Microblog #73: Looking ahead in the new year

A Big Year for Housing? Here’s What We’re Watching in 2019.

After the ball drops, getting back to work can be a challenge. Thankfully, we have plenty to look forward to in 2019. Here are just a few housing-related proposals and activities we’ll be paying close attention to this year.

Here in Virginia:

The Virginia Housing Commission will recommend bipartisan measures to reduce evictions across the state.

The General Assembly will weigh Governor Northam’s proposed $19 million increase to the state housing trust fund.

Both Richmond and Charlottesville continue their efforts to update their comprehensive plans, each paying particular attention to housing segregation and affordability.

Larger investments in affordable housing are expected in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia as Amazon’s HQ2 materializes.

Across the nation:

California will debate a revised version of last year’s transit-oriented upzoning bill, which mandated higher housing density near bus and train stops. The new proposal includes more tenant protections and affordability requirements.

Congress will kick the tires on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s major housing bill, which would invest $450 billion in affordable housing over ten years. As a likely presidential contender in 2020, Warren’s focus on housing could greatly elevate the issue.

Climbing interest rates will continue to limit home-buying opportunities and place upward pressure on rents.

More will be revealed on how developers are utilizing Opportunity Zone credits, part of 2017’s tax bill, to invest in underserved communities.

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