Richmond Regional Housing Framework

Locality Summaries

This framework is for Chesterfield County, Hanover County, Henrico County, the City of Richmond, and the Town of Ashland. Beginning in 2020, the Partnership for Housing Affordability will work closely with local officials and others in these communities to implement solutions that will increase housing opportunities across our region.

Town of Ashland

Although Ashland is surrounded by the residential and commercial growth of Hanover, the town has retained its idyllic charm and historic neighborhoods. Given that fifty-percent of the town’s homes are not single-family, detached units, Ashland is looking for creative ways to diversify its housing stock and work with regional partners to solve broader housing challenges. The “Center of the Universe”, as the town is known, acknowledges that it can keep its quaint, Main Street-style feel while still working towards a future of stable growth.

Download Ashland Locality Summary PDF

The average home is 24% more expensive now than in 2009. Homeownership is a major challenge for elementary school teachers, electricians, licensed nurses, and other critical workers in the town.

Source: Central Virginia Region MLS; 2005-2017 American Community Survey, 5-year estimates

There are over 1,100 homes in the town built prior to 1970, compared to less than 200 homes built since 2010. Preserving and enhancing the town’s aging housing stock should be a priority moving forward to maintain quality homes for residents.

Source: 2013-2017 American Community Survey, 5-year estimates

In Ashland, 37% of all households are cost-burdened. 27% of the town’s homeowners are cost-burdened and 49% of renters are cost-burdened. More than 80% of both homeowners and renters making less than 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI) in the town are cost-burdened.

Sources: Virginia Center for Housing Research, 2019

17% of the town’s residents are over the age of 65. Roughly 59% of Ashland senior households earn less than 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

Source: Virginia Center for Housing
Research, 2019

Most of the region’s job growth in the next decade will be occupations with wages needing monthly housing costs of $1,000 or less. To have healthy economic development, Ashland will need to consider ways for these workers to have adequate housing opportunities.

Source: Virginia Employment Commission, Long-Term Workforce Area Occupational Projections, 2016-2026 (for Capital Region Workforce Partnership Workforce Investment Area)

Solution 1-B: Preserve naturally occurring affordable housing through proactive outreach to owners and incentives to retain affordability.
Solution 1-D: Reduce barriers to accessory dwelling units in residential districts.
Solution 1-C: Extend affordability terms for assisted rental developments with expiring use subsidies or use restrictions by incentivizing preservation.
Solution 2-A: Support and expand the community land trust homeownership model.
Solution 2-B: Create a regional center for homeownership that is a one-stop resource hub.
Solution 2-C: Build a region-wide, racially equitable homeownership program.
Solution 2-D: Reduce land cost per home by encouraging higher density homeownership, including smaller, innovative home types.
Solution 3-A: Promote and expand existing senior tax relief programs for homeowners.
Solution 3-B: Increase housing rehab, home accessibility and critical home repair
assistance programs.
Solution 4-A: Improve aging housing stock by expanding resources and access to affordable rehab programs.
Solution 6-A: Begin an awareness campaign to demonstrate the importance and value of affordable housing.

Chesterfield County

Chesterfield is a prosperous, growing county. It consistently adds 5,000 new residents annually, and this growth is expected to continue for the next two decades. But it’s not without challenges. By 2030, Chesterfield will add 27,000 new seniors—about the current population of Powhatan County. Chesterfield is also more economically and socially diverse—but many working residents can’t find homes within their budget. To continue its prosperity, the county must ensure good housing opportunities for all its residents.

Download Chesterfield Locality Summary PDF

The average home is 21% more expensive now than in 2009. Over that same time, average incomes only increased by 7%. Some of the county’s most important workers cannot afford to buy a home.

Source: Central Virginia Regional MLS

There are only 15 dedicated affordable rental communities in Chesterfield, compared with 118 market-rate developments. There are 2,080 more renter households below 50% Area Median Income (AMI) than apartments that are affordable to them.

