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Richmond Regional Housing Framework

Photo: Jovan Burton, Director of Implementation at PHA, presenting the Framework (Scott Elmquist, Style Weekly)

HDA Helps Launch an Innovative Approach to Community Housing Planning

On January 15, the Partnership for Housing Affordability unveiled the Richmond Regional Housing Framework to a standing room only crowd of 200 elected officials, policy makers, community leaders and practitioners. HDA was the primary contractor on the project, working with the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech for some data crunching and Ebony Walden Associates for community engagement.

The Framework represents a departure from the traditional way most housing plans are done. From the outset, we recommended a web-based product that would be far more accessible and more easily updated than the traditional printed report.

For example, to help demonstrate the region’s current—and projected—housing needs, we published the data as user friendly, interactive Tableau dashboards. These dashboards are woven into stories that provide important context for our shared housing challenges.

We also developed a solutions-forward product that had early buy-in from local officials. The “library” of recommendations ranges from the aspirational to the immediately practical. These 60-plus solutions originated from known best practices in the region, commonwealth, and beyond—and were prioritized based on community input and scope of need.

In the coming months, PHA will share the Framework with elected officials and expand community engagement efforts to build public support for solutions. Accountability is also mandated with the inclusion of an annual “report card” that will track progress, celebrate successes as well as point out challenges.

We’re hopeful this new model makes real, meaningful progress for housing in 2020 and beyond.

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