Virginia Article

Barriers to Housing Abound in Virginia. Can These Bills Help Break Them Down?

Barriers to Housing Abound in Virginia. Can These Bills Help Break Them Down?

Wyatt Gordon with Greater Greater Washington previews several bills that could help address Virginia’s housing affordability crisis.

To try and boost the supply of units renters can afford, Delegate Bourne also sponsored HB7—a bill which would prohibit any locality from using land use guidelines and ordinances to block the development of affordable housing. Rather than just ensure plans for affordable housing aren’t killed by localities, two other proposals would mandate cities and counties themselves begin to tackle Virginia’s growing affordability crisis.

HB545 from Delegate Betsy Carr takes a sweeping approach to the problem by requiring all Virginia localities “to develop and promulgate housing plans that address the supply of safe, sanitary, and affordable shelter for all current and anticipated residents of their communities.” In contrast, SB638 introduced by Senator Scott Surovell of Mount Vernon takes a highly targeted approach. His proposal would mandate 10% of all units be affordable in buildings six stories or taller within a half-mile of a Metro stop.

Other lawmakers simply want accurate data on how bad Virginia’s affordability crisis has become. Resolution HJ31 from Delegate Lopez directs the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development to survey the current housing stock, review state policies, and recommend changes to address the Commonwealth’s future housing needs.

Read more here.


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