Sources: 2012-2016 Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy dataset

Since 2010, the county has added 14,900 seniors. Households with a person over 65 will grow by another 40% between now and 2040.

Source: 2008-2012 and 2013-2017 American Community Survey, 5-year estimates; Virginia Center for Housing Research, 2019

Many are in mobile home parks with major housing quality and infrastructure problems. Placed end-to-end, all these homes would stretch 25 miles long—almost the full width of the county.

Source: 2013-2017 American Community Survey, 5-year estimates

Most of the region’s job growth in the next decade will be occupations whose wages require monthly housing costs of $1,000 or less. Chesterfield will need to find homes for roughly 575 new low-income (<80% AMI) households per year over the next two decades.

Source: Virginia Employment Commission, Long-Term Workforce Area Occupational Projections, 2016-2026 (for Capital Region Workforce Partnership Workforce Investment Area)

Solution 1-A: Increase the amount of land available for multifamily housing development in residential zones (and commercial zones where appropriate), especially in “communities of opportunity.”
Solution 1-D: Reduce barriers to accessory dwelling units in residential districts.
Solution 2-C: Build a region-wide, racially equitable homeownership opportunity program.
Solution 2-D: Reduce land cost per home by encouraging higher density homeownership, including smaller, innovative home types.
Solution 3-A: Promote and expand existing senior tax relief programs.
Solution 4-C: Revitalize manufactured home communities and replace older, poor quality homes.

Hanover County

Hanover is a county in transition. Today, it looks to balance demand for growth with its rural character. As residents seek more affordable and denser housing choices, the county must consider supporting new types of homes—including duplexes, townhomes, and condominiums.

Download Hanover Locality Summary PDF

The average home is 22% more expensive now than in 2009—8% more than average incomes have increased. Homeownership is a major challenge for elementary school teachers, electricians, licensed nurses, and other critical workers in the county.

Source: Central Virginia Region MLS; 2005-2017 American Community Survey, 5-year estimates

There are more homes in the county built prior to 1970 than homes built after 2010. The county’s recent growth remains small but steady—about 1,000 new residents per year. Preserving and enhancing the county’s aging housing stock should be a priority moving forward to maintain quality homes for residents.

Source: 2013-2017 American Community Survey, 5-year estimates

Low-income households are more likely to be cost burdened, but some higher earners still struggle to pay for their home. Of all the cost-burdened households in Hanover, one in two earns more than $35,000, and one in seven earns more than $75,000. In Ashland, 36% of households are cost-burdened.

Sources: 2013-2017 American Community Survey,
5-year estimates

The county has the second-highest growth in senior households across the region, rising 36% since 2010. By 2040, the county will add another 6,620 households over the age of 65. Roughly 59% of Ashland senior households earn less than 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

Source: Virginia Center for Housing
Research, 2019

Most of the region’s job growth in the next decade will be occupations with wages needing monthly housing costs of $1,000 or less. To have healthy economic development, Hanover will need to make sure these workers have adequate housing opportunities.

Source: Virginia Employment Commission, Long-Term Workforce Area Occupational Projections, 2016-2026 (for Capital Region Workforce Partnership Workforce Investment Area)

Solution 1-B: Preserve naturally occurring affordable housing through proactive outreach to owners and incentives to retain affordability.
Solution 1-C: Extend affordability terms for assisted rental developments with expiring use subsidies or use restrictions by incentivizing preservation.
Solution 2-D: Reduce land cost per home by encouraging higher density homeownership, including smaller, innovative home types.
Solution 3-C: Support more age restricted housing that serves very low-income seniors.
Solution 4-C: Revitalize manufactured home communities and replace older, poor quality homes.

Henrico County

Henrico County is home to progress—in the form of job growth, public service enhancements, and neighborhood revitalization. But to move forward, Henrico must ensure housing opportunities for all residents. Many workers can’t afford to buy a home of their own. And homes that are affordable come at the cost of long commutes to job centers.

