The Partnership for Housing Affordability: The Realtors’ Nonprofit

The Partnership for Housing Affordability (PHA) was founded in 2004 and was established as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 2006 to create awareness about affordable housing issues and to help to provide solutions with the support of concerned citizens and community and business leaders.

The Partnership envisions a coordinated, regional approach to affordable housing that is supported by the citizens and elected leadership of the jurisdictions that make up the Richmond metropolitan area. With the commitment of needed resources and the adoption of necessary policies by local leaders, Richmond residents can live in vibrant and sustainable communities, characterized by a breadth of diversity among the residents, a variety of affordable housing choices, the integration of needed services, efficient use of the public infrastructure, and strategic preservation of natural resources.

PHA is currently implementing a new Framework—The Richmond Regional Housing Framework is an innovative approach for addressing our housing needs. Guided by a vision where everyone has a stable, healthy, and affordable place to call home—and bolstered by extensive research and community engagement—the Framework provides an action-oriented roadmap for solving, together, our region’s wide range of housing needs.

Over the next few years, the Framework will be used by the Partnership for Housing Affordability, housing providers, localities, and other stakeholders to steadily address our unique and shared housing challenges by implementing many of the solutions identified in the report as well as others that will emerge in the future.

RAR’s LION loan

The Richmond Association of REALTORS® (RAR) launched a “Quality of Life” investment strategy in May of 2016. RAR invested $1 million into a three-year LION loan (Local Impact Opportunity Note) to Virginia Community Capital (VCC) to support quality, affordable housing and economic development projects in the Richmond Metro Area. In the spring of 2017, RAR increased its investment in VCC by an additional $250,000.

The interest income paid by Virginia Community Capital on the three-year note and 10% of RAR’s annual distribution from its technology company is being donated to The Community Foundation (TCF) serving Richmond and Central Virginia.

Community Land Trust

A Community Land Trust (CLT) seeks to develop and maintain permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for low and moderate-income households. The Maggie Walker Community Land Trust (MWCLT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed in 2016 and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Using the Community Land Trust model, the MWCLT creates homes sold to qualified buyers while retaining ownership of the land beneath the houses. These homes receive a permanent subsidy that stays in the home and allows the home to be sold below market value. As an affordable alternative to renting, the CLT model allows families to build wealth through their monthly mortgage payments. In exchange for buying the house at a lower price, a CLT homeowner agrees to pass on the gift, and sell the home at a price that is affordable to someone in a similar financial situation. The new resale price is determined by the increase in the Richmond region’s Area Median Income (AMI).

The Maggie Walker CLT