HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – The city of Harrisonburg welcomes a 20-year expert in affordable housing program administration who will serve as the city’s first-ever housing coordinator.
Liz Webb, who has served as the Housing Choice Voucher Manager for the Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority (HRHA) since 2016, will conduct advanced work related to complex housing issues, with a focus on the development, implementation and monitoring of strategies to achieve housing goals and goals lies .
The role was created following the completion of the city’s comprehensive housing analysis and market study, which aimed to assess the overall health of the city’s housing stock and market conditions.
“I’ve been on the service administration side of housing policy and I’ve always wanted to do more on the planning, finance and development fronts,” Webb said in a press release. “It’s an opportunity to learn and grow and a chance to serve the city. Taking on a new role like this is challenging but exciting. In a way, I’ve been preparing for this job my entire life.”
For more than five years, Webb has focused on overseeing the administration of the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County housing voucher program. The voucher program primarily serves households with an income of less than 30% of the median family income and subsidizes families’ rental costs.
However, the vouchers in this area are often not sufficient and are not always accepted by some landlords. The work has given Webb an in-depth knowledge of the struggles some in our area face in securing housing and the limitations some programs have in addressing these issues.
Her reflections focus on affordable housing in our community and how it can support long-term planning, problem solving, policy and program development, and management actions related to housing issues in Harrisonburg.
“Affordable housing is a critical need, in our community and everywhere, and how we are addressing this challenge speaks to our values as a city,” Webb said. “By receiving the study and initiating the recommended actions, Harrisonburg reaffirms that this issue is a priority. It will require coordination to integrate the information we have on local needs, market trends, zoning and land use, and options for program funds and development finance.”
As the city has focused on affordable housing and understanding the current housing situation in Harrisonburg, the staff have worked to analyze the housing study recommendations and consider options that could benefit the city’s overall goals for affordable housing.
“That includes things like being able to waive fees to make housing easier in the city, or resources that we could bring in … Maybe vacant lots that the city owns that could be used for housing,” Mike Parks , a city spokesman, said. “[Webb is] will study a number of these things. She will work to connect with organizations across the state.”
Webb will take up her new position on April 18.
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