On March 28th, the Virginia Housing Alliance (VHA) and the Virginia Association of Housing and Community Development Officials (VAHCDO) partnered to bring over 50 affordable housing advocates to Washington, the largest group for Federal Housing Day so far.
Motivated by large, proposed cuts to Federal Housing programs, these advocates met with both Senators and Congressmen from each of Virginia’s districts . They discussed the importance of expanding housing opportunity and ending homelessness. Each region of the state was represented, as well as sectors within the housing and homelessness industry.
The participants began the day together with a morning meeting with staffers from Senator Kaine’s and Senator Warner’s offices. The room was filled with passionate housing leaders, who sent a strong message about the importance of affordable housing in the Commonwealth.
In the afternoon, the group split up to meet with the Congressional delegation. These meetings covered topics such as the proposed cuts to HUD in the President’s budget blueprint, which would cut agency funding by $6.2 billion across a range of programs. Advocates also discussed the importance of Housing Choice Vouchers, HOME, CDBG, and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), and how each of these programs work together to provide more affordable housing units.
VHA used Housing Virginia’s Economic Impact Calculators for New Construction and Rehab to demonstrate the impact of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program in each Congressional district and statewide. You can find each district’s profile here.
The groups also stressed the importance of preserving the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule finalized by HUD in 2015 and the need to maintain programs such as AmeriCorps and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).
If you want to get involved in and support more advocacy efforts like Federal Housing Day, consider becoming a member of VHA today. You can view the full gallery of photos from the 2017 Federal Housing Day here.