2020 Pre-conference Session: How can we make housing pandemic-proof?

Housing Virginia, in partnership with Hill Studio in Roanoke, is planning a pre-conference session for the Governor’s Housing Conference that will allow attendees to help build a research agenda for the future of housing in the aftermath of the pandemic. Is there a way that we can make housing more “pandemic-proof?”

This includes design, materials, financing, location and a range of other components to the housing system. We want to find ways for our affordable housing system to provide greater “resident resiliency.” Both renters and owners with modest incomes need to be able to more easily weather a crisis.   

The current pandemic has already had profound impacts on housing security for both renters and owners, not to mention persons experiencing homelessness and other populations with special needs. But the pandemic is just the latest disruption to housing security.

These periodic disruptions derive from both natural and “man-made” sources. We saw similar impacts coming from the great recession of 2009-2012, but we have also experienced economic impacts from natural disasters.

As we think through the housing impacts of the pandemic, we also need to remember that the impacts and strategies flowing from it apply to a broad range of community disruptions. They will contribute to our ongoing conversations about housing resiliency.

The pre-conference session will be designed to bring together up to 50 housing industry practitioners, advocates, and consumers from across the state. We will engage in a guided conversation on this subject that will help Housing Virginia and Hill Studio design a research project for early 2021.

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