Recent News


14 projects include new construction and rehabilitation of affordable and permanent supportive housing RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $10.3 million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing (ASNH) loans for 14 projects across the Commonwealth, creating or preserving 790 affordable housing units for low-income and very low-income Virginians. The projects will support new construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing for vulnerable populations and will leverage over $181 million in additional federal, state, local, and private lending resources.  “Quality affordable housing is essential to creating vibrant communities and ensuring that every Virginia family has the opportunity to thrive,” said Governor Northam. “That’s why I committed to doubling the Virginia Housing Trust Fund this past General Assembly session and will continue to prioritize efforts to transform our housing stock. This increased funding is even more critical as we work to address homelessness, reduce evictions, and help Virginians facing economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The funding comes from the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the federal National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund (VHTF). The Virginia Housing Trust Fund is a key source of financing for this initiative. Governor Northam worked with the General Assembly to double the Virginia Housing Trust Fund to $14 million in the previous fiscal year, which enabled additional awards to projects that will create and preserve affordable housing units, reduce the cost of housing, and increase homeownership.  ASNH loans are awarded through a competitive process, combining state and federal resources to ensure a simplified application process. The Department of Housing and Community Development administers the program to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing for Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens. “Each of these projects will help to address the significant affordable housing needs of the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These new affordable housing units will boost the vibrancy of our communities and help attract economic development opportunities to these communities, while leveraging a variety of sources of funding. I thank our state agencies and the many partners involved in working to secure these important resources.”  Spring 2020 Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans were awarded to the following organizations: Organization Project Name Amount Source Project Location Better Housing Coalition Cameo Street Apartments $800,000 VHTF Richmond Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority South First Street Phase One $800,000 VHTF NHTF City of Charlottesville Community Housing Inc. Brookland Park Apartments $800,000 NHTF Richmond Community Housing Partners Northway $500,000 VHTF Galax Dakota Partners, Inc. Brady Square 9% $700,000 VHTF Richmond Humanities Foundation Keswick Senior Apartments $700,000 VHTF Spotsylvania Mark-Dana Corporation King William Manor $700,000 VHTF King William Project:HOMES Omni Park Place Senior Apartments $400,000 HOME Hanover Housing Partnerships Powhatan Terrace Apartments $700,000 HOME Williamsburg People Incorporated Sweetbriar II Apartments $800,000 VHTF Abingdon The Community Builders Church Hill North Phase 2B $700,000 VHTF Richmond The Maggie Walker Community Land Trust CLT Scattered Site Homeownership $440,000 VHTF Richmond Wesley Housing Development Corporation The Waypoint $700,000 VHTF Fairfax Wesley Housing Development Corporation Senseny Place $1,600,000 VHTF NHTF Winchester 