Download Henrico Locality Summary PDF

The average home is 21% more expensive now than in 2009. Over that same time, average incomes only increased by 15%. Some of the county’s most important workers cannot afford to buy a home.

Source: Housing Virginia’s SOURCEBOOK, Paycheck to
Paycheck tool

There are only 36 dedicated affordable rental communities in Henrico, compared with 125 market-rate developments. There are 4,335 more renter households below 50% Area Median Income (AMI) than apartments that are affordable to them.

Sources: 2012-2016 Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy dataset

Fewer than 1 in 10 of all workers in Short Pump also live in or near Short Pump. When housing options are limited near employment opportunities, commute times rise and traffic issues worsen.

Source: US Census ‘On the Map’ dataset

Nearly 70% of Henrico’s low-income households are cost burdened today. These households will grow more than any other income group between now and 2040.

Source: Virginia Center for Housing
Research, 2019

Most of the region’s job growth in the next decade will be occupations whose wages require monthly housing costs of $1,000 or less. Henrico will need to find homes for roughly 580 new low-income (<80% AMI) households per year over the next two decades.

Source: Virginia Employment Commission, Long-Term Workforce Area Occupational Projections, 2016-2026 (for Capital Region Workforce Partnership Workforce Investment Area)

Solution 1-A: Increase the amount of land available for multifamily housing development in residential zones (and commercial zones where appropriate), especially in “communities of opportunity.”
Solution 1-G: Integrate affordable housing into transportation-rich corridors and neighborhoods.
Solution 2-B: Create a regional center for homeownership that is a one stop resource hub.
Solution 3-A: Promote and expand existing senior tax relief programs.
Solution 1-D: Reduce barriers to accessory dwelling units in residential districts.
Solution 4-A: Improve the aging housing stock by expanding resources for rehab and increasing access to affordable rehab programs.

City of Richmond

Richmond is undergoing major transformation. Most consider it for the better, but not everyone benefits. Despite some progress, Richmond is still very unequal—especially in communities of color currently seeing investments that threaten long-term residents. By limiting affordable housing opportunities for all Richmonders, our collective ability to thrive suffers.

Download Richmond City Locality Summary PDF

The average home is 56% more expensive now than in 2009.

Source: Central Virginia Regional MLS

There are 3,600 fewer black homeowners in the city now than in 2000. Much of this loss has occurred in Jackson Ward, Church Hill, and other historically Black communities.

Sources: 2000 Census SF1; 2013-2017 American Community Survey, 5-year estimates

In 2017, an average of twenty-six homes were purchased by White buyers in the region each day. For Black buyers, just six per day. For Latino buyers, fewer than two
per day.

Source: Home Mortgage Disclosure Act

This cost-burden is extremely prevalent in renters earning less than 50% Area Median Income (AMI).

Source: Virginia Center for Housing
Research, 2019

Most of the region’s job growth in the next decade will be occupations whose wages require monthly housing costs of $1,000 or less. Richmond will need to find homes for roughly 280 new low-income (<80% AMI) households per year over the next two decades, in addition to the current deficit of affordable homes.

Source: Virginia Employment Commission, Long-Term Workforce Area Occupational Projections, 2016-2026 (for Capital Region Workforce Partnership Workforce Investment Area)

Most of these will be very low-income households (<50% AMI) who will find it very hard to find apartments for rent at prices they can afford.

Source: Virginia Center for Housing Research, 2019

Solution 1-B: Preserve naturally occurring affordable housing through proactive outreach to owners and incentives to retain affordability.
Solution 2-A: Support and expand the community land trust homeownership model.
Solution 3-B: Increase housing rehab, home accessibility and critical home repair assistance programs.
Solution 4-B: Transform Richmond’s aging public housing communities with resident-oriented rehabilitation and replacement.
Solution 5-B: Support, monitor and evaluate Richmond’s eviction diversion pilot program.
Solution 6-B: Implement Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMR’s) to expand choices for voucher holders.

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