Richmond Regional Housing Framework

Glossary of Affordable Housing Terms

Housing is accessible when public or common areas of the building can be approached, entered and used by someone with a physical disability. Accessible housing may have ramps, elevators and wider doorways to accommodate people with mobility improvements. Other accessibility features include wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and universal design features like lever door handles.

A self-contained residential unit located within or on the same lot as the primary housing unit. It has a separate entrance, kitchen, and bathroom. Also sometimes called a secondary unit or granny flat.

A colloquial term for program, usually run by a nonprofit group or local government, that purchases abandoned or substandard properties, repairs them and sells them to lower income homebuyers.

Refers to state and local government obligations under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to improve outcomes from fair housing policy to reduce housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status. State and local governments must not just outlaw housing discrimination. They must also proactively work to eliminate discriminatory practices and reduce segregation.

The requirements imposed by a public agency that housing units remain affordable to extremely low-, very low-,low-, or moderate-income households for a specified number of years.

According to federal law, housing in which a renter household spends no more than 30% of their gross monthly income for: (a) rent and utilities; or, for a homeowner, no more than 30% of its gross monthly income for: (b) mortgage-loan principal and interest, property taxes, insurance, utilities, and homeowner association dues (if any).

A national survey by the U.S. Census Bureau that collects information such as age, race, income, commute time to work, home value, veteran status and other important household data. It is collected more regularly than the decennial census. The ACS helps communities be more responsive planning for their needs in between each decennial census.

Contains data on apartments, single-family homes, mobile homes, vacant homes, family composition, income, housing and neighborhood quality, housing costs, equipment, fuels, size of housing units and recent movers. Conducted by the Census Bureau every other year, it includes data on a sample of 50,000 households and all new construction each year. Additional samples every 4-6 years measure local conditions.

The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a broad civil rights law guaranteeing equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications.

A report made by a qualified person setting forth an opinion or estimate of value of residential or commercial real estate. The term also refers to the process by which this estimate is obtained.

The median income of a given geographic area based on all wage earners in the area, published by HUD to determine household eligibility for various federal, state, and state-governed housing programs, and updated annually. For the RRHF focus area, HUD uses an AMI for the Richmond, Virginia metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The basic AMI is the income level for a four-person household, around which is constructed a table of higher and lower incomes and smaller and larger household sizes. Other income levels are expressed in percentages of the median income. Extremely Low Income is less than or equal to 30% of AMI, Very Low Income is less than or equal to 50% AMI. For income tables in Virginia, click here.

A title commonly attached to local programs that make housing available to lower- and moderate-income households at costs below prevailing market rates. The term can include affordable units produced under an inclusionary housing scheme or produced with subsidy loans.

A structure that exhibits signs of deterioration serious enough to pose a threat to human health, safety and public welfare.

Abandoned, idled and underused industrial and commercial property with real or potential environmental contamination. Brownfields can range in size from a large industrial dumping site to the former location of a drycleaning business.

A term used to describe technical assistance (and sometimes staff grants) given to a nonprofit organization to increase their organizational and staff capacity, funding resources, and output.

Pronounced “cho-doe.” A HUD term for a Community-Based Housing Development Organization in relation only to the federal HOME program (see “HOME”). HOME reserves 15% of its funds for CHDOs. A CHDO must have on its board at least one-third low-income people, their specially elected representatives, or residents of low-income census tracts.

A fee imposed by a city or county on construction of non-residential projects to support the development of affordable housing for low and moderate-income wage earners in jobs indirectly created by the subject non-residential development.

A small statistical subdivision of a county or statistically equivalent entity. Each tract has a Census Tract Number. Census tract-level data is used by the government, researchers and businesses for a variety of purposes. This includes redrawing congressional district maps every 10 years after the decennial census.

Chronic homelessness is experienced over a long period of time, or regular cycles in and out of homelessness. HUD defines chronic homelessness as an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has either been continuously homeless for a year or more or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years. See also Homeless-Individual and Chronically Homeless Individual.

