Discussion Forum Topic:

Virginia Approves an (Almost) All of the Above Approach to Housing
Original Comment:
Virginia State officials have given the green light to a variety of new products and processes in an effort to address the affordable housing gap. Under the new Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC), tiny homes and modified shipping containers will be covered under “alternative methods of construction.” Additionally, panelized homes will now be included in the State’s Industrialized Building Safety Regulations, the program that regulates the modular industry.

In addition to these specific code changes, the State is also exploring modular and other off site solutions in several of their state programs that offer grant funding to address housing. MHBA is working with these agencies to offer recommendations that might translate into business opportunities for the industry.

“In an age where government regulations typically hinder our growth opportunities, it’s refreshing to work with a state that sees our industry as a partner to help reach their goals,” said MHBA Executive Director Tom Hardiman.

Virginia is also one of the first states in the national to offer “innovation credits” under their Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. Under this program, two additional multifamily projects were approved utilizing offsite construction techniques.

Not included in the housing options this cycle was the greater use of “accessory dwelling units.” The State is still reviewing the potential advantages and challenges with ADUs. MHBA plans to continue working with Virginia as well as approaching other states to encourage them to embrace a similar approach to housing.
Started on March 4, 2020 by Tom Hardiman
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