Recent News

The Accessibility Equipment Manufacturers Association (AEMA) and the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) join me in warning consumers with home elevators and visitors to homes with elevators to protect small children from a deadly gap that may exist between the doors. The distance between the inner elevator car door and the room access door (hoistway door) on home elevators may be too wide, allowing a small child to enter the space and close the room access door without opening the elevator car door. If this happens, the child can be seriously injured or killed when the elevator moves. Residential elevators are commonly found in multi-level homes, townhomes, vacation homes and rentals, and in large homes that have been converted to inns or bed-and-breakfast hotels. CPSC is aware of several tragic incidents in which children became entrapped between the doors leading to death, serious fractures, traumatic asphyxia, and lifelong injuries. We are urging consumers to have a qualified elevator inspector examine their home elevator for this dangerous gap and other potential safety hazards, inspecting to the latest safety standard, ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators. Dangerous gaps can be eliminated by placing space guards on the back of the room access door or installing an electronic monitoring device that deactivates the elevator when a child is detected in the gap. We also urge consumers to contact their elevator manufacturer or an elevator installer to obtain these critical safety devices and protect children from this hidden hazard. We advise consumers to report any safety incident involving residential elevators at:

vms winner

Richmond – The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development announced recently the Virginia Main Street Merit Award winners at the 2019 Downtown Intersections in Lynchburg, Virginia. The awards were given in eight merit areas celebrating excellence in downtown revitalization efforts and a $5,000 prize was offered for the winner of the second annual Main Street Idea Pitch Competition.   “Our Main Street communities continue to build vibrant and thriving downtowns for all to live, work and do business. Whether it be revitalizing a downtown, fostering a new small business or developing new programs and events to bring the community together, our Main Streets are improving the quality of life in Virginia’s communities and driving the economy forward,” said DHCD Director Erik Johnston. “In 2018 alone, the Main Street communities generated more than $172 million in private investment, a 60 percent increase from the year before, and created a net gain of 902 jobs. We celebrate the success and hard work of all Virginia Main Street communities.”   The VMS program, managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), provides assistance and training to help communities increase the economic vitality of their downtown commercial districts. Virginia Main Street uses the National Main Street model to help communities revitalize their downtowns by focusing on their unique heritage and attributes. The program helps communities implement a comprehensive revitalization strategy that creates economic growth and pride in downtowns. Currently, the VMS program has 26 designated communities and more than 90 Commercial District Affiliates.   Below is a list of award recipients:   2019 Virginia Main Street Merit Awards Best Downtown Public Improvement Project Downtown Wytheville for the Downtown Wytheville Streetscape Project   Best Adaptive Reuse Project Guncotton Coffee and Gallery in the city of Hopewell   Best Historic Rehabilitation Project Academy of Music Theatre in the city of Lynchburg   Outstanding Business Southern Frills in the town of South Boston Outstanding Fundraising Effort Fredericksburg VA Main Street Inc. for a Downtown Affair   Best Downtown Business Promotion Downtown Blackstone Inc. for Holiday Open House   Best Innovation Award River City Association and the city of Danville for White Mill 3D Prospect Video   Volunteer of the Year Bill Gatewood with Ashland Main Street Association   Main Street Pitch Idea winner St. Paul Tomorrow     For more information about the Virginia Main Street program, visit To view photos from the Virginia Main Street Merit Awards Luncheon, click here. To view videos on each merit award winner, visit