A collaborative funding and planning approach that helps communities address homelessness. Continuum of Care participants plan for and provide, as necessary, a full range of emergency, transitional and permanent housing and other services to address the needs of homeless persons.

Housing in which each member shares the ownership of the whole project. Each member has the exclusive right to occupy a specific unit and to participate in project operations through the purchase of stock.

Data not generally available through standard Census products. It is provided to HUD by the U.S. Census Bureau. CHAS presents data that demonstrates the extent of housing problems and housing needs with a focus on low-income households.

Created by the U.S. Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, a system of unified block grants under which large communities receive funding directly from HUD while others must apply through the state. Administered by HUD, the purpose of the CDBG program is to encourage broadly conceived community development projects and expand housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons.

A loosely defined term for a nonprofit organization that undertakes commercial or residential real estate development. It usually, but not always, indicates some targeting of efforts to a low-income neighborhood.

A nonprofit corporation that develops and stewards affordable housing, community gardens, civic buildings, commercial spaces, or other community assets on behalf of a community. “CLTs” balance the needs of individuals to access land and maintain security of tenure with a community’s need to maintain affordability, economic diversity, and local access to essential services. CLT’s are noted for keeping housing, both owner and renter, permanently affordable.

A limitation placed in a deed limiting or restricting the use of the real property.

A legal document, filed with the City or County Clerk, which memorializes a borrower’s pledge of certain real property or collateral as a guarantee for the repayment of a loan.

Principal and interest payments on a loan usually paid monthly.

Broadly, all costs incurred in bringing a building to completion (primarily labor and materials costs), not including land acquisition, financing, sales costs or other soft costs.

A federal law that encourages lenders to make residential and commercial loans to low-income and minority people, and/or in low-income areas.

A loan wherein payment of part or all of the loan is deferred until a later time as specified in the loan.

A failure to comply to make any payment or to perform any other obligation under a mortgage, and such failure continues for a period of 30 days. Default is typically the trigger for foreclosure proceedings to begin.

The average number of dwelling units or persons per gross acre of land, excluding any area of a street bordering the outside perimeter of a development site. It is usually expressed in terms of units per acre.

A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual. Disabled persons qualify for Section 8 and public housing waiting list preferences. HUD's Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program provides accessible and affordable apartments for low-income persons with disabilities.

A practice has a discriminatory effect when it actually or predictably results in a disparate impact on a group of persons. A discriminatory effect also occurs when a practice creates, increases, reinforces or perpetuates segregated housing patterns because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familal status or national origin.

This type of program assists modest-income, first-time homebuyers with low interest or forgivable grants to partially cover down-payment, closing costs and other incidental costs associated with purchasing a home.

Any building, structure or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as a residence by one or more households. Dwellings may be single-family homes or multifamily structures, occupied by either renters or owners.

A household composed of one or more persons at least one of whom is at least 62 years of age at the time of initial occupancy. Also referred to as Elderly Household or Senior Household.

Any facility where the primary purpose is to provide temporary or transitional shelter for persons experiencing homelessness. Emergency shelter may serve the general population of homeless persons or specific populations of homeless people, such as veterans, youth or victims of domestic violence.

A federal program administered by HUD to improve the quality of existing emergency shelters for the homeless and funds creation of new additional shelters. It also covers shelter operating costs, provides social services to homeless people and supports homelessness prevention programs. ESG can also provide short-term assistance to persons at imminent risk of losing their own housing due to eviction, foreclosure or utility shutoffs.

The power of government to take private property for public use. In addition to government, many quasi-governmental agencies have the power to take private property for public use. Examples of these agencies include port authorities, highway commissions, community development agencies and utility companies.

Any process that identifies and specifies the energy and cost savings likely to be realized through the purchase and installation of particular energy efficiency measures or renewable energy measures. Energy audits are often used to determine the need for more insulation, upgrading heating/cooling systems and determining the cost-effectiveness of energy saving lights, fixtures or appliances.

The dispossession of the tenant from the leased unit as a result of the termination of tenancy. This includes expiration of the lease or termination prior to the end of a lease term. Eviction prior to the end of the lease term usually results from tenant violations of the lease provisions, such as failure to pay rent or damage to the unit.

Households earning less than 30% of the area median income (AMI).

Typically refers to a community that receives CDBG or HOME funding directly from HUD, rather than indirectly through state authorities.

The interest or value which an owner has in real estate over and above the current indebtedness; usually referred to as the owner’s interest. Proceeds from tax credits invested in an affordable housing project are a form of equity.

The generic term for various forms of home financing in which a homeowner shares their property appreciation with another party.

1968 Act (amended in 1974 and 1988) providing the HUD Secretary with fair housing enforcement and investigation responsibilities. It prohibits disccrimination in all facets of the homebuying and renting process. Specifically, it prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.

Provides funding for public and private entities formulating or carrying out programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices. FHIP organizations assist persons who have been victims of housing discrimination. They also conduct preliminary investigations of claims, and pursue initiatives that promote fair housing laws and equal housing opportunity awareness.

Fair Market Rents (FMRs) are standardized rent values calculated by HUD for different geographies based on Census Bureau data, and are updated annually. FMRs are used to determine payment standard amounts for the Housing Choice Voucher program and many other public rental subsidy programs.

The amount of money that would probably be paid for a property in a sale between a willing seller, who does not have to sell, and a willing buyer, who does not have to buy. In real estate transactions, fair market value is estimated through the appraisal process. This involves property research and market analysis by a professional appraiser.

All persons living in the same household who are related by birth, marriage or adoption. In HUD-assisted housing, all persons sharing a dwelling unit are referred to as a family, whether related or not.

HUD defines a family as a 'single person or a group of persons,' including a household with or without children. A family may include unrelated individuals. HUD would also consider a single person without children as a family.

The most common term for the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), a publicly chartered corporation that buys residential mortgage loans from loan originators, typically local banks and thrift institutions.

Outright ownership of real estate, as opposed to leasing, lease-purchase arrangements, and buying a home on land leased from a land trust.

An agency within HUD that provides mortgage insurance on loans by approved lenders throughout the U.S. and its territories. FHA insures mortgages on single-family, multifamily and manufactured homes and hospitals. The mortgage insurance compensates lenders for losses when borrowers default on their loans.

For a home purchase or a real estate project, usually the largest loan and one that gives the lender the most security. In case of foreclosure and sale, the first mortgage lender gets the money before any other lender is paid off. Also called a “first deed of trust” loan in some areas of the country.

A mortgage loan for which the interest rate does not change over time.

The legal process by which a property may be sold and the proceeds of the sale are applied to the mortgage debt. A foreclosure occurs when the loan becomes delinquent because payments have not been made. It can also occur when the homeowner is in default for a reason other than the failure to make timely mortgage payments, as spelled out in mortgage documents.

A commonly used name or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, a publicly chartered corporation that buys residential mortgage loans from loan originators, typically local banks and thrift institutions.

The process of repairing and rebuilding homes and businesses in a deteriorating area (such as an urban neighborhood) accompanied by an influx of middle-class or affluent people and that often results in the displacement of earlier, usually poorer residents. Gentrification often also involves the racial transition of a neighborhood from minority to white.

Government Sponsored Enterprises are companies chartered by Congress to fulfill important public purposes. They are independent companies and not government agencies, although their operations are subject to federal oversight and regulation. The U.S. Postal Service is a GSE, as are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which provide a secondary market for residential mortgage loans.

The total income received by all members of the tenant's household. This is the amount before taxes and deductions are subtracted.

Also called a "reverse mortgage," it is used by senior homeowners 62 years or older to convert the equity in their home into monthly streams of income and/or a line of credit. The loan is repaid when they no longer occupy the home. The loan is made by a mortgage lender, bank, credit union or savings & loan and is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Enacted in 1975, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) requires most mortgage lenders located in metropolitan areas to collect data about their housing-related lending activity. Lenders must report the data annually to the government and make their data publicly available.

An individual who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. Additionally, an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized or a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

Activities or programs designed to prevent the incidence of homelessness. These include but are not limited to: 1) short-term subsidies to defray rent and utility arrearages for families that have received eviction or termination notices; 2) security deposits or first month's rent to permit a homeless family to move into its own apartment; 3) mediation programs for landlord-tenant disputes; 4) legal services programs that represent indigent tenants in eviction proceedings; 5) payments to prevent foreclosure on a home; and 6) other innovative programs and activities

All the people who occupy a housing unit. A household includes the related family members and all the unrelated people. Unrelated people may include lodgers, foster children, wards, or employees who share the housing unit. A person living alone in a housing unit, or a group of unrelated people sharing a housing unit such as partners or roomers, is also counted as a household.

The monthly dollar amount a Public Housing Authority (PHA) would pay, directly to the landlord, on behalf of the Section 8 Voucher holder. The amount of HAP is the difference between the unit rent and the tenant contribution. The tenant contribution in the Section 8 voucher program is 30% of monthly income.

General term used for a Public Housing Agency (PHA), which is a government entity authorized to administer HUD housing programs. Most of these agencies have the term "Housing Authority" in its title, but not every agency does so. Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) is the only PHA in the RRHF region.

HUD's major tenant-based rental assistance program, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers allow low-income households to receive rental assistance in a home of their choice. Housing Choice Voucher tenants pay 30% of their monthly income for rent and the federal government pays the landlord the remainder through a local housing authority. Payments to landlords are restricted by the area's Fair Market Rent (FMR). This is called the Housing Assistance Payment, or HAP.

State or local agencies responsible for financing and preserving low- and moderate-income housing within a state. State HFAs are often the agency administering federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). HFAs also typically administer bond financing programs and affordable homeownership financing programs. VHDA is Virginia’s housing finance agency.

Housing First programs offer rapid and permanent affordable housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Housing First programs do not mandate participation in supportive services—such as addiction counseling—but instead allow participants to voluntarily opt in. Research shows the Housing First model reduces returns to homelessness, decreases reliance on child welfare systems, increases enrollment in public assistance benefits, and ultimately costs less than traditional shelters or transitional housing approaches.

Individuals and families who are: (1) living in a supervised publicly or privately-operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements; or (2) with a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport, or camping ground.

A loosely defined term covering various types of public and nonprofit-controlled funds from which loans and grants are made for affordable housing. These trust funds are variously capitalized with public revenue, dedicated taxes, grants and payments from market-rate developers.

In single-family lending, the percentage of a borrower’s income that will be spent on the housing payment after a home purchase, refinancing, or home renovation refinancing. This includes payments of loan principal, interest, real estate taxes, and insurance (called PITI).

Workshops conducted for groups of prospective homebuyers. Participants receive training on the pros and cons of buying a home, credit issues, the home search, mortgage financing, special financing (if available), the loan closing, home maintenance, and other responsibilities of homeownership. This form of counseling provides advice on buying a home, conducting a housing search, renting, mortgage default and foreclosure, credit issues, discrimination and fair housing issues, and reverse mortgages.

The HOME Investment Partnerships Act, which is Title II of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1992. Grants of these funds are made to local jurisdictions either directly from HUD or indirectly through state government.

A governmental or nongovernmental nonprofit entity established, at least in part, to assemble, temporarily manage and dispose of vacant land. The land bank's purpose is to stabilize neighborhoods and encourage re-use or redevelopment of urban property.

A legal decision. When requiring debt repayment a judgment may include a property lien that secures the creditor's claim by providing a collateral source.

HUD guidelines used to determine if a unit meets the HUD definition of decent, safe and sanitary housing. Units eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher program must meet Housing Quality Standards.

All persons, whether related or unrelated, living in a housing unit.

