Written by Jenny Wortham, Director of Community Outreach
Housing stakeholders, including REALTORS®, affordable housing advocates, lenders, and public officials, gathered last week in Martinsville and in Abingdon to share insight on rural housing challenges and opportunities. The events, hosted by the Martinsville, Henry & Patrick Counties Association of REALTORS® (MHPCAR) and the Southwest Virginia Association of REALTORS® (SWVAR), were the first two in a series of five forums that local REALTOR® associations around the state are hosting. Members of all associations are encouraged to participate.
Essential to local economic health, housing is a critical concern for all communities. Housing metrics – availability, affordability, and quality – are especially important considerations in the sustainability of rural communities, where demographic changes are more pronounced because of relatively small populations. Rural communities that are disproportionately affected by aging population, increasing poverty, and lagging employment face significant challenges in adapting their existing housing inventory to the evolving needs of residents. Convening policy makers and industry experts is one step towards addressing those needs. The preliminary results of these conversations will be reported at the annual Governor’s Housing Conference in November.
For more information on these forums, or to register for an upcoming event, please visit the Housing Virginia website here or contact VAR Director of Community Outreach Jenny Wortham at Jenny@VARealtor.com.