Understanding the Myths and Realities of Manufactured Housing: A Virginia Nonprofit Housing Coalition Report

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View the full report here

The Virginia Nonprofit Housing Coalition released a new report, called Understanding the Myths and Realities of Manufactured Housing. This report explores the challenges and benefits of this type of housing. The report finds that some types of manufactured housing offer significant affordability benefits to lower income households and points to the improved quality of this type of housing that was manufactured after 1976.

Key Findings:

  • Manufactured housing (especially smaller “single wide” designs) offer clear affordability benefits well beyond site-built housing and are among the most affordable homeownership options for lower income households. Manufactured housing accounts for 43% of all homes under $150,000.
  • Post-1976, manufactured housing has been required to meet stringent federal quality and safety standards that are set by HUD. This has resulted in a dramatic improvement in quality, durability, and safety, as well as energy efficiency.
  • When well-sited and maintained, research shows that this type of housing does retain its value and does not affect property values in neighboring communities.

Read the full report here.

VHC Out Of Reach Virginia Press Release

Virginia Housing Coalition has created maps and graphics with the data produced by the National Low Income Housing Coalition showing housing affordability in Virginia.

Here are some highlights from this year’s report:Southeastern US - 2014-2

  • Renters in Virginia need to earn $20.93 an hour to be able to afford a 2-bedroom apartment at fair market rent. The typical renter in Virginia earns $15.97 per hour, which is $4.96 less than Virginia’s Housing Wage.
  • The Housing Wage in Virginia is over 2 dollars more than the National Housing Wage of $18.92
  • Virginia has the highest Housing Wage of all the states in Southeastern United States and is the 10th least affordable state in the nation.
  • Working at the minimum wage in Virginia, a family must have 2.9 wage earners working full time, or one wage earner working 115 hours per week to afford a modest 2-bedroom apartment.

Click here to view the full report that includes maps showing how the housing wage varies across the state, percent of renters that cannot afford a modest unit in different localities and the number of hours per week a minimum wage earner must work to be able to afford a modest unit, among other affordability measures.

VHC General Assembly Wrap Up

Virginia Housing Coalition took a look at how their priorities fared in the 2014 General Assembly. The team at VHC created an infographic showing which bills they supported passed and which ones failed.

2014 has been a benchmark year for our advocacy efforts. Thank you to those who attended housing day and met with legislators, took action online, and to those that have continued to push for funding for the HTF with the budget conferees throughout the session. Over the past few years our network of advocates has only grown stronger and more emboldened as we have successfully established a Housing Trust Fund and have seen real gains in homelessness reduction. We look forward to continuing to work with you to advance affordable housing in the state in the 2015 session. Stay tuned for news on the Housing Trust Fund!”
-Zack Miller, Virginia Housing Coalition

Click Here to View the General Assembly Wrap Up Infographic!

Housing Virginia: LIHTC Energy Study

Housing Virginia, in partnership with the Virginia Tech Center for Housing Research, and VHDA, will be collected and analyzing energy consumption data from a series of LIHTC projects and around the state that incorporated Earthcraft construction methods and materials. It will be the largest study of this type undertaken anywhere in the U.S.

The study will survey residents of nearly 800 units and 400 newly constructed units in Chesapeake, Richmond, Orange, Wytheville, Lynchburg, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Arlington, Abdington, King George, Petersburg, Christiansburg, and Scottsville.

The purpose of this study is to verify the effectiveness of the “green” incentives that are part of Virginia’s QAP in terms of reduced energy consumption and positive impact on resident budgets. The study will also include a survey of residents and an assessment of tenant education and training opportunities. Data collection will begin this summer, and we hope to have the full report ready for the NHC Policy Conference in November 2014.

