RD38 - Virginia Housing Commission 2017 Annual Report

Executive Summary:

The Virginia Housing Commission, a legislative commission, provides legislative drafts and recommends legislation for passage by the Virginia General Assembly. The Commission studies pertinent housing topics and provides solutions, legislative, as well as practically based options. Many solutions emerge from a workgroup system which is designed to include interested parties for each issue that is relevant to the housing industry.

An emphasis this interim was placed on learning about the intersection of housing and Virginia's economy. The legislators and the Governor's appointees heard from a coalition of university -based researchers who presented statistics on housing and how it effects the economy, both at the opening full Commission meeting in April and the concluding meeting in December.

How to ameliorate blight, and refining it as crime that affects localities was the topic for one piece of endorsed legislation. Another, the reconciliation of conflicting provisions between localities and state law concerning smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms were among other topics for recommended legislation for the 2018 Session.

Workgroups, composed of legislators and stakeholders, were formed to develop solutions to housing-related issues across the Commonwealth. During the 2017 interim the Commission had workgroups address the issues concerning: early termination of rental agreements, insurance, and the cascading of late fees, property owner association owner's representation on the association's board, and disclosure packets by associations not professionally managed. In addition, several Building Code issues were addressed as well as the fees paid to appraisers in the Commonwealth. A former legislator spoke to the full Commission about housing for individuals with severe mental health issues; this topic will continue to be studied in 2018.

The Virginia Housing Commission’s director actively follows all housing legislation during the legislative session and represents the Commission during legislative meetings. Bills that are referred to the Commission as well as housing topics relevant to establishing affordable housing and current housing trends determine the work plan for the following interim. Meetings of the Commission for 2018 will resume after the conclusion of the legislative session.

A number of resources are available on the Housing Commission website: http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions/vhc.htm. Summaries of all meetings are posted to the website. In addition, the Housing Commission Twitter feed (@HousingVHC) provides links to current media coverage of housing-related issues.