Virginia Housing (VH) Southwest Virginia during its 2023 Regional Housing Meeting. BRHA Executive Director/CEO Lisa Porter was honored to participate on two housing panels that addressed the VH Board of Commissioners and leadership staff. Porter moderated a panel that explored the connection between economic development and housing and consisted of: Aaron Sizemore, Executive Director of the Mount Rogers Planning District Commission; David Manley, Executive Director of the Joint Industrial Development Authority of Wythe County; Darlene Burcham, Pulaski Town Manager; and John Stiltner, Director of Development for the Landmark Group. The region has experienced significant growth with recent economic development advancements, including the Blue Star medical glove plant in Wytheville, the Hard Rock Casino in Bristol, and the Emory and Henry School of Health Science in Marion. While the region welcomes these industries, it is also grappling with how to meet the increased demand in housing.
A second panel consisted of four representatives of the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprise (FAHE): Andy Kegley, Executive Director of HOPE; Katy Stigers, a FAHE staff member; Lisa Porter, Executive Director of BRHA; and Bryan Ailey, VP and Chief Development Officer with People, Inc. This group was able to educate about the housing needs and the housing market in Southwest Virginia. Virginia Housing is a wonderful partner for those in the housing industry as they do much to support the grassroots work to provide affordable housing to those throughout the Commonwealth.