That is the question being asked at recent housing information forums across Virginia.  The General Assembly decided this year to initiate a Virginia Housing Trust Fund, utilizing a portion of the National Mortgage Settlement funds…$7 million to be exact.  The trust fund will be administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development working in collaboration with the Virginia Housing Development Authority, to provide loan origination and servicing activities as needed.  80% will go to financing for low interest loans and 20% used for grants to reduce homelessness.  The next step is to submit a plan on exactly how the funds will be allocated.

There have been a series of six input sessions around the state absorbing input from various organizations and individuals.  Do you have suggestions on how the money should be spent?  Send it along before September 1 to Shea Hollifield of Virginia Dept of Housing and Community Development.  shea.hollifield@dhcd.virginia.gov

A few subjects of desired input:

1.  How do you think the 80% of the fund targeted to low-interest loans should be prioritized?

  • Affordable rental housing (new construction, rehab, repair)
  • Down payment and closing cost assistance for homebuyers
  • Short, medium, and long term loans to reduce the cost of homeownership and rental housing

2.  How should interest rates be determined?  Should there be a minimum and maximum?

3.  What should be included in housing stabilization services in permanent supportive housing?

4.  Are there specific flexible financing tools or techniques that you think should be offered?

If you feel strongly about any of these issues, now is your time to speak up and be heard.