The Housing Choice Voucher program is a rental subsidy program for very low-income families. The tenants pay 30% of their income towards rent, with the subsidy payment making up the rest of the rent payment up to a predetermined maximum by apartment size and location. Tenants’ income cannot exceed limits established by HUD. Persons and/or family must meet other program or local housing office and/or landlord regulations. This type of housing subsidy is portable; i.e., it follows the tenant when they move.

Standards in state law that ensure that maintenance and improvement of housing meets accepted standards and is adequate for occupancy.

The part of a city’s or a county’s comprehensive plan that details housing conditions and needs as well as how the jurisdiction will meet demand for new housing development.

Fees imposed on new development by a jurisdiction that are used to pay for the infrastructure or affordable housing needs generated by that development. Impact fees are not permitted in Virginia.

New homes or apartments built on smaller tracts of land, often in older neighborhoods, urban renewal areas or inner cities.

A package of incentives and/or requirements in local zoning code that a certain percentage of units in new housing developments be made affordable to low and/or moderate-income households. The “costs” of providing below-market rate units are offset by density bonuses, fee waivers, and other possible incentives.

Financing for an affordable housing project that includes several subsidy sources (for example, HOME, CDBG, and LIHTC).

Paint used to paint house interiors and exteriors which contain lead and is considered hazardous. Banned in the United States in 1978.

A written agreement between an owner and a household for the leasing of a decent, safe and sanitary dwelling unit to the household. The lease typically includes the amount of rent, downpayment requirements and length of lease term. It may also contain other conditions of use, such as occupancy limits, restricting pets or prohibiting smoking.

A document recorded in public records that represents a debt owed on the property. Examples of liens include: a recorded mortgage deed, a lien for unpaid taxes, and a mechanic’s lien representing construction work on a property that was not paid for.

In low-income housing, this means using one source of funds in a project to encourage investment by another source. As in “our funding was leveraged five times in that project.”

The ratio between the proposed loan amount and the appraised value of a property that money is being borrowed for. For instance, if a proposed loan equals 85% of appraised value, the loan-to-value ratio is 85%. For community reinvestment programs, lenders will sometimes lend up to 95% or 97% of value, typically only if mortgage insurance is provided. The maximum ratio for conventional loans is 80%.

An area with at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core. This integration is primarily measured by commuting ties. All localities in the RRHF area are members of the Richmond, Virginia MSA.

A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which in the traveling mode is 8 body feet or more in width, or 40 body feet or more in length, or which when erected on site is 320 or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems contained in the structure. This term includes all structures that meet the above requirements except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification pursuant to 24 CFR 3282.13 and complies with the construction and safety standards set forth in this 24 CFR 3280. The term does not include any self-propelled recreational vehicle.

A federal program that is the primary producer of new or rehabilitated affordable rental housing. There are two types of tax credits: the 9% program is administered by VHDA though and annual competitive cycle while the 4% program is connected to tax exempt bonds which may be issued by local housing authorities (including VHDA). Rents are set at levels that are affordable to households with incomes below 60% of AMI. The period of affordability is typically at least 30 years for such properties. Since the program itself is more than 30 years old, preservation of this housing stock is an increasing concern.

Households earning between 50% and 80% of area median income (AMI).

Generally refers to housing that is naturally more affordable because of its density, yet blends in well with traditional single-family neighborhoods, including duplexes, fourplexes, courtyard apartments, live-work spaces, townhomes, ADUs, and “mansion homes” where single-family homes are re-envisioned to include multiple units

Households earning between 80% and 120% of area median income (AMI).

A modular home is one that is built indoors in a factory-like setting. The finished products are covered and transported to their new locations, where they are assembled by a builder. A modular home is not a mobile home; it is simply a home that is built off-site, as opposed to on-site. These homes are often called factory-built, system-built or prefab (short for prefabricated) homes. Modular and manufactured homes are not the same. Manufactured homes are sometimes not placed on permanent foundations. Manufactured homes, sometimes referred to as mobile homes, can be moved from one location to another—but this process is often extremely difficult and expensive in practice.

