We asked, you answered. Here’s what we found.
Earlier this month, we checked your “pulse” with regards to your organization’s immediate response and needs for the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we’re sharing results from that survey to give you a better perspective for how your fellow housing professionals are dealing with this challenge throughout Virginia.
A total of 98 people responded to this survey between April 7th and April 17th. Here’s how that group breaks down:
- By region: Central Virginia accounted for about 25% of responses, followed by Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia at 10% each. Southwest and other areas made up the remainder.
- By organization type: Non-profit housing providers led at 35%. “Other” types, including PHAs and CDFIs, accounted for 19%. Local and state government accounted for 15% and 10% respectively. Social service, for-profit, and institutional organizations made up the remaining 36%.
What are people concerned about?
Over half indicated their organizations are concerned about loss of income (58%), direct exposure of staff and volunteers to the novel coronavirus (55%), and inability to deliver services (54%). Many also indicated concerns about meeting necessary expenses (40%), while staff layoffs were a relatively low worry (22%).
Many other open-ended responses were provided. Common themes included:
- Remote work challenges
- Increasing short and long-term demand for housing assistance
- Specific concerns about health impacts on vulnerable communities (especially seniors)
Has the pandemic affected organizational operations?
Nearly 4 in 5 respondents indicated that the pandemic has “somewhat” (39%) or “very significantly” (39%) disrupted their core operations. Almost every other person responded that things have changed “a little,” (19%); only 3 people said “not at all.”
What can Housing Virginia do?
Ranked in order of collective preference, respondents are seeking our help with:
- Updates and analysis of state and local housing responses in Virginia (83% wanted)
- Updates and analysis of federal housing relief programs (64%)
- Data/reports on the pandemic’s impact on housing instability (55%)
- Curated list of housing-related state and local interventions from outside of Virginia (22%)
A small number also asked for one-on-one technical assistance; another small group indicated that resources from other websites were sufficient.
Other creative ideas respondents gave for ways Housing Virginia can help included:
- Best practices for landlord communication and education regarding eviction moratoria
- More info on the impact to—and ways to help—very low income renters
- Resources to help housing organizations recover and meet demand in the long-term
- Information about changing federal, state, and local housing grant guidelines
- Additional similar surveys at future dates to measure progress and changes
First and foremost, we want to thank everyone who responded to this survey—along with all of you on the frontlines helping our neighbors across Virginia find and keep quality, affordable homes during this uncertain time.
While the world continues to change, our mission remains the same. Housing Virginia will keep providing you with the latest data, information, and targeted resources to help you make decisions and overcome this latest challenge.
So, here’s how we plan to update our COVID-19 Toolkit in the coming weeks:
- Additional dashboards on disparate racial impacts of the coronavirus, using new data provided by the Virginia Department of Health
- New economic impact data connecting housing and weekly unemployment filings by locality provided by the Virginia Employment Commission
- More information on state and local response efforts in Virginia, done in coordination with our public and nonprofit partners across the commonwealth
- Curated resources on federal response actions
As always, contact us if you have questions, have suggestions, or would just like to chat.