Town Hall Notes


FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy News

FIVE FOR FRIDAYWelcome to FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy Issues and Headlines from around the Northern Virginia Region, the Commonwealth and on Capitol Hill.

1. NAR Urges TAF to Recommend State Licensing Bodies to Require Fair Housing
NAR wrote to the Appraiser Qualifications Board of the Appraisal Foundation urging it to revise the real property appraiser qualification criteria to require fair housing and valuation bias training for both qualifying and continuing education.

2. New Metro leader says first priority is restoring rail service
Nine months into a rail car shortage that has hobbled Metro and the Washington region, the transit agency’s new leader said Thursday that returning to full service is his most pressing priority. Randy Clarke appeared for the first time before Metro’s board, offering some of his earliest public comments after taking an oath that formalized a position he began Monday. His challenges include a slow rebound of fare-paying passengers, recurring track safety violations, staffing shortages and final preparations for the long-delayed Silver Line extension.

3. Treasury Department New Action on Housing Affordability
The Biden Administration on Wednesday announced new steps to tackle the housing supply crisis. The plan by the U.S. Department of the Treasury allows the use of $350 billion in American Rescue Plan funds by state, local, and tribal governments toward the development, repair, and operation of affordable housing units. 

4. Lawrence Yun Addresses Senate Banking: State of Housing
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®, today told the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs that he does not foresee a nationwide decline in home prices despite indications that price growth is set to slow. Yun testified that the potential for weaker sales should increase available inventory in some markets, but not enough to diminish persistent affordability constraints which, for many Americans, have kept homeownership out of reach over recent years.

5. Project to underground Richmond Highway utilities challenged by cost, delays and risk
A project to underground Richmond Highway utilities may be buried due to cost, construction delays, and the risk it poses to federal funding for other projects happening along the corridor. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors weighed the pros and cons of undergrounding utilities along the highway, also known as Route 1, at an economic initiatives committee meeting on Tuesday (July 26).

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