Members 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!