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VHDA History and Timeline

Since 1972, VHDA has been working hard to help Virginians attain quality, affordable housing.

40th Anniversary


Since 1972, VHDA has been working hard to help Virginians attain quality, affordable housing. This is our story ...

VHDA's first building


  • VHDA is created by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a public, not-for-profit housing finance agency. Kenneth Hance Jr. is our first Executive Director. Shown at left: VHDA's first building at 5th & Franklin Streets.


    • VHDA generates $53 million with our first rental housing bond issue.


    • VHDA produces $59 million with our first homeownership bond issue.
VHDA repays start-up costs


  • VHDA repays the Commonwealth $185,000, the remainder of start-up costs appropriated by the General Assembly. Shown at left: Gov. Mills Godwin and Del. Alan Diamonstein accept check from VHDA's Kenneth Hance.
Liberty Manor


  • VHDA establishes the Congregate Housing Program for Virginians with mental disabilities.

  • VHDA begins financing and administration of the statewide Section 8 Rental Assistance Program. Shown at left: Liberty Manor, VHDA's first Section 8 community.


  • John Ritchie becomes VHDA's Executive Director.


  • VHDA implements the Section 8 Multifamily Moderate Rehabilitation Program, becoming the first housing agency in the U.S. to encourage landlords to upgrade apartments and rent them to low-income families.


  • VHDA establishes the Urban Preservation Program to increase homeownership in Virginia cities.


  • VHDA creates the Virginia Housing Fund with $45 million (the largest housing fund of its kind in the nation) to finance housing programs that cannot be funded by bond issues.
Piper's Landing


  • VHDA begins administering the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program.
    Shown at left: Piper's Landing, VHDA's first LIHTC community.


  • Executive Director John Ritchie is honored as an outstanding housing finance agency director and receives National Council of State Housing Agencies' (NCSHA) Distinguished Leadership Award.

  • VHDA devises the Computer Matching Program for Barrier Free Housing to assist Virginians with disabilities. (Two years later, this program receives the Council of State Governments' Innovation Award.)
Opening of Wytheville


  • VHDA opens a regional office in Wytheville, increasing loan reservations in Southwest Virginia by 60 percent. Shown at left: Don Ritenour, Cliff Millirons and John Ritchie open the Southwest Virginia office in Wytheville

  • VHDA partners with the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse services to help meet the needs of people with mental disabilities.

  • VHDA moves headquarters to our current Belvidere Street location.


  • VHDA publishes the first Virginia Housing Directory, a comprehensive listing of housing programs and non-profit groups in Virginia.


  • VHDA is recognized by NCSHA for having the nation's most outstanding homeownership program for those with low- to moderate-income. Shown at left: National award from NCSHA.

  • VHDA becomes the first lender in the country to offer a reverse mortgage line of credit for elderly homeowners.

  • VHDA launches a Direct Origination Program to provide homeownership opportunities to underserved areas of Virginia.


  • VHDA hosts its first annual Charity Golf Tournament, raising $25,000 for the New Clay House homeless shelter. (As of June 30, 2012, VHDA had provided more than $1.5 million to charities across the state.)

  • VHDA introduces Step Rate, an affordable homeownership loan program with reduced rates for the first two years.


  • VHDA is the only housing finance agency in the country to be awarded an AA+ general obligation rating from Standard and Poor's.

  • VHDA initiates an innovative delegated underwriting and closing program to streamline home loan processing.

  • VHDA introduces the FHA-Plus program to provide down payment and closing cost assistance.
My dream home poster


  • VHDA begins "My Dream Home" poster contest through partnership with local elementary school systems to help promote homeownership.
    Shown at left: "My Dream Home" poster art.

  • VHDA is cited by Moody's Investor Services, Inc., as one of the nation's largest and most sound state housing finance agencies, and is the only state HFA to receive Moody's Aa1 general obligation rating.


  • VHDA implements a blended bond program to provide taxable and tax-exempt funding that meets the demand for homeownership and rental loan products.

  • VHDA sponsors the first national conference on "Challenges in Affordable Housing—Counseling and Loss Mitigation for Single Family Loans."

  • VHDA creates a $5 million Section 8 Preservation Loan Pool to preserve and rehabilitate 12- to 14-year-old at-risk properties.

  • VHDA partners with bank and REALTOR® associations, public housing authorities and local governments to provide homeownership education classes to the public.

Mobile Mortgage Van
  • VHDA's Mobile Mortgage Office makes its inaugural visit to rural Southwest Virginia, and subsequently receives the first place Innovations Award from the Council of State Governments. Shown at left: The Mobile Mortgage Office hits the road for the first time.
Dragons Decide Coloring Book


    • VHDA begins publishing and distributing "Dragons Decide" coloring book used to teach personal finances to elementary school children, in partnership with the Virginia Council on Economic Education. Shown at left: Dragons Decide coloring book.

    • VHDA celebrates our 25th anniversary and milestones that include serving more than 400,000 Virginians.


    • VHDA introduces the Navy Housing Initiative.


    • Susan Dewey joins VHDA as our Executive Director.

    • VHDA begins servicing Habitat for Humanity Virginia home loans on a pro bono basis.


    • VHDA earns our first Platinum recognition for generous associate participation in the Commonwealth of Virginia giving campaign.
    Habitat for Humanity


    • VHDA issues more bonds than any other state or local housing finance agency in America.

