Governor McAuliffe recently issued
a proclamation declaring June as Virginia
Homeownership Month, recognizing the
Virginia Housing Development Authority
(VHDA) and its many partners’ contributions
to this important quality-of-life cornerstone.
This month provides a great opportunity to
focus on the many benefits of buying and
owning a home and to remind first-time
homebuyers about VHDA.
VHDA was created by the General
Assembly in 1972 to address Virginia’s
affordable homeownership and rental housing challenges. Although
the organization is accountable to the government of Virginia, it
receives no state taxpayer dollars to fund its programs and operations.
As one of the largest housing finance agencies in the country, VHDA
has effectively and efficiently used investor capital to leverage other
public sector resources to increase a variety of affordable housing
opportunities for Virginians as well as to support viable and vibrant
In the Governor’s proclamation, VHDA was highlighted for
its efforts to help people achieve one of life’s fundamental dreams:
owning a quality, affordable home. During FY 2016, VHDA will
provide over $882 million in financing for approximately 4,765 single-
family mortgage loans forVirginians living across the Commonwealth.
First-time homebuyers benefit from VHDA’s new down payment
assistance grants, funded from its internally generated “REACH” funds.
In addition, Mortgage Credit Certificates, which allow qualifying first-
time homebuyers in Virginia to claim an annual federal tax credit for
a portion of the mortgage interest paid, were provided to reduce the
overall cost of homeownership for the life of the loan. For many years,
VHDA has also offered free homeownership education and counseling,
both on-line and in-person, to make sure homebuyers understand the
costs and obligations of owning a home. These programs significantly
contribute to Virginia’s homeownership rate, which is higher than the
Homeownership programs are just a part of the many services
provided by VHDA. Affordable rental housing is also critically
important for a strong state economy. VHDA’s Rental Housing
Division provides financing to for-profit and non-profit developers
of affordable, quality rental housing. In addition to financing new
construction and mixed-use/mixed income developments, VHDA also
finances the rehabilitation of older properties.
Most of these rental housing projects involve multiple layers of
financing, with funds coming from taxable and tax-exempt bonds
issued by VHDA, federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (which
VHDA administers), and other sources such as historic tax credits and
VHDA’s REACH program.
Housing is, and will remain, a key policy priority with far-reaching
economic and social consequences. In communities all over Virginia,
we’ve seen the difference that quality, affordable housing makes.
Businesses, schools and health care all benefit when our communities
have safe, decent and affordable housing.
VHDA partners with the Virginia Department of Housing
and Community Development (DHCD) and the Virginia Housing
Commission to help address priority state housing needs. Together,
VHDA and DHCD are providing administrative support for Governor
McAuliffe’s Housing Policy Advisory Council and the housing policy
initiatives being carried out under Executive Order 32, which build
upon the Commonwealth’s ongoing efforts to reduce homelessness,
provide affordable housing, and ensure that housing continues to be a
key contributor to Virginia’s economy.
One key state priority is the Commonwealth’s commitment to
supporting a broader array of housing and service options to enable
people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be more
fully integrated into our communities. VHDA is partnering in the
implementation of this effort, led by Virginia’s Health and Human
Resources Secretariat, by allocating housing subsidies and supporting
regional planning teams in collaboration with DHCD, the Department
of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Department of
Medical Assistance Services, and other state and local agencies.
VHDA’s success has required a long-term financial focus that
balances addressing immediate housing needs with VHDA’s ongoing
capacity to serve as a provider of affordable housing financing,
assistance and services. It has also required organizational flexibility
and innovation in order to respond to changes in the structure and
operation of capital markets; shifts in federal, state and local housing
programs and capacities; and ongoing changes in unmet housing needs.
Last but not least, VHDA’s decades of success have been centered
on building and strengthening partnerships with local governments,
non-profits, housing authorities, and for-profit entities across the
Commonwealth. Outreach efforts include building partner capacity to
develop and preserve vibrant communities.
As we all know, housing helps define communities and is a major
component in determining the quality of life for individuals, families
and the Commonwealth’s general prosperity. Along with a good job
and a good education, affordable housing provides the building blocks
for the American Dream. Housing has always been a major force in
the vitality of the Commonwealth, andVHDA is a fundamental part of
Virginia’s housing equation. To learn more about VHDA, you can visit
its website atvhda.com .
Secretary of Labor and Commerce Maurice Jones recently announced
that he will resign effective September, 2 2016 to take a position as
President and CEO of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.”
How the Virginia Housing Development Authority Helps
Grow Virginia’s Economy with Affordable Housing
By Maurice A. Jones
Associate Since 2010
1771 N. Parham Road
Richmond, VA 23229
1020 Huguenot Road
Midlothian, VA 23113
9271 Shady Grove Road
Mechanicsville, VA 23116
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