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Regional Housing Symposia Looks at Connecting Home and Work

Regional Housing Symposia Looks at Connecting Home and Work

By Shenita Bethea

Housing and Human Services Manager

The Regional Housing Symposia was held on Thursday, January 13, 2011 at the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC).  Keynote Speaker, Trip Pollard, from the Southern Environmental Law Center presented his recent report, Jobs, Transportation, and Affordable Housing: Connecting Home and WorkPDF File. This report was released in partnership with Housing Virginia and can be viewed at http://www.southernenvironment.org/uploads/publications/connecting_home_and_work.pdf PDF File.

In his report, Mr. Pollard provided an overview of the challenges facing communities as they try to create better coordination between where people reside as it relates to their employment location.  The report also identifies practical, workable solutions and opportunities to build a better future for Virginia’s communities. A host of other solutions are also offered, including:

  • Eliminating regulatory barriers to more compact development with a mix of residential and commercial uses, and housing with a mix of styles, sizes, and prices;
  • Promoting “infill” development, revitalizing existing communities, and redeveloping declining or abandoned commercial areas;
  • Land-use plans and incentives to guide new development to designated growth areas;
  • Incentives for green buildings that are healthier and more energy efficient; 
  • Providing greater transportation options by reorienting state and local expenditures to advance alternatives to driving; and
  • Requiring or offering incentives for developers to include affordable housing in projects and provide funding for affordable housing.

In addition to Mr. Pollard’s presentation, a panel of community leaders representing the fields of housing, economic development and transportation gave brief presentations and provided insight regarding this topic.

The event was sponsored by Housing Virginia, BB&T, Hampton Roads Housing ConsortiumOpens in new window, Hampton Roads ULI, Tidewater Builders AssociationOpens in new window, Virginia Beach Community Development CorporationOpens in new window, The Housing RoundtableOpens in new window, and Light Rail Now, Inc. The symposium can be viewed on the HRPDC’s YouTube Opens in new windowchannel or  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoXaqkiwGAgOpens in new window