VCHR Publications

Housing Needs and Trends in Central Appalachia and Appalachian Alabama

Appalachia is a region with significant contrasts. The evolution of the economic landscape over the last century has led each county in the region to face and adapt to unique circumstances. Although each county is unique, general housing trends in the region can be identified as well as outlier counties that do not conform to these trends. Many of the relevant housing trends in the region are quantifiable using US Census data. VCHR has compiled this data for a wide range of housing topics, including housing stock, demand, and affordability.

A Basic Housing Needs Assessment and Gap Analysis for the Rappahannock-Rapidan Region

A large part of the demand for housing in the RRRC region comes from workers earning in more-expensive housing markets. Fauquier County in particular may offer attractive living costs for households with at least one worker commuting further into the Washington, DC metro area. However, preferences for suburban, exurban, or semi-rural lifestyles over urban living are likely a major factor attracting households to the region. The region may be particularly appealing because large towns offer the convenience of cities and suburbs close to rural areas.

Addressing the Impact of Housing for Virginia’s Economy

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.

Appendix Report 1: Economic Impacts of Virginia’s Housing Industry

This report presents the findings of our economic impact analysis of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s housing industry. This project is a component of a larger research effort for the Virginia Housing Policy Advisory Council entitled Addressing the Importance of Housing for Virginia’s Economy. The study responds to Governor McAuliffe’s Executive Order 32 recognizing that “the sustained economic and social vitality of communities throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia depends upon the quality, availability, and affordability of housing.

Appendix Report 2: Housing the Commonwealth's Future Workforce 2014-2024

This report provides estimates of the amount, type (single-family and multi-family), tenure (owner and renter), price or rent, and location of housing that the Commonwealth of Virginia will need to accommodate new workers over the next decade. During this time Virginia will add 357,800 net new jobs, but to ensure that this employment growth can occur, a sufficient supply of housing must be available for these new workers—in the right locations, of the right types, and at affordable prices and rents. The analysis produced estimates for the Commonwealth and 11 Virginia regions.

Appendix Report 3: Housing Affordability, MSA Gap Analyses

This report discusses housing availability and housing needs for households by income groups. The report provides details regarding housing affordability, unit availability for renters and owners, and occupancy of units by incomes levels in each MSA. All MSAs throughout Virginia have shortages of available, affordable rental housing and many areas have shortages of affordable homeownership opportunities.

Appendix Report 4: Housing and Transportation

This report includes a statewide analysis showing the relationship between high household financial burdens for housing and transportation costs and low regional economic recovery from 2008 to 2013. Virginia counties and regions exhibited similar patterns and we suspect that this relationship is not isolated to the 5-year time period that was analyzed. We recommend that the Virginia Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and transit agencies within the State consider these dynamics as they plan infrastructure investments and other system improvements.

Appendix Report 5: Virginia Housing Production Affordability Findings

Housing production is a contributing factor to national, regional and local economies, while market characteristics can often make it difficult to produce an affordable new home. This report presents findings from analysis of data that explain economic factors and drivers in the production of new housing, considering many sides of the industry. Focusing only on these drivers would exclude much of the risk unique to the housing industry, though, so this work also focuses on other characteristics of the construction industry broadly and then residential construction within it.

Appendix Report 6: Housing and Economic Opportunity

This appendix report reviews the relevant academic and trade literature addressing housing’s influence over economic opportunity for individuals, families, communities and the state. The report highlights some of the most important ways that housing plays a role in individual’s access to opportunity and how individual opportunity can influence communities and the state, primarily through workforce outcomes like the ability to attract and retain employees.