Funding will support 17 projects to expand workforce, spur job creation, and improve infrastructure RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced he is recommending more than $4.2 million in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grants for 17 projects in the Appalachian region of Virginia, which encompasses 25 counties and eight independent cities in Southwest Virginia. ARC grants are used to stimulate economic development by funding projects such as infrastructure, entrepreneurship development, and workforce development. The federal commission will finalize approval of these project awards later this year. “ARC grants are an important funding tool for many communities in the Appalachian region of our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Investing in infrastructure, our workforce, and economic and community development are essential components of our COVID-19 recovery, especially in rural Virginia. This funding will help us build on the region’s strengths, address its challenges, and drive growth and opportunity throughout Appalachia.” Established in 1965, the ARC program’s goal is to assist the Appalachian region in achieving economic prosperity. ARC funding supports building strong and sustainable asset-based economies by bringing jobs and prosperity to Appalachian communities while preserving their character. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) works with localities and stakeholders in the region to assist in developing strategic projects, which are evaluated by DHCD and the Governor and recommended to the federal commission for approval. “From childcare and entrepreneurship to infrastructure and outdoor recreation, ARC funding gives communities the flexibility to invest in a wide variety of projects,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These 17 proposed projects will provide job creation opportunities for Appalachian communities and help further the work to diversify the economy of the region.” The following projects are recommended for funding to the Appalachian Regional Commission: Hunt’s Fork Waterline Extension Project $500,000 ARC Award Buchanan County The Hunt’s Fork Waterline Extension service area includes 44 households and 109 residents that do not have potable water. The project will connect to the existing Buchanan County Public Service Authority water system adding 2,750 linear feet of 8-inch waterline, 7,200 linear feet of 4-inch waterline, 250 linear feet of 2-inch waterline, 7,560 linear feet of 3/4-inch water line, nine gate valves, and associated appurtenances. Downtown Christiansburg Community Gathering Space $275,000 ARC Award Town of Christiansburg The Christiansburg Community Gathering Space will create a welcoming farmers market and multipurpose cultural anchor space in downtown Christiansburg that will act as a catalyst for future economic growth and vibrancy, and serve the need for both programmed and spontaneous outdoor public space use. Red Onion Industrial Park Project $50,000 ARC Award Dickenson County The project includes the development of a 30-acre industrial park in Dickenson County adjacent to Virginia State Route 83 (ADHS Corridor Q) and involves onsite access roads, fiber broadband extensions, site development (three pads of five to 15 acres), onsite water, sewer and natural gas line extensions, and support for the creation of up to 300 jobs. The Harvest Foundation Workforce Foundations: Advancing Early Childhood Education in the City of Martinsville and Henry County $216,880 ARC Award City of Martinsville and Henry County This project will strengthen the City of Martinsville and Henry County workforce through the improvement and expansion of early childhood education businesses, and by increasing the number of fully trained and credentialed professionals to deliver high-quality childcare. The project will result in fifteen new jobs and six new childcare businesses in the community. Town of Lebanon Russell Theater Restoration Project $50,000 ARC Award Russell County The restoration of the historic Russell Theater into an anchor performance space will not only address the blight of the current state of the building, but will also provide the central and key component necessary for the success of the Town of Lebanon Downtown Revitalization Project by attracting tourists and new businesses to downtown Lebanon. St. Charles Water Line Replacement $500,000 ARC Award Lee County The Lee County Public Service Authority (PSA) will continue a phased replacement of aging and derelict water lines in and around the Town of St. Charles, helping address problematic areas of continuing leaks and hydraulic deficiencies. This will ultimately enable the PSA to lower the existing rate structure in one of the most economic distressed areas of Lee County. The Fields Waterline Replacement Phase II $218,027 ARC Award Lee County This project will continue a phased replacement of aging and derelict water lines to provide consistently reliable water service to the Fields community of Ewing through the replacement of approximately 7,771 linear feet of 4-inch, 2-inch, 1-inch, and 3/4-inch water lines, and all applicable appurtenances. This will reconnect 36 customers in one of the most economically distressed areas of Lee County. LENOWISCO Planning District Commission Amelioration Strategic Development Plan $48,000 ARC Award Wise County Project Amelioration will create a focused plan of action to strategically develop and implement a fully comprehensive ecosystem of recovery for individuals with opioid use disorder. The approach is centered on removing barriers that tend to derail the recovery process by providing a multitude of services including counseling, health care, legal services, housing, skills and job training, and employment. New College Foundation Center for Trades Entrepreneurship Planning Study $50,000 ARC Award City of Martinsville This project will produce a report detailing a training curriculum and course of study for entrepreneurship in the skilled trades. This will result in the creation of a Center for Trades Entrepreneurship at the New College Institute, which will promote entrepreneurship in the region specific to the skilled trades, increasing both the number of new businesses in the region and the number of individuals pursuing skilled trade degrees. Norton Industrial Development Authority Projection Intersection Site 4 Utilities $400,000 ARC Award City of Norton This project will extend water, sewer, gas, and broadband infrastructure to the identified “Site 4” in the new regional business park, Project Intersection, in the City of Norton to support site development and services for a significant business prospect. The project will result in the installation of 6,100 linear feet of water line, 1,700 linear feet of sewer line, and 2,100 linear feet of fiber. Patrick County Broadband Engineering Study and Design $35,000 ARC Award Patrick County This project will develop a comprehensive plan to aid Patrick County in identifying projects for short-term and long-term investment in broadband expansion and economic growth. The Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Engineering Plan will look at the existing infrastructure and service providers in Patrick County as well as design a FTTH network that incorporates 100 percent of homes and businesses. Pennington Gap Business Center for the Trades $50,000 ARC Award Town of Pennington Gap The goal of this project is to provide a cost-efficient place for entrepreneurs to succeed with the target market skilled and/or trained workforce, ready-to-work employees, and those entering the service workforce. People Incorporated Financial Services Business Technical Assistance $63,233 ARC Award Buchanan, Dickenson, and Russell Counties People Incorporated Financial Services will provide entrepreneurial and financial training to low- and very low-income individuals and communities in Buchanan, Dickenson, and Russell counties. These training opportunities will include credit and financial literacy skills-building courses and small business workshops that help participants more fully understand the financial responsibilities of small business ownership. The project is targeting fifty individuals. Virginia Community Capital Entrepreneurial Ecosystem $197,592 ARC Award Regional – Southwest Virginia This project is designed to support in-person local business competitions and workshops in Southwest Virginia, as well as offer revolving loan fund support services that complement existing local, regional, and state economic development efforts to grow and strengthen new and existing businesses. Thirty businesses will be served, and 15 will be improved. Glamorgan Sewer Project $500,000 ARC Award Wise County The Wise County Public Service Authority will install a wastewater collection system in the Glamorgan community, providing new public sewer service to an estimated 62 residential connections in a previously unserved area of Wise County at the northwestern boundary of the Town of Wise. Millwald Theatre Restoration and Economic Revitalization Project $500,000 ARC Award Town of Wytheville This project will restore the historic Millwald Theatre and promote its service as a multipurpose, entertainment, education, and community engagement venue in the heart of downtown Wytheville. The catalytic renovation of the theater will foster vibrant downtown economic growth. YMCA at Virginia Tech – Y Cares Childcare Center $499,985.50 ARC Award City of Blacksburg The YMCA at Virginia Tech’s Y Cares Children Center is designed to create approximately 20 to 25 new full-time jobs in the region and provide training and mentor opportunities to individuals entering the workforce.


