The Housing Policy Advisory Council Report (2018)

Executive Order 32—Advancing Virginia’s Housing Policy

In October 2014, Governor McAuliffe issued Executive Order (EO) 32, “Advancing Virginia’s Housing Policy,” to “identify and implement actions to enable quality, affordable housing, which will strengthen families and communities and foster economic growth.” The Housing Policy Advisory Council (HPAC) was thus established under the leadership of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to help guide the development and implementation of Virginia’s housing policy.


A key directive of EO  32 was identifying the links between housing and economic and community development. To this end, the HPAC commissioned a study from a consortium of researchers at Virginia Tech, George Mason University, The College of William and Mary, and Virginia Commonwealth University, with the premise that successful housing policy must be based on independent analytic findings and best practices. The collaborative research of the four universities provides key information on the Commonwealth housing sector, focusing on the economic impact of housing, future scenarios impacting housing needs, and links between housing and other key policy sectors.

This report summarizes the research conducted by the four universities and the implications for Virginia’s housing policy development. The report is designed to assist stakeholders and policymakers think more creatively and collaborate more intensely at the state, regional, and local levels as Virginia strives to build on the successes of the past and meet the pressing housing challenges facing the commonwealth. The entirety of the research is included in nine papers presented here.


Virginia Coalition of Housing and Economic Development Researchers
A multidisciplinary study team across four universities


Northern Virginia Chair & Professor of Public Policy, Director, Center for Regional Analysis, George Mason University

Terry L. Clower is Northern Virginia Chair and Professor of Public Policy at the School of Policy, Government and International Affairs at George Mason University. He is also the director for GMU’s Center for Regional Analysis and will serve as a senior advisor on this project. The Center provides economic, housing, and public policy research services to sponsors in the private, non-profit and public sectors. Prior to joining GMU, Dr. Clower was the director for the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas. He also has substantial private industry experience in logistics and transportation management positions.

Dr. Clower has authored or co-authored over 150 articles, book chapters, and research reports reflecting experience in economic and community development, economic and fiscal impact analysis, transportation, land use planning, housing, and economic forecasting. Importantly, Dr. Clower has direct experience in assessing the economic impacts of energy-related drilling, mining, and transportation activities. He has also worked with state and local agencies on the economic impacts of industries related to major reservoirs and lakes. Dr. Clower has worked with several communities on economic development strategic planning that include tourism and recreation as major sources of economic growth. His scholarly articles have appeared in Economic Development Quarterly; Urban Studies; Economic Development Review; Regional Studies, Regional Science; the Australasian Journal of Regional Studies; Sustaining Regions; and Applied Research in Economic Development. He recently completed a term as regional (Americas) editor for the journal Regional Science Policy and Practice and is currently co-authoring a new textbook on economic development for Rutledge.

Dr. Clower teaches a variety of courses related to regional development and transportation policy, regional economic development strategies and applications, and development related public policies. Dr. Clower has served as an instructor for certification courses sanctioned by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) that relate to topics such as research methods, regional science theory, economic and fiscal impact modeling.

Dr. Clower received a B.S. in Marine Transportation from Texas A&M University (1982), an M.S. in Applied Economics (1992) and a Ph.D. in Information Science (1997) from the University of North Texas.



Assistant Professor in the Wilder School for Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University

Kathryn Howell, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Wilder School for Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Howell has a masters in Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas. Before completing her Ph.D., she worked for local and state government in Maryland and Washington, DC where she worked on reports for Maryland’s Governor’s Housing Conference, the Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, and the Green Building Task Force. In addition, she completed monthly analysis on market penetration of Maryland homeownership programs. In Washington, DC she assessed needs and opportunities for neighborhood and individual scale housing interventions to address foreclosure. As a post-doctoral fellow with George Mason’s Center for Regional Analysis, Dr. Howell conducted analyses on the needs for multifamily housing and the use of Housing Choice Vouchers in the Washington, DC region. Most recently, Dr. Howell collaborated with Virginia Tech on a study of housing needs and strategies for the Richmond Region for the Partnership for Housing Affordability. Dr. Howell’s research focuses on housing and community development – particularly for low-income households.