Richmond Housing Trust Fund Report


HDAdvisors prepared a report on a Housing Trust Fund for the City of Richmond, presenting it to City Council and Mayor Dwight Jones. The Richmond City Council Affordable Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board was established in July of 2012 to submit a report containing the Board’s advice and recommendations concerning appropriateness of such regulations and procedures for using the Richmond Affordable Housing Trust Fund. A Housing Trust Fund (HTF) is used to expand access to affordable housing within a community, and it will serve a comprehensive range of households from persons facing homelessness to persons with disabilities, young families seeking to buy their first home, veterans, and seniors needing critical home repairs or accessibility improvements to remain housed in their neighborhoods – to name just a few.

housing demandAll of the households assisted through the HTF must have incomes at or below 80% of area median income (AMI), and it will support projects such as preservation, rehabilitation, and new contruction of affordable rental housing; construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of single family homes; downpayment and closing cost assistance; homeownership and foreclosure counseling, and temporary rental assistance. In the report, HDAdvisors outlines the need for a Housing Trust Fund in Richmond, highlighting rental needs, vacant property, homeownership, concentrated poverty, and declining federal funds for housing.

The Housing Trust Fund has many economic benefits, both short and long term. Housing development creates jobs and contributes to the local economy. For example, every 100 homes constructed creates 357 jobs, has an immediate impact of $614,520, and results in $1,086,180 annual increase in tax revenues.

The Board recommends that the Richmond Housing Trust Fund be launched with $5,000,000 from City General Funds, and target the Fund to serve citizens with incomes at or below 80% AMI, reserving 30% of the Fund for extremely low income households.

To view the booklet presented to City Council Members, click here:

Housing Trust Fund Booklet

Housing Policy Advocacy with VHC

Wash 1Members of HDAdvisors and the Virginia Housing Coalition made a trip up to Capitol Hill to lobby our Congressmen and Senators for housing policy. The group came up from Richmond in a van and broke into teams, meeting with the Legislative Assistants for all of the 11 Virginia Congressmen and 2 Virginia Senators. Advocates discussed issues with legislators including preserving the Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), housing finance reform, natural disaster relief funds for housing, federal housing programs in the budget, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grant funding, performance of Virginia’s Rural Development single family housing program, and protecting low and moderate income homeowners from skyrocketing flood insurance. Virginia Housing Coalition prepared comprehensive talking points as well as leave behinds for the legislators on our main messages.

The advocates had a positive experience and felt that it was an effective trip, as many legislative aides asked for follow up information on the issues discussed. This trip is an important step to educating Virginia’s Congressional delegation on current federal housing issues and it is also an important first step in establishing positive relationships in Washington as some of these larger items such as tax and housing finance reform will be dealt with over the coming years. VHC plans on staying engaged in these issues year round, especially once the Virginia General Assembly session comes to a close. We would like to bring an even bigger group to Washington next year!

Lawrenceville Development Plan

HDAdviors created a plan of development and feasibility analysis for the town of Lawrenceville. Lawrenceville’s downtown area is in need of revitalization, and two vacant buildings stand out as examples of the potential for the town: the Sledge & Barkley building and the Peebles building.The report included mixed use mixed income development in the Sledge & Barkley Peebles buildings and potential to use Virginia Housing Development Authority’s MUMI Program.  The architectural firm of Craddock and Cunningham conducted an inspection of the buildings and provided drawings to show how they might include commercial and residential uses. HDAdvisors then estimated the costs associated with rehabilitating and converting each building into a mixed use structure.

Lawrenceville S&B buildingThe plan for the Sledge & Barkley building calls for commercial space on the bottom floor and 16 rental units on the second and third floors. The commercial space would be for a full-service restaurant, grossing an annual rental income of $59,400 ($11 per square foot per year). The rental units will gross $139,200 per year, creating a total of $198,600 per year for the entire property. The estimated total development cost for the building is $4,044,192.

Lawrenceville Peebles BuildingThe Peebles building will also be combined commercial and residential space, with the commercial space of 5,530 square feet on the ground floor and seven residential units on the second floor. Potential commercial uses are office space, a hair/nail salon, a coffee shop, or a small store, generating $60,830 a year in rent. The residential units will gross $54,300 a year, making a total annual income of $115,130 for the building. The Peebles building is estimated to cost $2,199,832.

s&b sketch

peebles sketch







To View the Booklet on the plan, click here: