Microblog #80: Is housing now a mainstream issue?

Housing is more important to voters than ever. What does that mean for Virginia?

In November, voters in a major American city approved a $50 million bond to help address growing affordable housing challenges by a surprisingly wide 69-31 margin. Even more surprising is that we’re not talking about Seattle, San Francisco, or Minneapolis—it’s Charlotte, a southern city in a solidly purple state.

Here in Virginia, housing has long been a top tier issue in NOVA. But the rest of the state is catching up. Lynchburg, James City County, and the Northern Shenandoah Valley have all recently completed housing assessments. Charlottesville is weighing a series of housing initiatives, and Richmond’s mayor has set goals for affordable housing production. Housing studies are getting underway in Prince Edward and the New River Valley. The Governor also proposed doubling the Housing Trust Fund, and eviction was a front-burner issue at the General Assembly.

In 2017, the Campaign for Housing and Civic Engagement (CHACE) surveyed Virginia voters and found that 4 in 5 believed that if you work in a community, you should be able to live there—so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that our elected leaders are paying more attention to housing.

CHACE just announced the launch of its 2019 campaign to educate candidates in all 140 state races. You can help CHACE set its housing priorities by completing their policy survey here.

***Photo: Alliance for Housing Solutions on flickr

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