$50 million will provide rent and mortgage relief for households experiencing financial instability due to COVID-19 RICHMOND—–Governor Ralph Northam today launched the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP), which will provide $50 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for households facing eviction or foreclosure due to COVID-19. RMRP will provide short-term financial assistance on behalf of households in the form of rent and mortgage payments. “Expanding access to safe, affordable housing has been and will continue to be a top priority of my administration, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” said Governor Northam. “The Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program will help Virginians experiencing financial instability as a result of this unprecedented health crisis by preventing evictions and foreclosures and keeping Virginia families safely in their homes as we battle this virus.” The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will administer the $50 million program through a variety of partners, including nonprofit organizations and local governments, which will receive upfront funds that they will distribute on behalf of eligible households. Individuals and families receiving funding will also be connected to housing counseling and receive other technical assistance. Eligible households must demonstrate an inability to make rent or mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Monthly rent or mortgage must be at or below 150 percent Fair Market Rent (FMR), and eligible households must have a gross household income at or below 80 percent of area median income (AMI). “Safe, stable housing is essential for public health,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “As we continue to secure funding for rent and mortgage assistance, this $50 million investment will serve the most vulnerable Virginians while providing a roadmap for future relief.” To ensure RMRP funding assists households most in need, the program will complete targeted outreach to communities of color across Virginia. Before the pandemic, analysis from RVA Eviction Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University found that minority communities had higher eviction rates, even after controlling for income, property value, and other characteristics. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a disproportionate impact on people of color. “DHCD delivers programs through our partners that are closest to the Commonwealth’s communities, and our team is deeply appreciative of the local and regional network that has rapidly developed this program to assist in meeting this critical housing and health need,” said DHCD Director Erik Johnston. “We urge all tenant advocates, landlords, lenders, philanthropy, local governments and faith communities to partner with your local program providers to ensure that these funds stretch as far as possible to Virginians most in need of this assistance.” The program will also give precedence to households without other federal and state eviction or foreclosure protections. From June 29 to July 20, priority will be given to households with current gross incomes equal to or below 50 percent of AMI. After July 20, households with current gross incomes at or below 80 percent of AMI will be also be included. In addition, households with an unlawful detainer action dated prior to June 8 will be given top consideration. To identify the local RMRP administering organization for a household and to conduct a self-assessment for eligibility, visit or call 211 VIRGINIA by dialing 2-1-1 from your phone. Tenants and homeowners are encouraged to know their rights and responsibilities and pay their rent and mortgages on time if they are able. Visit for additional information and resources.

Upcoming Events

Rent and Mortgage Relief Program

The Rent and Mortgage Relief Program will launch on Monday, June 29. Click here to find out if you may be eligible.

COVID-19 Homeless Assistance and Prevention

Those experiencing homelessness or other housing crisis should contact their local crisis assistance hotline by clicking here to find your local hotline.

Partners for Better Communities Podcast

Each episode features the voices of leaders and change makers across the commonwealth. We will look at the innovation and inspiration at play as local, regional and state leaders work together to create safe, affordable and prosperous communities.

Virginia Governor's Housing Conference

Mark your calendar for the 2020 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference on Nov. 18-20 at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in Roanoke, Virginia. Join us for Virginia’s largest housing event packed full of educational sessions led by experts in housing, finance, and community development as well as amazing networking opportunities with colleagues from across the commonwealth. 

Virginia Disparity Study

Virginia has commissioned BBC Research & Consulting (BBC) to conduct a disparity study to assess whether barriers exist for minority- or woman-owned businesses that make it more difficult for them to compete for commonwealth contracts.

Local Government Exchange Program

The Virginia Local Government Exchange Program will serve as a vehicle to explore and build stronger relationships between community leaders in our vast state. This pilot program is a partnership of the Governor’s Office, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) and Virginia Municipal League (VML).

Building Safety Month

Building Safety Month (BSM) is a public awareness campaign celebrated by jurisdictions worldwide during the month of May to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures. DHCD has various campaigns to recognize and celebrate Building Safety Month throughout the commonwealth.

Homeownership Down Payment Assistance Program

The HOMEownership Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance program (DPA) provides flexible gap financing for first-time homebuyers at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) to purchase homes that are safe, decent and accessible.

Virginia Main Street Blog

Check out the latest happenings in the Main Street and downtown revitalization world through the Virginia Main Street Blog.

2018 Code Development Process

The Virginia Building Codes are updated through the code development process. Virginia is a leader in building and fire code development, and stakeholder input is vital to Virginia’s code development process. Participation is encouraged and remote participation is made possible through cdpVA.

Landlord Tenant Handbook

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA) handbook has been prepared to provide information on the rights, remedies and responsibilities of landlords and renters concerning the rental process. Before signing a lease, prospective tenants should read and understand the terms of the contract. Consulting a lawyer or the landlord for clarification of the rental agreement is advisable.