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The Voice of the

Commonwealth's Counties

Governor Vetoes Bill to Expand Optional Affordable Dwelling Unit Program to All Localities

SB 597 (McPike) expands to all localities the ability to provide optional increases in density to meet affordable housing needs in the Commonwealth. Currently this authority is only provided to seven jurisdictions and has proven successful in developing affordable housing units where developers have chosen this option. The legislation also lays out additional implementation measures and tools for localities to consider when developing a successful program. These include lot size reductions, accessory housing unit allowances, conversion of vacant office and commercial space to multi-family apartments, and allowance for lower-cost home construction alternatives such as manufactured homes and duplex manufactured homes.

VACo supports SB 597 and notes that it also requires a locality, before adopting a program, to create an advisory committee of stakeholders that includes residents, developers, real estate professionals, affordable housing advocates, and finance professionals. This provision will help to craft successful programs at the local level.

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

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