Governor unveils plan to increase supply of affordable housing

(WTOC)
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 4:10 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ/Governor’s Office Release) - Governor Glenn Youngkin Friday unveiled his administration’s “Make Virginia Home” plan, promoting an increase in the supply of “attainable, affordable, and accessible housing across the Commonwealth.”

“After listening directly from Virginians on the various housing issues across our Commonwealth, my administration created the ‘Make Virginia Home’ plan. It is designed to address the restrictions on housing supply, improve and streamline permitting processes, and protect property owner rights. For far too long, Virginians have faced unnecessary burdens that have limited their housing options and opportunities. Today’s plan is a needed step to improve housing options and keeps my commitment to lower the cost of living and make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Governor Youngkin at the Virginia Governor’s Home Conference.

“During our efforts to attract and retain businesses to Virginia, the availability of workforce housing for their future employees was consistently raised by employers,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “It’s clear there is a strong connection between economic growth and needs for attainable housing options. This plan will align housing development with economic growth as part of our site development process and we will engage with site selectors earlier in the recruitment process on housing to ensure workforce housing needs are addressed,”

The plan will focus on several key areas to increase accessibility, affordability and attainable housing in the Commonwealth, according to the governor’s office:

Increasing the supply of land for housing

· Create reasonable linkages between discretionary state grant funding to localities and local policies and actions that encourage housing growth through executive action or statute

· Establish guard rails for zoning/land use review processes that include deadlines by which localities must act, and consequences if they do not, for localities seeking state assistance to increase the growth of their economies

· Create transparency by requiring localities to report on their policies and actions that impact housing development

· Investigate comprehensive reforms of Virginia’s land use and zoning laws

Remove regulatory barriers to housing development

· Provide a more efficient way for public and private economic development and infrastructure projects to meet mandated wetlands and stream mitigation requirements in a way that does not jeopardize the quality of that mitigation by working to operationalize Virginia’s existing Wetland and Stream Replacement Fund.

· Continue to improve and streamline environmental permitting processes.

· Translate Virginia’s building regulations into Spanish

· Investigate potential procedural changes in the building code adoption process that balances technical code provisions more closely with construction cost controls.

Align housing development with economic growth

· Housing is prominently included in the Commonwealth’s economic development planning and site development process.

· Establish public/private partnerships with site selectors early on to include workforce housing in the site development and selection process.