For Immediate Release: November 15, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, Ofirah.Yheskel@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development: Amanda Love, Amanda.Love@dhcd.virginia.gov, (804) 624-9215

Governor Northam Issues Executive Order to Address Virginia’s Unmet Housing Needs

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today signed Executive Order Twenty Five that establishes new state housing policy priorities designed to enhance the quality, availability, and affordability of housing in the Commonwealth. The Governor signed the executive order during the Virginia Housing Awards Luncheon at the 2018 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference in Arlington County.

“Affordable, safe, and accessible housing options are key to ensuring all Virginians are able to lead healthy, productive lives,” said Governor Northam. “This Executive Order will work to prioritize and identify policy solutions that will address the shortage of quality, affordable housing, increase the supply of permanent supportive housing, and reduce eviction rates.”

“This Executive Order supports creating vibrant communities throughout Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The Executive Order will not only address the housing needs of our citizens, but it will also encourage engagement of our various housing and community development partners including local governments, the business community, nonprofit organizations, and other interested stakeholders.”

This Executive Order will focus on developing housing policies and actions that increase the supply of permanent supportive housing, including programs to reduce homelessness and housing instability for vulnerable populations.

“Housing is health,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey, M.D. “When individuals have stable, quality housing, they tend to have fewer long-term health problems and lead healthier, more productive lives. This Executive Order will help us focus attention on the overall goal of increasing the number of Virginians that have a permanent place to call home.”

The policy will address the shortage of quality affordable housing by coordinating economic development efforts with housing production, supporting housing production technology, and supporting regional and local pilot projects that increase the supply of affordable housing units. The effort will prioritize the development of affordable housing in close proximity to employment and educational opportunities.

Finally, the Executive Order will work with stakeholders to reduce the rate of evictions across Virginia. The Commonwealth will evaluate potential pilot programs that provide eviction relief, and counseling, and education services.

The full text of Executive Order Twenty Five can be found here.

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