2022 Regular Session

The 2022 session ended without a completed state budget. As a result, the Governor will convene a special session in the coming weeks to give lawmakers the opportunity to agree upon a final budget. Along with our partners, HOME will continue to advocate for the inclusion of two important housing-related items in this budget. We support a significantly higher investment into the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, bringing the total investment over the next two years to $300 million. In addition, HOME supports the establishment of a state-funded housing voucher program, called the Housing Stability Fund.

HOME’s 2022 Legislative Session Highlights

 

Opposed impediments to disability-related accommodations

HB 586 (VanValkenburg): Assistance Animals in HousingDID NOT PASS

HB586 would have restricted access to reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities who need to keep an assistance animal in their home by limiting ways to verify this need. The bill would have also created an unnecessary criminal penalty for misrepresenting one’s need for an assistance animal. The Senate General Laws and Technology Committee voted down the bill and recommended that the Housing Commission study the issue.
 

Supported education requirements to reduce real estate appraisal bias

HB 284 (Coyner): Fair Housing Training for Real Estate AppraisersPASSED

HB 284 adds two hours of fair housing or appraisal bias training to continuing education requirements for the renewal of real estate appraiser licenses.
 

Advocated for stronger protections against religious discrimination in housing

HB 1063 (Shin): Protecting Religious ExpressionPASSED

HB 1063 clarifies that housing discrimination on the basis of religious expression (e.g., religiously specific apparel or grooming) is prohibited.
 

Supported fairer access to appeals in eviction cases

HB 614 (Bourne) and SB 474 (McClellan): Appeal Bond Waiver for Eviction CasesPASSED

HB 614 and SB 474 allow appeal bonds to be waived for low-income tenants in eviction cases.
 

Opposed rollbacks on source of funds protections

HB 1097 (Brewer): Landlord Exemption to Source of Funds ProhibitionsDID NOT PASS

HB 1097 would have allowed landlords with up to 10 units to discriminate against housing choice voucher holders and others because of their source of funds. Currently, only landlords who own 4 or fewer units are exempt from the prohibition on source of funds discrimination.
 

Opposed loopholes in the fair housing obligations of organizational housing providers

SB 177 (Peake), HB 753 (Adams), and HB 1137 (Walker): Religious ExemptionsDID NOT PASS

SB 177, HB 753, and HB 1137 would have allowed religious organizations to restrict housing services to members only, even if they restrict their membership based on race, color, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, or disability. Two patrons (Peake and Adams) removed the problematic language from their bills after HOME communicated its concerns. All three bills failed to become law.

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