Regional Housing Assembly (RHA)
Throughout 2021/2022, the GWRC participated in the Rappahannock Area Health District (RAHD) and Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC) Community Health Assessment (CHA) to identify and develop strategies to address priority health issues affecting this region. With the support and feedback from more than 70 community organizations, the CHA process collected quantitative data, qualitative data, and community feedback related to health in our region, looking beyond the traditional medical definition of health to examine the social determinants of health such as housing, income, employment, education, and access to healthy food, all of which play an integral role in health outcomes. During the CHA, affordable housing was the top response to the question “what would most improve quality of life for our community?”. The 2022 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) identified affordable housing as a top priority, and a goal of developing a unified voice in the community around affordable housing.
On August 22, 2022, the GWRC Board elected to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Virginia Health Department through the Rappahannock Area Health District to contribute to the CHIP Affordable Housing Goal of developing and promoting policies that ensure equitable housing opportunities in Planning District 16.
The Regional Housing Assembly (RHA) is an advisory group of volunteers in partnership with multi-sector stakeholders related to health and housing. The GWRC provides facilitation to include human services, transportation, land use, environment, and workforce planning into housing considerations. Composed of an overarching consortium of housing interests, the RHA will enhance regional coordination, communication, and effectiveness toward overall housing conditions in Planning District 16.
The RHA currently meets on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 1PM at GWRC (406 Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401)
Next Meeting: February 8, 2023 at 1PM
Instructions for Remote Participation
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://meet.goto.com/796632765
Access Code: 796-632-765
United States: +1 (786) 535-3211
Agendas and Minutes
Planning District Commission (PDC) Housing Development Program
In 2021, Virginia Housing announced the availability of $40 million dollars for the Planning District Commission (PDC) Housing Development Program to support PDCs as intermediaries to:
- Promote regional approaches to housing project/program planning and development
- Enhance collaboration between regional and local organizations comprising the housing delivery network
- Strengthen PDC capacity to address housing opportunities identified in state studies/reviews as well as the Virginia Housing Strategic Plan: Opportunity 2024.
The George Washington Regional Commission received $2 million to develop 20 affordable units within the region. This program is a thirty-six (36) month intensive process that focuses on each PDC reaching definitive milestones to produce the development of single-family and/or multifamily affordable housing units. Once the development of these units is complete, homes must remain affordable to individuals or families whose incomes do not exceed 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). Mixed use developments must designate at least 60% of its square footage for housing. 100% of homeownership and/or rental developments must be used for housing. The awards are based on the PDC’s readiness to complete the project and availability of Virginia Housing funding.
GWRC is implementing this plan with partner Caroline Habitat for Humanity with an estimated completion date of June 2024.
2020 Regional Housing Affordability Study and Action Plan
In 2019, GWRC successfully applied for a grant through Virginia Housing (formerly Virginia Housing Development Authority) to develop a housing affordability study and action plan. GWRC contracted with HousingForward Virginia, a Richmond-based nonprofit, to complete the study and develop the plan. HousingForward Virginia analyzed data, convened focus groups, and convened a working group representing over 15 local jurisdiction representatives and organizations. This group worked diligently with HousingForward Virginia to develop a menu of 42 detailed housing policy solutions aimed at bringing a range of new housing opportunities to the region. The final plan was adopted by the GWRC Board on November 16, 2020 through Resolution 21-09.
The plan’s vision statement, “All residents in our region will have a path to a high-quality, affordable place to call home,” will be a guiding principle through the upcoming implementation phase.
In December 2007, the GWRC Board created an Affordable Housing Task Force (AHTF) comprised of representatives from various community non-profit organizations involved with the housing issue, as well as business sector representatives from real estate, mortgage lending and housing construction. The AHTF produced the Affordable Housing Task Force Mid-Year Report in September 2008.