Insurance provided by a private institution or public agency that insures a lender in whole or in part from losses due to a default on a loan. Lenders typically require mortgage insurance only for loans that are not considered conventional (see “conventional financing”). Borrowers pay the premiums. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA-part of HUD) provides many kinds of mortgage insurance, as does the Veterans Administration (VA) and many private insurers, who provide what is called “private mortgage insurance” (PMI).

A loan secured by a mortgage deed, meaning the property owner has agreed to give the property to the lender if monthly payments are not made, so the property can be sold to pay off the loan. First deed of trust loan means the same thing.

A HUD demonstration designed to ensure a rigorous evaluation of the impacts of helping very low-income families with children move from public and assisted housing in high-poverty inner city neighborhoods to middle-class neighborhoods throughout a metropolitan area. The demonstration tested the idea that moving to areas with greater affluence, amenities and services would benefit low-income renters and provide greater opportunities for their children.

Multifamily properties generally refer to residential buildings that contain five or more units. These units are often rental apartments, but may also be sold as condos.

Privately owned housing that is not subject to an affordability restrictions but is nonetheless affordable because of its age, condition, and/or location. Such housing is generally found in older garden-style apartment buildings, but smaller properties, such as four- or six-plexes, or even older single-family homes for rent, can also be naturally affordable.

NIMBY, an acronym for "Not In My Backyard," describes the phenomenon in which residents of a neighborhood designate a new development (e.g. shelter, affordable housing, group home) or change in occupancy of an existing development as inappropriate or unwanted for their local area.

Improvements outside the boundaries of a property (including improvements within adjacent street rights of way as well as more distant streets, sewers, or other infrastructure) which enhance its value and are often required as a condition of property development to offset the project’s impacts.

Any construction of buildings or other improvements within the boundaries of a property which increases its value.

A housing unit containing more people than may be permitted by local ordinance or housing code. For example, the census defines an overcrowded household as one in which there is more than one person per room.

A Participating Jurisdiction under the HUD HOME program. A PJ is a local or state government eligible to contract directly with HUD for HOME funds. Smaller cities must subcontract from state government agencies.

A report done by a qualified company that identifies any environmental concerns in the public record or that are obvious from an initial physical inspection of a building or site. If concerns are noted, then further more detailed studies are typical.

Housing that combines non-time-limited affordable housing assistance with wrap-around health care and other supportive services for people who have experienced homelessness or are otherwise unstably housed, as well as other people with disabilities.

Unduplicated one-night estimate of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. The one-night counts are conducted by Continuum of Care networks nationwide during the last week in January of each year.

The process of assisting a homebuyer in determining if they qualify for conventional and/or subsidy loans. This typically involves a credit check, verifying income and asset information, and evaluating debt, income, and credit information in relation to lender underwriting standards. The process typically determines: 1) if a borrower has good enough credit to borrow, and 2) approximately how much can be borrowed at certain interest rates and loan terms.

Non-governmental, private, for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations.

In a proffer, the owner promises to perform an act or donate money, land, services or products designed to address an impact arising from the rezoning.
• Proffers impose additional requirements and restrictions, not alternative or lesser requirements or restrictions.
• Proffers must be voluntary, which means that after the locality identifies the impacts arising from the rezoning, it is up to the owner to decide whether it wants to address the impacts through proffers or risk having the rezoning denied by the governing body because impacts were not addressed; it is improper for a locality to deny a rezoning simply because the owner did not proffer something requested by the locality.
• Proffers must be reasonably related to the rezoning, either as a requirement of the applicable enabling authority or under constitutional principles (see section 11-200).
• Proffers must be consistent with the comprehensive plan.
• Once accepted by the governing body, proffers become part of the zoning regulations applicable to the land and they run with the land until it is rezoned (there are exceptions).
• Proffers must be in writing.
• Proffers must be submitted prior to the public hearing by the governing body and may not be materially amended once the public hearing begins without holding another public hearing, provided that the governing body may waive the requirement for a public hearing if the amendment does not affect conditions of use or density.
• Proffers must be signed by the owner(s) of the land being rezoned.
• Proffers to dedicate substantial land, make substantial cash payments, to construct substantial improvements, or which specify the permitted use or density, may create vested rights in the zoning of the land.