Governor Northam Announces Over $144,000 in Virginia Main Street Grants   ~ Funding to support downtown revitalization efforts ~   RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $144,000 in Virginia Main Street grants for 12 projects. Downtown Investment Grants were awarded to the towns of Altavista, Blackstone, Orange, and St. Paul, and the cities of Hopewell and Staunton. Six Commercial District Affiliate grants were awarded to the towns of, Scottsville, Pulaski, South Hill, and Bowling Green and the city of Radford. Applications from the towns of Ashland, Halifax, Lawrenceville, and South Boston, and the cities of Franklin and Petersburg have been awarded technical services to complete proposed projects.   “Downtown revitalization combined with the development of strong local entrepreneurial ecosystems are important components of creating bustling commercial districts that attract residents and visitors alike,” said Governor Northam. “These grants and technical assistance will continue to transform our downtown communities, supporting our efforts to grow and diversify regional economies and helping our small and community-based businesses thrive.”   Downtown Investment Grants (DIG), administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), are for design and economic vitality projects targeting areas of specific need in historic downtown neighborhoods located in designated Virginia Main Street communities. These grants are available to designated Main Street organizations to accelerate the economic revitalization of their downtown districts by helping implement innovative strategies, plans, and programs that create an environment for increased private investment.    Commercial District Affiliate grants, administered by DHCD, are for projects targeting areas of specific need in historic commercial neighborhoods located in more than 90 Virginia Main Street affiliate communities. These grants are available to communities and organizations to accelerate the economic revitalization of their downtown districts by helping build organizational capacity or fund design projects that create an environment for increased private investment.    “In the last five years, designated Main Street communities have sparked more than $406 million in private investment in their districts,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Attracting private investment continues to be a goal for all of our Main Street communities, and through this funding, we are encouraging new investment in the community and creating sustainable downtowns for all to enjoy.”   In 1985, DHCD adopted the Main Street program for Virginia to help prevent downtown districts across the Commonwealth from economic decline. This unique program is Virginia’s state coordinating program for Main Street America, which works to re-energize economic development of downtown communities while utilizing their cultural assets and character. This is further accomplished by pooling the resources of their local civic and business leaders who are determined to bring their Main Street communities back to life. The innovative Main Street Approach uses design, promotion, economic vitality, and organization to help localities build better communities. The Virginia Main Street program is comprised of 26 designated communities and more than 90 Commercial District Affiliates throughout Virginia.   2020 Virginia Main Street Downtown Investment Grant Awards:   Applicant Project Name Locality Amount Altavista On Track Local Resident and Employee Town of Altavista $1,000 Downtown Blackstone Inc. Railway Parking Project Town of Blackstone $25,000 Hopewell Downtown Partnership Art as Economic Development City of Hopewell $25,000 Orange Downtown Alliance Downtown Design Enhancements Town of Orange $7,500 Staunton Downtown Development Association Staunton Innovation Hub Square City of Staunton $25,000 St. Paul Tomorrow Light up the Lyric Town of St. Paul $18,696 TOTAL: $102,196   2020 Virginia Main Street Commercial District Affiliate Grant Awards:   Organization Project Name Award City of Radford POP! Façade Revitalization Grant Program $7,000 Town of Bowling Green Bowling Green Main Street Group Development $7,000 Town of Dungannon Baldwin-Horton Square Improvements $6,565 Town of Pulaski Capturing Cycling Adventurers for Pulaski’s Downtown Partners $7,000 Town of Scottsville Historic Buildings Improvement Grant $7,000 Town of South Hill Southern Virginia Food Hub Project $7,000 TOTAL: $41,565   Technical Assistance Awards:   Applicant Project Name Locality Source Ashland Main Street Association Railroad Walking Museum and Urban Park Planning Town of Ashland Design Contract Downtown Franklin Branding Downtown Franklin City of Franklin DHCD Town of Halifax Revitalization Road Map Town of Halifax DHCD Town of Lawrenceville Sledge and Barkley Building Study Town of Lawrenceville Design Contract City of Petersburg Main Street Organization Development City of Petersburg DHCD Destination Downtown South Boston Branding Refresh Town of South Boston DHCD Destination Downtown South Boston Visual Connectors Town of South Boston Design Contract  

Upcoming Events


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Virginia Governor's Housing Conference

Mark your calendar for the 2019 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference on Nov. 20-22 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, 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.

Grant Management Workshop

Register now for the 2019 DHCD Grant Management Workshop: Advancing Virginia Communities Together on Nov. 19-20 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, Virginia!

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.

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.

Virginia Main Street Blog

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

Code Connection Blog

Check out the latest happenings in the world building and fire regulations through the Code Connection Blog.