The housing needs in Virginia are many and varied. For families that cannot afford decent, safe housing in the communities where they work, disabled persons waiting desiring a place to live outside a state institution, homeless persons struggling with mental health and other issues and veterans trying to settle back into civilian life, the Virginia Housing Trust Fund can be part of the solution. VHTF is:
- Successful– Each recipient has a unique success story, but they all have the same ending —stronger communities and stronger families.
- Building on Success– These funds are highly competitive and aligned with the state’s housing policy priorities such as ending homelessness and housing for special needs populations, veterans, and low-income seniors.
Virginia has a great network of housing providers with a depth of experience. Funds are awarded to highly experienced organizations that have been working in Virginia and providing quality housing services throughout the years.
Flexible– In many cases around the country, the greatest need for state housing trust fund resources is for gap funding for affordable rental housing production. However, HTF funding can be used for many other purposes.
For example, in 2013, Virginia was still feeling the effects of the foreclosure crisis so there were funding pools dedicated to foreclosure counseling and rehab. In the face of shrinking federal resources, part of the current round of funding will be focused specifically on leveraging the state’s HOME and CDBG funds into community development projects with strong affordable housing components.
Additionally, as the state continues its focused efforts on ending chronic homelessness, at least 20% of the fund will be dedicated specifically to projects and support services for these populations. One of the main strengths of the VHTF is that its uses can change as Virginia’s housing needs change over time.
Well Run, Transparent and Build on a Plan-The Department of Housing and Community Development is tasked with administering the VHTF.
The agency has been able to coordinate the VHTF with other federal funding from HOME, the Community Development Blck Grant, the Vibrant Communities Initiative, and now the National Housing Trust Fund, combining sources of funding where feasible and giving careful consideration to each project before deciding to award funding. For the loan pool, each project undergoes a “but for” analysis to ensure that the VHTF is used to its full potential. Many, if not all of the funded projects would not have been able to move forward but for the VHTF.