Research Scientist, Virginia Center for Housing Research

Ms. Jones is a Research Scientist with the Center for Housing Research. Ms. Jones received undergraduate degrees in Economics and International Service from the American University. She received a Master of Urban and Regional Planning and a Master of Science in Agriculture and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech. Her expertise includes statistical and qualitative economic and policy analysis. She has significant experience and training in program coordination, local and regional economic development, and affordable housing. Ms. Jones’ education and experience will allow her to effectively support the Center’s sustained commitment to affordable housing in Virginia while advancing the Center’s interdisciplinary exploration of new affordable housing topics and resources.

Mel leads housing affordability research at the Center and conducts housing needs assessment for localities throughout Virginia. Recently, she completed an analysis of affordable housing in the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission for the Partnership for Housing Affordability, a housing gap analysis and affordable housing demand analysis for Fairfax County in support of their Consolidated Planning process, a housing conditions study for James City County, an assessment of mobile-home conditions and demographic and economic characteristics of mobile-home residents in Central Appalachia, and an economic impact analysis of the Virginia Housing Trust Fund investments. Mel is the co-principal investigator for the Center’s collaboration with Housing Virginia to maintain and update the affordable housing online tools Housing Affordability Sourcebook and the PLAYBOOK. Sourcebook is an online tool for assessing local housing affordability and includes a variety of housing affordability measures beyond traditional housing cost burden measures for Virginia counties and MSAs. PLAYBOOK is an online searchable inventory of housing policies and programs in Virginia. Currently, Mel is leading a housing and economic development study for the State of Virginia and a housing study for the City of Virginia Beach.

Before joining the Center, Ms. Jones spent one year as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, serving as Program Coordinator for the Community Housing Partners program, the Community Alliance for Energy Efficiency (CAFE2). CAFE2 guides homeowners through home energy audits and retrofits in an effort to stimulate demand for home energy efficiency products and services. Ms. Jones’ program coordination experience will allow her to effectively manage her administrative responsibilities at the Center. Her training in weatherization and energy efficiency retrofit strategies will allow her to support the Center’s green building technology research agenda. Ms. Jones also spent three years as a graduate research assistant for the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development (VT-OED). VT-OED serves as an advisor and consultant for Virginia businesses and municipalities. In addition, VT-OED conducts economic development research to benefit the regions in its service area. Ms. Jones collaborated with VT-OED faculty to publish two studies: “The Challenge of Reconciling Development Objectives in the Context of Demographic Change: Evaluating Asset-based Development in Appalachia” in the Journal of Alpine Research and “The Role of Equity Capital in Rural Communities: Wealth Creation in Rural Communities Phase I Reports” in Wealth Creation in Rural Communities, a project of the Ford Foundation. Her time working with one of the state’s premier affordable housing organizations and at VT-OED has allowed her to develop an expertise in Virginia policies, trends and regional characteristics, both attributes, and challenges. This expertise will help her begin to take responsibility for the Center’s commitment to provide high-quality research and analysis for Virginia’s housing community.


Professor and Department Head of the Department of Building Construction, the Preston and Catharine White Endowed Fellow and Associate Director of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction (MLSoC) and the Director of the Virginia Center for Housing Research (VCHR) at Virginia Tech

Andrew P. McCoy, Ph.D. is Professor and Department Head of the Department of Building Construction, the Preston and Catharine White Endowed Fellow and Associate Director of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction (MLSoC) and the Director of the Virginia Center for Housing Research (VCHR) at Virginia Tech. He teaches several undergraduate and graduate Building Construction courses which give students practical experience working on estimating and project management of real construction projects. Dr. McCoy also teaches a graduate course, which explores concepts, theories and applications of innovation in construction, specializing in residential systems. Dr. McCoy’s main area of research involves diffusion and commercialization of innovative projects in the construction industry. He is the main author of numerous books and peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers on the subjects of innovation adoption, diffusion and commercialization in residential construction and construction safety. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the ASC’s International Journal of Construction Education and Research and Associate Editor of the inaugural edition of ASCE’s Journal of Architectural Engineering Special Edition on Residential Building Construction.

