We are happy to announce that the Virginia Housing Coalition (VHC) and the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH) have officially merged and launched the Virginia Housing Alliance (VHA). VHA will focus on expanding affordable housing opportunities and ending homelessness through advocacy, education, and collaboration. By merging, VHC and VCEH have created a stronger and more sustainable organization. Based in Richmond, it will have a truly statewide focus given the broad spectrum of services of local partners in Virginia that it will support.
“It’s a new day for efforts to expand housing opportunity and end homelessness in Virginia,” said Courtney Gardner, Chair of the VCEH Board of Directors and member of the new VHA Board. “The Virginia Housing Alliance recognizes the fundamental connection between expanding housing opportunity and ending homelessness, which cannot be addressed separately.”
Bob Newman, the Chair of VHC, noted that “Housing costs have been rising faster than incomes and we have nearly one million Virginia households that are paying more for housing than they can afford. The Alliance will be a stronger voice in support of policies that increase access to good housing.”
The VHC and VCEH staff are happy to join forces and work together in 2016. The organization’s first Executive Director will be Sim Wimbush, previously the Associate Director of Housing Development for Virginia Veteran and Family Support at the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. Wimbush says, “I’m thrilled to join VHA’s incredible team as its first executive director. Our statewide organization will help to end homelessness and expand housing opportunities across Virginia.” She will assume her role next week.
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Virignia Housing Alliance Staff
(Pictured left to right: Regan Stark Alloway, Hunter Snellings, Zack Miller, Rachel Bates, Tommy Joe Bednar, Philip Armstrong)