RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — On Thursday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced more than $21 million in affordable and special needs housing loans that will create or preserve 1,266 affordable housing units for low-income and extremely low-income households across Virginia.
The fund will help to support 24 projects across Virginia that will improve access to affordable housing, reduce homelessness, provide permanent supportive housing options for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and complete energy efficiency updates in affordable housing units.
Three of the projects are in the Hampton Roads area.
“Quality, affordable housing is the key to advancing equity, opportunity, and economic prosperity in every corner of our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “The Affordable and Special Needs Housing program is an important resource for increasing access to safe and sustainable housing for low-income families, individuals with disabilities, and Virginians experiencing homelessness.”
State and federal resources are combined by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to administers Affordable and Special Needs Housing (ASNH) loans. This process creates a streamlined and comprehensive application process.
Funding primarily comes from four sources:
- the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program,
- the federal National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF),
- the Virginia Housing Trust Fund (VHTF)
- and Housing Innovations in Energy Efficiency (HIEE) funds.
DHCD awarded approximately $1.6 million in HOME funding, $1.1 million in NHTF funding, $12.6 million in VHTF funding, and $6.2 million in HIEE funding.
According to the Governor’s office, Northam and the General Assembly invested a historic $70.7 million in the Virginia Housing Trust Fund this fiscal year.
“Providing housing stability and supporting programs to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring is more important now than ever as we turn the corner from this pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These loans will fill gaps in financing to make safe and affordable housing for our most vulnerable populations possible, which in turn strengthens our communities, our economy, and improves the lives of many Virginians across the Commonwealth.”
The loans are awarded through an application process. This round there were forty-one applications requesting over $45 million in funding.
Several awardees are located in Hampton Roads:
- Powhatan Terrace Townhomes | Housing Partnership, Inc.
- $700,000 (VHTF)
- $500,000 (NHTF)
James City County – Powhatan Terrace Townhomes is the new construction of 36 two- and three-bedroom rental townhomes spread across six two-story buildings, one of which includes a community room with free Wi-Fi for residents. The site also features a playground, green space, and a walking path. Five units will meet Universal Design requirements and all buildings will meet Energy Star standards. Colonial Behavioral Health will provide permanent supportive housing services to residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities or serious mental illness. Housing and financial counseling services will be available to all residents. The development will serve individuals and families with incomes less than 60 percent of the AMI.
- Newport Gardens | The Hanson Company
- $850,000 (VHTF)
City of Norfolk – Newport Gardens is the new construction of 50 apartments in the Park Place neighborhood. The single building of one- and two-bedroom apartments will be EnergyStar-certified and include a gym, community space, and laundry facilities. Individual units will have granite countertops, hardwood floors, and ceramic tile as well as full-size appliances and washer and dryer connections.
- Oak Terrace | Hill Tide Housing Investments, LLC
- $700,000 (VHTF)
City of Suffolk – Oak Terrace is the new construction of 120 two- and three-bedroom apartments across five three-story buildings in Suffolk. The construction will be built to EarthCraft standards and include a playground and picnic shelter, a community building with laundry facilities, a computer room, and an exercise area. Forty units will meet Universal Design requirements, and 12 units will be ADA-compliant with three units equipped to serve individuals with sensory impairments. Commonwealth Catholic Charities will provide financial coaching and education and employment services to tenants.