When government housing assistance is tied to the unit, not the tenant. When a tenant moves out, they do not take the rental assistance with them. New tenants moving into the unit will benefit from the rental assistance attached to the property.

Federally funded rental assistance program that guarantees rental payments to private landlords who rent to low-income households. With Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), tenants pay 30% of monthly income for rent, with HUD paying the owner the remainder up to the area's Fair Market Rent (FMR). Unlike the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, the assistance is tied to the unit. Households only benefit from the assistance during their tenancy.

A component of a public housing authority's housing (PHA) Section 8- Housing Choice Voucher program. A PHA can attach up to 20% of its voucher assistance to specific housing units if the owner agrees to either rehabilitate or construct the units, or the owner agrees to set aside a portion of the units in an existing development.

Demogaphic categories of persons established by civil rights statutes against whom discrimination is prohibited. The protected classes under the Fair Housing Act are race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status and disability.

Public housing is a HUD rental housing program that provides rental housing units for very low-income families. Tenants pay 30% of their income for rent and income must not exceed the income limit established by HUD. Public housing is the oldest HUD housing program—launched in 1937. Public housing is owned and managed by public housing authorities. Persons and/or family must meet other program or local housing office and/or landlord regulations.

Any census tract (or equivalent geographic area defined by the Census Bureau) in which at least 50% of households have an income less than 60% of the area median gross income. In addition, it may also be a Qualified Census Tract if it has a poverty rate of at least 25%.

Change to a policy, within reason, to allow a person with a disability to participate fully in a HUD housing program. Reasonable accommodation can range from services to assist blind applicants applying for assistance, to reasonable modifications in apartments to accommodate people with mobility impairments.

Discrimination based on location is often referred to as redlining. Historically, some lending institutions were found to have maps with red lines delineating neighborhoods where they would not do business.

A term used to describe any financing used in conjunction with first mortgage loans from conventional financing institutions—for example, a down payment grant, a deferred payment loan, or an amortizing second mortgage loan.

Collectively, the companies and government institutions that buy mortgage loans from lenders that originated them. A large number of single-family mortgage loans and some multifamily loans are sold to the secondary market, even through originators may still service many of the loans (see “servicer”).

One- or two-person households containing a person of at least a certain age (typically 62 years, but some programs may use 55 or 65 as standards for eligibility).

RRHA is the only public housing agency (PHA) in the RRHF area. RRHA operates public housing units in the City of Richmond, administers a Housing Choice Voucher program, and coordinates with developers on the rehabilitation and construction of affordable housing units. RRHA is governed by a board of directors appointed by Richmond City Council and is overseen by HUD.

Housing that a public agency must cause to be produced to replace housing destroyed by public action.

The process of returning a property to a state of good quality, through repair or alteration.

Rapid Rehousing and prevention services are effective intervention methods for individuals and families who have recently become homeless or who are at risk of homelessness. The priority is to quickly re-house the household or individual, often with short term rental assistance.

Term typically used to describe HUD’s Section 8 program, which subsidizes the rent of low-income tenants in privately owned apartments and are typically administered by local housing authorities. There are two types of subsidies with only slight technical differences—certificates and vouchers. Generally tenants pay 30% of income for rent and utilities and HUD pays the rest directly to the landlord. Some other HUD funding programs for supportive housing and special needs housing can be used for rent subsidies. Some local governments sometimes provide rent subsidies or stipends with their own funds

A payment required by an owner to be held during the term of the lease (or the time period the tenant occupies the unit) to offset damages incurred due to the actions of the tenant. Such damages may include physical damage to the property, theft of property, and failure to pay back rent. Forfeiture of the deposit does not absolve the tenant of further financial liability.

A loosely defined term used to describe various programs that assist the homeless, people on welfare or public housing tenants in getting training, day care and employment. HUD funds or promotes several self-sufficiency programs for public housing tenants and tenants with HUD rent subsidies.

