MCLEAN, VA – Terry McAuliffe today released his bold plan to tackle the housing crisis in the Commonwealth. Through a multi-pronged approach that provides relief and protections to tenants, addresses the affordability crisis and housing shortage, confronts decades of discrimination against Black and Brown Virginians, and fights to end homelessness, Terry will work to ensure every Virginian has a place to call home. As Virginia’s 72nd governor, Terry took aggressive action to address housing disparities and homelessness in the Commonwealth — investing to increase the supply of affordable housing and reducing homelessness among families by 27 percent. Terry announced his bold new plan at an event at the Armstrong Renaissance Apartments in Richmond, where he was joined by Mayor Levar Stoney, a Co-Chair of Terry for Virginia.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the housing crisis worse in communities around the Commonwealth, with more than 260,000 Virginia households facing the risk of eviction as of the fall. A lack of affordable housing coupled with decades of discriminatory housing and lending policies, and an economic crisis driven by the COVID-19 pandemic has created a multi-faceted crisis that must be addressed with big, bold action and strong coordination with the federal government. As Virginia’s next Governor, Terry will address the affordability crisis and increase the supply of affordable housing by investing in the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, empowering localities to address the issues in their communities, and partnering with the Biden Administration to expand affordable housing.
In addition to a lack of affordable housing, decades of racist lending policies have significantly impacted homeownership rates among Black and Brown Americans. In Virginia, 11.9 percent of Black and 9.6 percent of Hispanic applicants were denied home loans in 2019 compared to a 5 percent denial rate for white applicants, making Black and Brown Virginians 2.4 and 1.9 times respectively more likely to be denied home financing than their white counterparts. As Governor, Terry will take aggressive action and create meaningful opportunities for Black Virginians to own homes. He will work to fight systemic racism head-on by combating lending discrimination, ensuring Black Virginians are made aware of and given access to critical state resources, and strengthening down payment assistance programs, low-interest loans, and rent-to-own programs in opportunity-rich areas.
During his administration, Terry fought for critical investments into Virginia’s Housing Trust Fund in order to increase supply of affordable housing and help people achieve housing stability. He also led the way in addressing homelessness among veterans. Under his leadership, Virginia became the first state in the nation to functionally end veterans homelessness by ensuring every community has a sustainable, systematic response to prevent homelessness whenever possible and to allow veterans in need of housing to secure a home within 90 days. This effort followed Terry signing Virginia onto the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness by the end of 2015, a step he was one of only five governors in the nation to take on for the entire state. As a result, between October 2014 and July 2017, 3,285 veterans gained access to housing statewide in Virginia.
“It is time we tackle the housing crisis in Virginia. That means addressing the shortage in supply of affordable housing and taking aim at the shocking, discriminatory practices that have kept Black and Brown Virginians from participating in home ownership for far too long. Our next governor must act boldly and decisively to address this crisis, which is being made worse every day by the COVID pandemic,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (Co-Chair of Terry for Virginia). “Here in the City of Richmond, we have created a model affordable housing community, which Terry helped support during his administration, and I am proud to have him here to visit this source of pride for our city today. Terry’s bold, comprehensive housing proposal will directly address the housing disparities communities of color in the Commonwealth have faced for generations and will make homeownership a reality for more Virginians.”
“It is an honor to showcase the Armstrong Renaissance development with Mayor Levar Stoney and Terry McAuliffe. This thriving community is a model for resident-centered affordable housing development. Providing stable, healthy housing has been our top priority for over five decades and never more so than throughout this COVID-19 crisis; it will be critical to have more solutions as we recover from this pandemic,” said Juan Powell, Vice President of Real Estate Development with The Community Builders (TCB).
“Virginia has a real crisis on our hands when it comes to housing, but let’s be clear: the COVID-19 pandemic is only making a bad situation worse. For generations, Black and Brown Virginians have been systemically kept from the American dream of homeownership by racist, discriminatory policies, and it’s got to stop,” said Terry McAuliffe. “We must act boldly and decisively to end these racist practices, increase the supply of affordable housing, and tackle homelessness once and for all. As governor, I will make sure housing security is a primary aspect of our recovery. I will use all of the tools at my disposal to increase the availability of affordable housing and work to make sure all Virginians have a place to call home.”
Since launching his campaign, Terry has released big, bold plans to strengthen Virginia’s education system and dramatically increase teacher pay, help secure Virginia’s economic recovery from COVID-19, ensure Virginians have access to regular nutritious meals, address the broken, predatory system of prescription drug pricing, boldly confront the gun violence epidemic in the Commonwealth, reform our criminal justice system to create a more equitable Virginia, and make Virginia the best state in the nation for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Healthcare (STEM-H) and computer science and education.