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 Housing – DID 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 Appraisers – PASSED
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 Expression – PASSED
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 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 Prohibitions – DID 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, 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.