    • VHDA builds our first Habitat for Humanity home through volunteer associates.
      Shown at left: Our first Habitat for Humanity build.


    • VHDA generates funds internally to finance the SPARC (Sponsoring Partnerships and Revitalizing Communities) program to help develop affordable rental housing for the homeless, accessible housing and preservation/revitalization work.

    • The Lender Advisory Board is established to serve as a communications forum between mortgage lenders and VHDA. (Today, VHDA has a full range of advisory groups including the Disabilities Housing Solutions Council, Multifamily Advisory Board, Northern Virginia Advisory Committee, Seniors Housing Solutions Council and Single Family Advisory Board.)

    Legislative Conference


    • VHDA receives the "Overall Spirit Award" at the NCSHA Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. Shown at left: Susan Dewey, Art Bowen and Richard Taylor proudly represent VHDA at NCSHA Legislative Conference.

    • VHDA helps establish Housing Virginia in partnership with our stakeholders.

    • VHDA creates The Genesis Project, a faith-based and community education initiative.



    • VHDA receives significant financial upgrades -- to an AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s, and an Aaa rating from Moody’s.


    • New legislation passes in the Virginia General Assembly, allowing VHDA to finance mixed-use/mixed income developments.

    • VHDA establishes REACH Virginia (Resources Enabling Affordable Community Housing in Virginia), a multifaceted initiative to provide financing and technical assistance to Virginia's diverse communities and increase VHDA's commitment to underserved populations. (As of June 30, 2012, VHDA had allocated $130.2 million in REACH funding, supporting more than $1.2 billion in programs.)
    Grants for Disable Veterans


    • The Granting Freedom grant program is established to help disabled veterans make their homes more accessible. VHDA partners with DHCD and CHP to make the program possible. Shown at left: A Virginia Beach veteran can now get to the second level of his home, thanks to a stair chair paid for with Granting Freedom funds.

    • VHDA reaches out to Virginia students with Wealth Starts @ Home College Tours to promote the importance of good credit and homeownership.

    • VHDA holds our first Affordable Housing Fair in Hampton.
    VHDA Affordable Housing Fair
    Virginia Housing Center


    • VHDA celebrates our 35th anniversary and milestones that include 156,800 home loans and 118,300 apartment units financed.

    • VHDA provides financing for a record-breaking 7,603 homes loans totaling $1.269 billion.

    • VHDA holds our second Affordable Housing Fair in Roanoke.
      Shown at left: VHDA's Affordable Housing Fair.

    • VHDA receives an award from NCSHA for our online "Find a Lender" tool.

    • VHDA services our 1,000th Habitat for Humanity home loan.

    • VHDA launches our new Spanish language website.

    • VHDA opens the Virginia Housing Center in Glen Allen (Innsbrook). Shown at left: VHDA's Virginia Housing Center.

    • VHDA creates VHDA Hokie Memorial Residential Property Management (RPM) Scholarship, commemorating the Tech shooting victims and their families, and supporting deserving students in the RPM program at Virginia Tech.

    VHDA Wytheville Office


    • VHDA's Southwest Virginia Housing Center in Wytheville moves to a new building.
      Shown at left: VHDA's Wytheville office.

    • Susan Dewey is elected president of the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA).

    • VHDA develops a Borrower's Financial Package to help VHDA loan holders facing temporary financial difficulties.

    • The VHDA Certified Management Program is launched to set high standards among multifamily property managers.
    Virginia Housing Search


    • VHDA launches, the state's most comprehensive online rental housing database that's free for both landlords and renters.

    • VHDA wins two NCSHA awards: one for our Certified Property Management Agent Program, and another for our Enterprise Business Performance Scorecard.


    • VHDA wins NCSHA awards for our Loss Mitigation DVD and newly redesigned website.

    • VHDA produces a 30-minute TV program called "How To Buy a Home – The Right Way" in English and Spanish. The program is aired on public TV stations throughout Virginia, and is posted on YouTube.


    • New legislation passes, allowing VHDA to service mortgage loans for community banks.

    • VHDA redesigns the training manuals used in our free homebuyer class, adding updated content, tips and worksheets.

    • VHDA launches "Find-a-Real Estate Agent" web tool on

    • Two VHDA associates were honored with Housing Leadership awards from the Virginia Housing Coalition.

    • VHDA received the Visionary Award in the second annual EarthCraft Awards.

    VHDA 40th Anniversary


    • VHDA celebrates our 40th anniversary and the many accomplishments we've been able to achieve since our inception, including financing more than 177,500 home loans and 139,500 rental units, and helping more than 132,000 Virginians prepare for homeownership through our free homebuyer classes (both online and in classrooms).

    • VHDA launches our newly revamped online course for homebuyers -- featuring an updated design, audio and interactive quizzes. VHDA's Homebuyer Handbook -- The Online Edition covers the entire homebuying process from start to finish, and is offered free of charge to the public. (In-person classroom training continues to be offered in locations throughout the state, as well.)

    • VHDA publishes our first electronic annual report. It's a low-cost, efficient way to inform VHDA's stakeholders about VHDA accomplishments, programs and financials. It also features an introductory video by VHDA's Executive Director Susan Dewey.