Gov. Northam announces nearly $12M in Funding for affordable housing, homeless reduction projects

Gov. Northam announces nearly $12M in Funding for affordable housing, homeless reduction projects
Governor Northam (Source: NBC12)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - New state funding will support two major affordable housing efforts in the Charlottesville area.

Nearly $12 million is getting doled out for 25 housing and homelessness reduction projects in the commonwealth.

The Piedmont Housing Alliance will get a $2 million home grant to support the first phase of redevelopment at Friendship Court. The four-phased plan includes all new housing and community amenities.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville will receive a little more than $520,000 in a home grant to support its efforts.

Additionally, #100,000 grants will go to support homeless populations in the area: Mercy House will support the Shenandoah Valley, and People Inc. Foothills will support the Madison, Orange and Culpeper county areas.

01/23/2020 Release from the Office of Governor Ralph Northam:

RICHMOND - Governor Ralph Northam today announced nearly $12 million in funding to increase access to affordable housing, reduce homelessness, and provide permanent supportive housing options for Virginians with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The funding includes more than $10.7 million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans for 12 projects and more than $1.2 million in Homeless Reduction Grants to support 13 projects funded through the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, which assists local and regional efforts to implement affordable housing solutions.

Earlier today, Governor Northam visited Centenary United Methodist Church in Richmond where he joined local leaders administering the Point-in-Time Count, a national census of people experiencing homelessness. This twice-annual survey provides critical data to ensure the commonwealth strategically deploys and invests state and federal resources to further reduce homelessness. Since 2010, overall homelessness in Virginia has decreased 36.3 percent, and homelessness among families has decreased 45 percent. The Homeless Reduction Grants announced today will support targeted efforts to reduce homelessness, including projects that provide rapid re-housing for individuals experiencing homelessness and permanent supportive housing options.

“Housing is the foundation for building vibrant communities and creating equal access to economic opportunity across our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Every time I meet with housing service providers and individuals who have overcome homelessness, I am given hope that with the right investments, we can effectively address homelessness, reduce housing instability, and provide more Virginians with safe and affordable living options.”

The Affordable and Special Needs Housing (ASNH) loan projects are focused on creating affordable new construction and rehabilitation housing projects as well as permanent supportive housing options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities or serious mental illness. These 12 funded projects will create or preserve 607 affordable housing units targeting low-income and very low-income Virginians, and leverage over $246 million in additional federal, state, local, and private lending resources.

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers the ASNH program and combines state and federal resources to ensure a simplified application process. Funding comes from three primary sources: the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the federal National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund (VHTF). “Increasing and preserving the number of affordable housing units throughout Virginia and supporting programs to make homelessness rare and nonrecurring are key goals of this administration,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Creating more affordable housing opportunities can transform our communities and the lives of many Virginians.”

The governor recently announced that his proposed budget invests $63 million in the VHTF, bringing the total amount to $84 million over three years. The VHTF provides financing for housing construction projects that create or preserve affordable housing units, reduce the cost of affordable housing, and increase homeownership. This includes an allocation of an additional $1.3 million in Homeless Reduction Grants that if approved by the General Assembly would support 15 projects providing rapid re-housing and longer-term housing solutions for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.

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