the lives of the vulnerable.

But it’s also been an inspirational glimpse at the work our frontline housing heroes are doing. Stay tuned for our snapshot in the coming weeks.

In addition to challenges facing our practitioners, we’re all in dismay as recent historic victories are eroded by COVID-19’s devastation to state and local budgets. Two months ago activists in Northern Virginia celebrated a string of victories, including Fairfax County’s “1 cent for housing” tax hike. Statewide advocates watched the General Assembly approve an record $84 million for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund. 

Today, all of those wins are suspended as we hold our breaths and wait to see what happens to state and local budgets in the months ahead.

So, are you ready for some good news? Just before all of this started, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced a record deposit to the National Housing Trust Fund—$327 million from Fannie and Freddie. That’s a 30% increase from last year. Virginia’s allocation is $4.4 million—mostly targeted to extremely low-income households facing the greatest risks.

Let’s celebrate the small wins when we can, it’s a long road ahead. For more COVID-19 coverage, check out our COVID-19 Resources toolkit, and learn more about our recent stakeholder survey.

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