SD8 - Virginia Housing Trust Fund (SJ 235, 2015)

    Executive Summary:
    Senate Joint Resolution 235 (2015) was introduced by Senator John C. Watkins and agreed to in the 2015 Session of the General Assembly. The resolution directed the Virginia Housing Commission (VHC) to study methods to evaluate and determine a dedicated revenue source for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund. In conducting its study, the VHC was directed to examine all sources of revenue tax collection. The VHC was required to complete its meetings by November 30, 2015, and to submit an executive summary of its findings and recommendations by the first day of the 2016 Regular Session.

    Senate Joint Resolution 235 was studied by the Affordable Housing, Real Estate Law and Mortgages Work Group. Members of the Work Group are Delegate Christopher Peace, Chair, House of Delegates; Delegate Betsy Carr, House of Delegates; Delegate Barry Knight, House of Delegates; Delegate Daniel Marshall, House of Delegates; Senator Mamie Locke, Senate of Virginia; Senator George Barker, Senate of Virginia; Mark Flynn, Gubernatorial Appointee/Virginia Municipal League; Laura Lafayette, Gubernatorial Appointee; T.K. Somanath, Gubernatorial Appointee; Neal J. Barber, Community Futures; Steve Baugher, Virginia Association Mortgage Brokers; Robert N. Bradshaw, Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia; Paul Brennan, Virginia Housing Development Authority; J.G. Carter, TowneBank Mortgage; Tyler Craddock, Manufactured & Modular Housing Association; Heather M. Crislip, President and CEO of HOME; Chip Dicks, Virginia Association of Realtors; Andrew M. Friedman, Virginia Beach Dept. Housing & Neighborhood Preservation; Brian Gordon, Northern Virginia Apartment Builders Association; Kelly Harris-Braxton, Virginia First Cities; Kelly King Horne, Homeward; Ralston King, Whitehead Consulting; Erik Johnston, Virginia Association of Counties; Katherine Payne, Williams Mullen; Shaun Pharr, Apartment and Office Building Association; Renee Pulliam, Virginia Apartment Management Association; Jay Speer, Poverty Law Center; Elizabeth Steele, Stewart Title; Chris Thompson, Department of Housing and Community Development; Michael Toalson, Home Builders Association of Virginia; William Walton, Real Property, Inc.; and Michele Watson, Virginia Housing Development Authority.

    The Work Group met on three separate occasions and a number of presentations were made relating to the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, which presentations are available on the Virginia Housing Commission Web site, , Meetings page, under "Materials."

    The Commission heard from the Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech about the far-reaching economic impact of the Housing Trust Fund on the Commonwealth’s economy, and unanimously endorsed legislation that would set a threshold amount for the state coffers to collect and then dedicate 20% of the excess amount of the recordation tax to the Housing Trust Fund. The need for a dedicated funding source for the Housing Trust Fund was found to be great, and members of the Commission in the House and Senate will carry the bi-partisan legislation in the 2016 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

    The Virginia Housing Commission does not intend to submit a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a Senate document.