Or “loan servicer.” A company that collects payments due on mortgage loan, often the lender that originated the mortgage loan, even if the lender sold the loan to another entity.

A jargon term for non-bricks-and-mortar costs of a real estate development project. Includes architectural costs, surveys, appraisals, other fees, holding costs, etc.

A jargon term for subsidy funds from public or charitable sources used in a real estate development project. There are degrees of “soft.” The softest funding consists of grants and deferred payment loans. Less soft are low interest, amortizing loans.

See “deferred payment second mortgage.”

A loosely defined term for affordable or no-cost residential facilities for people with special medical problems, the homeless or people enrolled in self-sufficiency programs. In the broadest sense, it includes emergency shelters, longer-term shelters, transitional housing, halfway houses and group homes.

In single-family mortgage lending, a second or third mortgage loan with a lien that is subordinate to a first or second mortgage loan. In the event of default and foreclosure, subordinated loans are repaid only after other debts with a higher claim have been satisfied. (See “mortgage loan” and “lien.”)

In housing, money put into a deal to lower the monthly debt service on an individual home or in a larger project. Low interest second mortgage loans are the most common source of subsidy. Tax credit investments can also act as a subsidy. Rent subsidies are given to landlords to reduce rents paid by tenants.

In general, any housing unit that suffers from some type of physical defect, such as electrical wiring that is not up to code or lack of plumbing. There is no common definition of “substandard” housing among the federal, state, or local levels.

A program that uses the projected increases in taxes within a defined area to support bond financing for infrastructure or other improvements, including affordable housing. That portion of property taxes collected on assessed valuation over and above the valuation in a baseline year.

High-density residential and mixed use development located near rail transit stations and stops along bus lines that encourages the use of transit for commuting rather than private automobiles.

Established by the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965. Responsible for the implementation and administration of federal housing and urban development programs including community planning and development, housing production and mortgage credit (FHA), equal opportunity in housing, research, and technology.

Utility assistance is designed to assist families who have housing but cannot pay their utilities due to unforeseen circumstances for a specific period of time.

An amount used by a Public Housing Authority (PHA) to determine average utility bills for a specific area. It is used to calculate the tenant's portion of the monthly rent.

Program administered by the Veterans Administration, HUD and local area Public Housing Authorities (PHA). It provides housing vouchers and VA supportive services for homeless veterans.

Households earning between 30% and 50% of area median income (AMI).

The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) is a self-supporting, not-for-profit organization created by the Commonwealth of Virginia to help Virginians attain quality, affordable housing. VHDA provides mortgages, primarily for first-time homebuyers and developers of quality rental housing. VHDA is Virginia’s state housing finance agency.

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) partners with Virginia’s communities to develop their economic potential, regulates Virginia’s building and fire codes, provides training and certification for building officials and invests more than $100 million each year into housing and community development projects throughout the state, the majority of which are designed to help low- to moderate-income citizens

Feature of Tenant Based Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program that allows households to use their rental subsidy to lease a unit outside of the original Housing Authority's jurisdiction. This allows households to move to other cities, counties or states and take their rental assistance with them.

An ordered list of households who have applied for housing assistance through a Housing Authority or private landlord. Waiting lists are used when affordable housing demand exceeds the supply of available assistance.

Point system designed to give preference placement for families with specific housing needs. Common preferences include serving local residents, elderly persons, disabled persons, veterans or persons experiencing homelessness.

An acronym for "Yes In My Backyard," a pro-development movement in contrast and opposition to the NIMBY phenomenon. The YIMBY movement supports development of new housing in cities where housing costs have escalated to unaffordable levels, though it may also support public-interest projects like clean energy or alternative transport.

A body of regulations adopted by a city or a county that governs land use, dividing up the jurisdiction’s territory into residential, commercial, industrial, and other districts, in which various uses are allowed by right or with the issuance of a use permit, and in which standards for such physical aspects as setbacks from property lines, building heights, and parking ratios are set forth.

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