The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), in conjunction with VHDA, submitted a plan outlining proposed uses of the Virginia Housing Trust Fund to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees on November 1, 2012. The committees appropriated $7 million from the general fund provided from the Commonwealth's share of the Mortgage Servicing Settlement Agreement to finance the Fund in FY 2014 (July 1, 2013).
This past summer, DHCD and VHDA — in conjunction with the Virginia Housing Coalition and the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness — received input from 250 participants at seven regional information sessions, as well as insights from representatives of other state agencies. On Sept. 24, the Housing Policy Workgroup and Advisory Committee received an update on the Trust Fund and provided additional policy guidance. Information from all these sources will be used to form policies that, along with budget language, shape the plan. This effort has identified a number of preliminary issues, including:
- Prioritizing, targeting and level of subsidies.
- Matching assistance to identified needs, especially priorities identified through the ongoing housing and homeless policy efforts.
- Taking into consideration other initiatives with critical housing components (for example, the Mortgage Servicing Settlement).
- Recognizing possible interactions between grants and loans.
- Structuring the Trust Fund to best meet its intended purposes.
- Providing support to a limited number of targeted demonstration projects, based on the limits of the available funding.
Synergies in using both grant and loan components will be explored, and the focus on proposals with measurable outcomes — that can make effective and timely use of Trust Fund resources — are considered critical.
In addition to completing and reviewing the draft plan, final steps include:
- Submitting the plan to the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees.
- Considering budget or legislative inputs during the 2013 legislative session.
- Preparing for July 1, 2013 implementation by VHDA and DHCD.