August is a typically quiet month for lobbyists and government affairs professionals when legislative bodies at all levels (local, state, federal) take a break from the action to go on a vacation, spend time back home with their families, kick off general election campaigns or focus on working in their “real” jobs in the case of part-time legislators. But for your NVAR Government Affairs Team this is a great time to grab coffee, lunch or schedule working meetings with those legislators to look at issues coming up on the docket during the fall or in the 2024 sessions. Over the past month NVAR staff and volunteer leaders have:
- Met with more than a dozen local leaders from Alexandria, Arlington County and Fairfax County to discuss housing, zoning and business issues on the upcoming docket for consideration.
- Proposed the 2023-2024 NVAR Legislative Agenda to the Virginia Realtors® for adoption in the 2024 Statewide Realtor® Agenda.
- Hosted business leaders from around the region at NVAR to discuss key transportation initiatives.
- Partnered with local and regional Chambers of Commerce to sponsor the Annual Northern Virginia Regional Elected Leaders Summit.
- Met with Senator Mark Warner, Congressman Don Beyer, Congressman Bobby Scott, Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan and many members of your Northern Virginia delegation to the General Assembly.
Policy News from Northern Virginia and Across the Region
Zoning For Housing Reforms Process To Begin In Alexandria
The city's Zoning for Housing/Housing for All Initiative has a "goal of expanding housing production and affordability and addressing past and current barriers to equitable housing access." Zoning reform recommendations will be presented to the Alexandria Planning Commission and City Council on Sept. 5.
Parking reimagined as a fix for housing, climate woes in Fairfax County
Two of Northern Virginia’s most pressing problems — a lack of affordable housing and urban runoff damaging local streams — could share one unlikely solution: parking. Fairfax County officials say both issues can be addressed by reducing minimum parking requirements for new construction under the proposed Parking Reimagined project.
Arlington to Open Housing Choice Voucher Program Waitlist
For the first time in over a decade, Arlington County will open the waitlist for its Housing Choice Voucher Program, a subsidy program that pays a portion of low-income residents’ rents. Interested families can sign up during the application period, then the county will select 5,000 residents to be placed on the waitlist through a lottery system.
Plan to replace American Legion Bridge revived with request for federal funding
Maryland has renewed its commitment to replacing the American Legion Bridge and adding express lanes on the Capital Beltway, much to the relief of Northern Virginia transportation officials.
Updates from the Virginia Realtors®
Broadband Access and Expansion: Check Out the Commonwealth Connection!
Virginia REALTORS® partners with the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) on an array of housing issues. With the pandemic proving that the need for broadband is more crucial now than ever, Virginia REALTORS® wants to ensure that our members are aware of broadband access and expansion projects in their communities.
Virginia Realtors® Welcomes D.J. Spiker to Government Relations Team
Virginia Realtors® is happy to announce that D.J. Spiker is joining our team as Vice President of Association Advocacy. Before joining the VAR, D.J. served as State Director for State & Local Government Relations in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina & South Carolina for the Institute of Legislative Action.
National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Washington Reports
NAR Responds to Proposed Rule on Automated Valuation Models
Check out NAR's response to the joint banking and finance regulators on their proposed joint rule to implement the statute on automated valuation models (AVMs) regulation.
NAR Responds to FHFA's Request for Input on Upfront Fees
Check out NAR's response to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's request for input on how it should set the upfront fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Administration Announces Updates for Housing Supply and Multifamily Housing
The White House released two announcements last week, outlining actions to boost the housing supply, and offering guidance for multifamily properties.
NAR Warns Bank Regulators of Impact of Basel III Proposal
Banks' ability to provide mortgage lenders with lines of credit as well as support for the commercial and construction industries could be affected.
NAR Responds to FHFA on Rental Housing Policy
NAR believes an additional layer of federal regulations will only serve to create confusion among housing providers, lenders, and renters.