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Housing advocates like some of what they've seen in Youngkin's housing plan, but want to see more

In this Jan. 27, 2021, file photo, a For Rent sign is posted in Sacramento, Calif.
Rich Pedroncelli
In this Jan. 27, 2021, file photo, a For Rent sign is posted in Sacramento, Calif.

Governor Glenn Youngkin says people in Virginia face unnecessary burdens limiting housing options and opportunities. That's why he's launching the "Make Virginia Home" plan, which he hopes will streamline the permitting process and increase housing supply.

Kim Bobo at the Interfaith Center for Public Policy says she's with the governor on this. "Currently an awful lot of the zoning laws in Virginia keep out affordable housing," Bobo says. "So they don't allow multi-family units on particular kind of land. Or they allow local communities to decide they don't want affordable housing and you have so many frankly wealthy folks who will oppose any form of affordable housing."

Michelle Krocker at the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance says she likes what she's hearing from the governor, but she wants to hear more. "What the governor did not talk about and what we know is really truly needed is how are we going to create units for people at very low-income levels. And these are members of our workforce," Krocker notes. "People in the retail and hospitality industry, entry level office workers, med techs"

In the coming weeks, lawmakers will be considering a proposal to create incentives for local governments to change their zoning codes to encourage more affordable housing in Virginia.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.