Dr. McCoy has authored over 100 articles and has been a primary investigator on over 6 million dollars in funded projects, including ‘green’ residential construction practices, building technologies, affordable housing and safety practices in the construction supply chain. Notable funded endeavors include: 1) The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Executive Order 32 study “Addressing the Impact of Housing Affordability for Virginia’s Economy”; 2) HUD’s ” Impact of Market Behavior on the Adoption and Diffusion of Innovative Green Building Technologies,” A Sustainable Communities Research grant; 3) HUD’s “Strategies for Promoting Innovation in Housing”; 4) NIOSH’s “The Case for a Whole Industry Approach to Safety,” a grant on safety across cultures and sectors of the construction industry and 5) Housing Virginia’s “The Impact of Energy Efficient Construction for LIHTC Housing in Virginia.” Dr. McCoy’s research won the 2015 Game Changer Award for the State of Virginia and Engineering News Record’s 2014 “Top 20 under 40” for the Mid-Atlantic. Dr. McCoy’s work also won ASCE’s Journal of Architectural Engineering “Top Paper Award 2015” and the American Real Estate Society conference’s “best paper prize for the topic of Sustainable Real Estate.”

He and his faculty teammates received the university-level 2010 XCalibur Award for excellence in integrating technology into the Classroom Environment. The project won the European Premier Prize (first overall internationally) and garnered the first ever National AIA Award for a University. He and a colleague also received the College of Architecture and Urban Studies’ 2011 University Excellence in Outreach as a Team award and the 2011 Alumni Excellence in Outreach for Virginia Tech, based on his work with engaging industry. The alumni excellence award places him permanently into the Academy of Outreach Excellence.

His students awarded him the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Exemplary Faculty Award for the Department of Building Construction in the Myers Lawson School of Construction, the University’s 2013 Favorite Faculty Award from the Division of Student Affairs and the March 2013 University Teacher of the Week from the Center for Instructional Development and Education Research (CIDER). His peers awarded him the 2013 Young Alumni Award from the Department of Building Construction.

Dr. McCoy has over 17 years of experience in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, including 8.5 years of fieldwork and 4.5 years of managing a design-build firm that maintained a Class A Virginia contractor license and employed licensed architects. Dr. McCoy received undergraduate degrees in Architecture and Architectural History from the University of Virginia, and an MS in Building Construction and a Ph.D. in Environmental Design and Planning from Virginia Tech.


Professor Emeritus, William and Mary Raymond A. Mason School of Business

Dr. Roy L. Pearson has been a faculty member at the William and Mary Raymond A. Mason School of Business since 1971. He retired to Emeritus status in 2005, but continued periodically to teach a forecasting course. Roy also introduced and taught in 2010 through 2013 an MBA-level strategic foresight course with emphasis on preparing futures scenarios.

Roy continues to participate in research projects. He co-authored a series of four economic impact studies for the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority during the period 2012-2014 and in February 2016 a report of the economic impacts of the Virginia maritime industry.

Dr. Pearson has served on the Governor’s Joint Advisory Board of Economists, which advises regarding forecasts of economic activity in the Commonwealth, at the pleasure of Governors Robb, Baliles, Wilder, Allen, Warner, Kaine, and McAuliffe.


Chair and Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech

Tom Sanchez is Chair and Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech. He conducts research in the areas of transportation, environmental justice, technology, and scholarly impact. Sanchez currently serves as the editor-in-chief of Housing Policy Debate, a leading journal on the topics of housing and community development policy. In 2012 he co-authored, Planning as if People Matter: Governing for Social Equity (Island Press) with Marc Brenman. In 2007 they co-authored The Right to Transportation: Moving to Equity (Routledge).


Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Studies and Planning, Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University

I-Shian (Ivan) Suen, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Studies and Planning in the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Suen’s research and teaching interests include land use planning, planning support systems, and the applications of geospatial technologies for data analysis and visualization. He has over 20 years of experience in teaching and conducting Geographic Information Systems (GIS) modeling, statistical analysis, and forecasting, winning national awards for this work. Since he joined VCU in 2004, Dr. Suen has developed a graduate certificate program in GIS and has taught numerous courses related to geospatial technologies and their applications. He also utilizes geospatial technologies to conduct many of his research projects and professional studies. His recent work of major relevance to the current project includes:

VCU Center for Urban and Regional Analysis: Since 2014, Dr. Suen has collaborated with the VCU Center for Urban and Regional Analysis directed by Dr. John Accordino by providing GIS technical support for building a metropolitan-wide database to track development, detect growth patterns, and model future growth of the Richmond MSA. He also collaborated with Dr. Accordino and worked on a project funded by the Better Housing Coalition to study its investment impact on property values in 2014; and a project funded by the project:HOMES to assess the potential needs and costs of rehabilitation- and weatherization-related housing projects in 2015.

VCU Center on Society and Health: Since 2011, Dr. Suen has collaborated with the VCU Center on Society and Health directed by Dr. Steven Woolf and worked on several neighborhood-based, public health research projects. Suen’s role at the Center involves applications of geospatial technologies for data analysis and visualization.


Professor of International Business, Innovation, and Marketing Strategy at The College of William & Mary

K. Scott Swan, Ph.D. is a Professor of International Business, Innovation, and Marketing Strategy at The College of William & Mary. He is on the advisory board of the Mason School of Business Center for Entrepreneurship and was named the Fulbright 2015-16 Kathryn and Craig Hall Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship in Central Europe at Vienna University in Austria. He has lectured internationally at Tsinghua University in Beijing; Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo; WHU in Koblenz, Germany; Corvinus University in Hungary; the Vienna Business School; Management Center Innsbruck; University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia; and University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria in Wels. He has also conducted economic impact studies for the Virginia Port Authority, Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Virginia Maritime Association, and Union Mission. His research interests have lead to publications in major journals along with three books. He serves on the Editorial Review Board of The Design Journal and The Journal of Product Innovation Management. Professor Swan has worked in project management for Flour-Daniel, marketing management for Foremost Corporation of America, as well as founding several small businesses related to design. Married for over 30 years, he has eight children.


Associate Director for the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development

Scott serves as Associate Director for the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development. Tate’s areas of expertise include regional & urban development, economic and policy analysis, arts and cultural development, and entrepreneurship.
Tate previously served as a community development extension specialist for Virginia Cooperative Extension and as adjunct faculty in the Virginia Tech departments of Urban Affairs and Planning and Political Science. His research on urban change and cultural development has appeared in journals and edited volumes and he is co-editor of the 2015 Routledge volume titled, Arts and Community Change: Exploring Cultural Development Policies, Practices, and Dilemmas.

Scott serves as director for Virginia Tech’s University Center program, funded by the Economic Development Administration. He has conducted workforce and industry analyses, directed local and regional planning efforts, assisted start-up businesses, performed feasibility studies, and consulted for non-profit organizations. Some of his recent projects include: directing Virginia Tech’s EDA-funded University Centers program; leading a DOL-funded regional industry analysis and sector partnership initiative; crafting Virginia’s Aviation and Space Workforce Implementation Plan; studying the state-wide economic potential of the small satellites industry; researching workforce skills and occupation transferability for coal industry workers; developing a Strategic Plan for Agriculture for the Virginia Coalfields Economic Development Authority; and performing a target industry analysis for the New River Economic Development Alliance.


Deputy Director, Center for Regional Analysis, George Mason University

Mark C. White is the Deputy Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. Mark will as a senior advisor on this project. Dr. White joined the Center in January 2016. During this period, he has worked on a variety of projects including a workforce analysis of Arlington and Alexandria, an examination of middle-skills jobs opportunities in the Washington metro area, and economic impact analyses of the Virginia Housing industry and the Northern Virginia Parks Authority. He was a lead author on Northern Virginia’s GO Virginia Economic Growth and Diversification Plan and contributed to the Hampton Roads’ GO Virginia Economic Growth and Diversification Plan.

