To help fight homelessness in Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell has announced three grants that will create 19 new housing units for homeless and disabled people.
The grants (which come from a “special funding allocation” of the governor’s 2013 budget) total an even $1 million. They’ll go to apartment complexes in Fairfax County, Gloucester County, and Newport News.
In 2008, Virginia had an estimated 1,166 homeless families — about 3,600 homeless people — mostly in Fairfax County, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Arlington County.
This is a reminder — but an important one — about post-licensing curriculum changes. (It will mostly affect new real estate licensees, but brokers need to remember it.)
The PL curriculum is changing from three tracks (residential, property management, commercial) to a single-track system.
- The old system will be in place until December 31, 2013.
- The new system will be available starting July 1, 2013.
The overlap is what’s important.
You know you must take 30 hours of PL education within a year of getting your license. You must take those 30 hours under the current system or the new system — you cannot mix them.
The Virginia Association of REALTORS® thanks Governor McDonnell and the members of the General Assembly for working together to pass a sustainable transportation funding plan, resulting in HB 2313.
“We know the importance of an adequate, efficient transportation network. It enhances the quality of life in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Transportation impacts everyone: parents getting children to school, businesses aiming to attract customers, first responders and law enforcement responding to emergencies, and commuters on their way to work,” says Mary Dykstra, President of the Virginia Association of REALTORS®.
This transportation bill is not perfect, but a result of compromise and working together for the greater good.
Add to the never-ending List of Things That Caused the Housing Market Collapse: zoning. Specifically, zoning for too many large, expensive, single-family homes.
That kind of policy, according to a paper in the journal Housing Policy Debate, left people who wanted to live in an area with a choice of either living elsewhere or being lured by the promise of low/no payments and the idea that they could refinance when their ARMs reset.
Naturally, they chose the latter, and the data show the result: Communities zoned for those larger homes were much more likely to see foreclosures. (And that, of course, drove down property values, making it harder for people there to refinance..)
Let’s play the glass-half-full game, and see all the positives in what the American Society of Civil Engineers’ “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure” had to say about Virginia!
First off, we didn’t fail overall. We got a D+!
Fewer than 10 percent of our bridges (9.1%) are considered “structurally deficient” — only about 1,250 are in danger of collapse! (And only 17.6% are “functionally obsolete".)
Bravo for history! Our bridges are among the oldest in the nation — more than half are at the end of their designed life!
Some last-minute work by VAR has paid off: In his proposed amendments to Virginia’s transportation bill, Governor Bob McDonnell has asked that the proposed grantor’s tax increase in Northern Virginia be reduced from 25 cents per $100 to only 15 cents.
The bill passed by the General Assembly included a regional package for Planning District Commission 8, which includes a large portion of Northern Virginia. To help raise approximately $30 million for congestion relief, the bill (HB 2313) raised the grantor’s tax in the region by 25 cents per $100.
Lots of cities, towns, and counties have affordable-housing programs — anything from help paying for fuel to assistance with buying a first home, to everything in between.
Who has what? What’s available in your area? What kinds of programs have these places tried?
The good folks at DPOR are working hard to get your license paperwork processed — applications, transfers, and the like.
We’ve already given you some tips on how to speed that process; we’ve got some more info to pass on.
Don’t call DPOR and ask for the status of your license. No one there can give it to you.
Get that? The same people who process applications are answering the phones, so every minute spent explaining “I’m sorry, I can’t provide that information” means one minute fewer actually processing it.
A concern among Realtors® who change firms is the amount of time it takes for their licenses to become active with their new brokerages. Last week, we told you about why some license transfers were taking a little longer than others.