SJ365: Innovative housing policies and programs; Housing Commission to study granting authority to local.

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 365
Offered January 10, 2007
Prefiled January 9, 2007
Directing the Virginia Housing Commission to study the feasibility of granting additional authority to local governments to develop innovative housing policies and programs. Report.
Patron-- Whipple

Referred to Committee on Rules

WHEREAS, adequate housing is an elemental need of every citizen of any age, household size, and income level; and

WHEREAS, the availability and affordability of adequate housing affects economic growth, community development and vitality, and the lives of individuals; and

WHEREAS, securing affordable housing contributes to (i) positive family stability and childhood outcomes, (ii) neighborhood quality and access to opportunity, (iii) household wealth, and (iv) economic growth and stability, all of which provide an overall benefit to the quality of living in the locality and the surrounding region; and

WHEREAS, the establishment of a comprehensive housing policy at the local level is essential to the creation and preservation of adequate housing; and

WHEREAS, many localities in the state have moved forward with the development of local housing policies to address the particular housing issues of the locality; and

WHEREAS, such policies are limited by the existing enabling authority; and

WHEREAS, granting additional authority to local government would serve to provide more flexibility in developing innovative housing policies and programs such as expanding inclusionary zoning eligibility and criteria and the creation of employer-assisted housing for government employees with funds from general revenue; and

WHEREAS, there is a need to examine the feasibility of increasing the statutory options and tools that are available to localities to develop more innovative housing policies; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the Virginia Housing Commission be directed to study the feasibility of granting additional authority to local governments to develop innovative housing policies and programs.

 In conducting its study, the Commission shall examine options including, but not limited to, (i) the expansion of inclusionary zoning eligibility to include elimination of high-rise exemptions and allow increased participation by local jurisdictions and (ii) the creation of employer-assisted housing programs for government employees with funds from general revenue.

All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the (Agency) for this study, upon request.

The Virginia Housing Commission shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2007, and the Chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2008 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall state whether the Virginia Housing Commission intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary and report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.