While speaking today at the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference, Governor Terry McAuliffe issued Executive Order 32 to advance critical components of Virginia’s housing policy agenda. The Executive Order will build upon the Commonwealth’s ongoing efforts to reduce homelessness, implement Virginia’s Olmstead Community Integration Plan and ensure that housing is a key contributor to Virginia’s ongoing economic recovery.
“Expanding access to quality affordable housing is at the very foundation of my administration’s efforts to build a new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Strengthening our Commonwealth’s housing policy will create jobs, grow our economy and help improve the quality of life of Virginians all over our state.”
Executive Order 32 emphasizes community development investments that will further revitalize urban and rural communities throughout Virginia. The Executive Order also seeks to better address homelessness throughout Virginia and achieve the goal of ending veterans’ homelessness by the end of 2015. In addition, through the implementation of Virginia’s Olmstead Community Integration Plan, the Executive Order seeks to meet the terms of Virginia’s Settlement Agreement and expand community living opportunities for people with disabilities.
“Affordable and sound housing is a critical component of growing our economy and making life better for Virginia families,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “Smart housing policy creates jobs and encourages locally-based businesses and industries, which creates healthy and successful communities.”
Following the Governor’s announcement, the 2014 Virginia Housing Awards were given to several organizations and government entities throughout the state. The awards recognize outstanding and innovative efforts in crafting effective solutions for the Commonwealth’s complex array of housing needs. The following were the winners of the 2014 awards:
Best Housing Development
Arlington County and the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing
Project: Arlington Mill Residences
Best Housing Program or Service
Pulaski County and the Town of Pulaski
Project: Pulaski Tornado Recovery Project
Best Housing Preservation/Revitalization Effort
James City County
Project: Forest Heights Neighborhood Improvement Project
Best Affordable Housing Energy Conservation Effort
Better Housing Coalition, Richmond
Project: Somanath Senior Apartments at Beckstoffer’s
Best In My Backyard “IMBY”
Arlington County and the Pike Planning Plenary Group
Project: Columbia Pike Planning Initiative
The Governor’s Housing Conference is Virginia’s largest and most comprehensive affordable housing event. The three-day event features workshops and sessions designed to help public and private sector representatives develop effective housing solutions in Virginia. Nearly 800 affordable housing advocates, providers and policy makers gather each year at the conference.