The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) is driving the construction of new affordable housing into the high-growth areas of the state.

When too many deals were being proposed for areas experiencing slower growth, VHDA took steps to stimulate building where it was most needed using the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program.

Officials created a separate new construction allocation pool that is comprised of the high-growth localities in Northern Virginia. To fund this pool, housing credits are being pre-allocated from the following year. This approach was well received by preservation groups because any unused money would be re-allocated to the general pool the following year, thereby limiting the competition between preservation efforts and new units.

VHDA also established a new point system in the scoring of LIHTC applications that promoted new construction in high-growth markets.

The strategy has earned the agency an award for program excellence in encouraging new housing production from the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) this year.

“Since this initiative began, VHDA has seen a 50 percent increase in new construction units in high-growth areas,” said Executive Director Susan Dewey. “Our new strategy allows more people to live where they work, and we felt this initiative was one of the most effective ways to contribute to the economic recovery of the state as a whole.”

Twenty state housing finance agency programs were recognized by NCSHA. For more information, visit