Redevelopment and Housing Authority Referendum (Virginia)

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A Redevelopment and Housing Authority Referendum (or RHA referenda) in Virginia is a specific type of ballot measure authorized under Chapter 78 of the Virginia Code.

RHA referenda are allowed as a way for localities (which could be counties, cities or towns) to create a unique political subdivision known as a Redevelopment and Housing Authority. These political units have taxing and regulatory authorities in the geographic areas over which they have jurisdiction.

RHA referenda can be placed on the ballot:

  • Via a legislative referral of the governing body in the locality (for example, a county board or a city council).
  • Via a ballot initiative process where those who want there to be an RHA in the locality collect signatures to qualify a measure proposing an RHA.

Once an RHA Referendum is on the ballot, regardless of how it got there, a simple majority of those voting on the measure determine its outcome.

Change in law governing RHAs

In 2009, Bob Brink, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, sponsored Virginia House Bill 1890 (2009), which makes it significantly harder to qualify an RHA Referendum for the ballot.

This legal change has been used to challenge the legal status of the Arlington County Housing Authority Referendum (2009).[1]

External links


  1. The Sun Gazette, "Court Showdown Set on Housing-Authority Referendum", June 28, 2009