Prior to joining the Center for Regional Analysis, Dr. White was the Vice President for Research at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) in Arlington, VA. During his 11 years at CREC, Dr. White managed a wide variety of economic and workforce development research and technical assistance projects across the United States and Canada. These projects include numerous industry cluster and value-chain analyses in Hawaii, Illinois, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

He also facilitated economic and workforce development planning initiatives in regions in North Carolina, Iowa, Texas and Ontario. He also supported the Georgia Governor’s Office of Workforce Development’s Work Ready Regions Initiative for four years by providing labor market information used to inform and shape regional workforce strategies. Dr. White also led research efforts that examined the impact of manufacturing in rural North Carolina, a study of economic diversity for the Appalachian Regional Commission, and an examination of economic inclusion and opportunity in Grand Rapids, MI on behalf of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Dr. White received a Doctor of Philosophy in International Studies with a focus on Economic Development from the University of Miami, a Master’s of Arts in Geography from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Geography from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.



Katrin B. Anacker is an Associate Professor at George Mason’s School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs. She is the North American Editor of the International Journal of Housing Policy, the Review Editor of the Journal of Planning Education and Research and the editor of the book The New American Suburb: Poverty, Race, and the Economic Crisis (Ashgate, 2015). Her research interests are housing, housing and urban policy, race and public policy, real estate markets, economic demographics, statistical methods, qualitative methods, and research writing. Dr. Anacker’s work has been published in the Journal of Urban Affairs, Housing Policy Debate, Housing Studies, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, the International Journal of Housing Policy, Urban Geography, and Housing and Society. Her work has been supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Urban Land Institute, Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at The Ohio State University, Lambda Alpha International, and the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy. Professor Anacker received a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University in 2006. Before joining GMU she was a Post Doctoral Fellow and Research Assistant Professor at the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech in Alexandria, VA where she served as Co-Editor of the academic journal Housing Policy Debate.


Jeannette Chapman joined the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis in 2013 as a Research Associate. Prior to joining the Center, she was the research associate at the DowntownDC Business Improvement District where she analyzed the major economic sectors of the downtown area. At the Center, she is responsible for tracking regional and national data. Her primary areas of research include housing, economic development and employment statistics. Ms. Chapman reviews data and publishes regular analyses on the Northern Virginia housing market. She has been the data analyst on several studies forecasting housing demand for Virginia metro areas, examining commuting patterns, and demographic analyses. Ms. Chapman is now Deputy Director and Senior Research Associate, The Stephen S. Fuller Institute in the The Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.


Dr. Mohan Venigalla is Associate Professor of Transportation Engineering at George Mason University. Prior to joining Mason, Dr. Venigalla most recently served as a Senior Transportation Systems Engineer in Wilbur Smith Associates Transportation Modeling Group, located in Columbia, SC. Dr. Venigalla earned his doctorate from the University of Tennessee in 1994. He is an expert in quantitative methods for transportation planning, air quality, traffic operations, and traffic simulation. His skills include transportation systems analysis encompassing travel demand modeling, traffic simulation, network analysis, and ITS related modeling. He has developed and applied numerous computer models for transportation planning and traffic engineering problems. His research work in transportation air quality has received national acclaim. He is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Planning for Small and Medium Sized Urban Communities, a member ASCE and ITE.


Dr. Shanjiang Zhu is an Assistant Professor of Transportation Planning and Engineering at George Mason University (GMU). He graduated from Tsinghua University with a B.S degree in 2003 and a M.S in 2005. During 2001-2003, he studied at the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, in France, as a dual-degree student. He obtained his Ph.D. degree at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in 2010 and worked two years as a Research Scientist at the University of Maryland before joining GMU. Dr. Zhu is experienced in travel demand modeling, travel behavior analysis, GPS-based travel survey method, integrated transportation planning and simulation models, traffic incident management, and transportation economics. Dr. Zhu is PI at GMU of the newly founded TransInfo UTC that focuses on Big Data studies in transportation. His research work has also been funded by VDOT and Virginia OPT3 office. He is Virginia Governor’s appointee on the Technical Advisory Board of Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and is a fellow of GMU P3 policy center. Dr. Zhu is a champion of multi-disciplinary research approach. He holds three Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering, Automatics, and Applied Economics, respectively. Dr. Zhu is the recipient of International Transport Forum’s 2014 Young Researcher of the Year Award.