I'm pleased to be able to share with you an update on Governor McDonnell's housing initiative, Executive Order Number 10. This first Executive Branch effort to craft a comprehensive, state-level housing policy framework for Virginia began last year. The much-needed initiative provides unique opportunities for our efforts to have a more effective and creative focus in addressing the many housing challenges before us.
As you know, housing helps define communities and is a critical component in determining the quality of life for individuals and families. It's also a major contributor to the prosperity of the Commonwealth as a whole. A healthy economic environment for housing supports the vitality of our overall economy.
Bob Sledd, the Governor's Senior Economic Advisor, is leading these efforts. He has created a Housing Policy Work Group and an Advisory Committee representing a broad range of organizations and geographic regions. These groups have been essential in developing our housing policy framework recommendations.
Since April 30, 2010, our accomplishments include:
1. Developing and implementing an action plan addressing recommendations included in the Interim Housing Policy Framework Report to the Governor.
2. Creating the Virginia Foreclosure Task Force to provide a timely response to emerging issues related to foreclosure and housing market recovery. Over the past several months, the Task Force has held a series of meetings to review and make recommendations on related legislation introduced during the last General Assembly session.
3. Designing a strategy to increase by 15 percent the efficiency and effectiveness of state resources to address the needs of homeless Virginians and help prevent homelessness going forward.
4. Partnering with other state agencies to inform them of strategies and expectations, and to cultivate a shared understanding of agency initiatives already underway
5. Preparing a housing policy track for the November 2011 Governor's Housing Conference to update stakeholders on our progress, refine the structure of key policy issues, share best practices and help define next steps.
I think you'll agree that with the assistance of many of you—our housing partners—much has been accomplished, but much work is left to do. In fact, the Housing Policy Work Group and Advisory Committee met on July 12 to review accomplishments and discuss our next steps with the Housing Policy Initiative.
You can follow our continuing progress at www.virginiahousingpolicy.com. Also, for information regarding foreclosure and the work of the Virginia Foreclosure Task Force, please visit www.virginiaforeclosureinfo.com.