Affordable housing

 Yesterday and today, the General Housing and Military Affairs Committee met to hear testimony about H.216, an act relating to preserving federally assisted affordable housing.

 This testimony included information from VHFA that many contracts for affordable housing, signed 20 to 40 years ago, are now ending.  This makes these units at risk for being sold and not be available as affordable housing for the mostly elderly and disabled who have been living in them.

Since the rules have changed over the years, this bill is attempting to clarify the process of giving notice of the intent to sell as well as details connected with all the time frames involved. 

Preservation of existing affordable housing, and how that costs less than building new, incentives for building affordable housing, and that this bill is not acceptable to owners of properties at risk for sale,were also discussed.

Testimony today by Legal Aide covered the issues of housing shortages.   There are very few places to live for people who lost their homes in the flood.  Decent housing is also an issue.  Rents have gone up 58% since 2000.  40%of homeowners affected by Irene are low income. 

A question was asked, "Where will we put affordable housing?"

There was only silence.  The testimonies resumed.