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06.05.2019
~ Additional funding for projects provided through doubling of Virginia Housing Trust Fund ~   RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $11 million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans for 17 projects throughout the Commonwealth, creating or preserving 1,283 affordable housing units that will target low-income and very low-income Virginians. The Governor made this announcement during an event at American Legion Post 139 in Arlington, the future site of the American Legion Uniting to Serve affordable housing project. These projects are focused on affordable new construction and rehabilitation housing projects as well as permanent supportive housing options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.   “My administration is working hard to find innovative ways to reduce homelessness, expand access to quality affordable housing, and address evictions in Virginia,” said Governor Northam. “The Affordable Special Needs Housing program provides Virginia the necessary resources to transform our housing stock and help create vibrant, thriving communities for all Virginians, in every part of the Commonwealth.”   Affordable and Special Needs Housing (ASNH) loans are awarded through a competitive process. The Virginia Housing Trust Fund is a key source of financing for these affordable housing initiatives to support moderate- and low-income families. The Governor and the General Assembly doubled the Virginia Housing Trust Fund in this recently completed budget cycle, providing an additional $5.5 million and bolstering the state’s commitment to increase affordable housing for low- and very-low-income persons.   The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers the Affordable and Special Needs Housing program and combines state and federal resources to ensure a simplified application process. Funding comes from three main sources: the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the federal National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund. Through the ASNH program, DHCD also supports the creation of Permanent Supportive Housing units to serve Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens.    “We must continue to increase the supply of affordable housing throughout Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Through this program, we are providing the necessary financing to preserve and create safe and sustainable housing for many low- to moderate-income Virginians.”   Twenty-nine applications were received requesting more than $21 million. These proposals were reviewed, evaluated and scored, with award offers recommended to the highest-ranking proposals based on funding availability. The funded projects will leverage over $250 million in additional federal, state, local, and private lending resources. Six additional projects were able to receive funding with the increase in the Virginia Housing Trust Fund.   2019 Spring Affordable and Special Needs Housing Awardees:   Organization Project Name Amount Source Project Location Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing American Legion Uniting to Serve $700,000 VHTF Arlington County Better Housing Coalition Sponsored Market Square IV $550,000 HOME Chesterfield County Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority Crescent Halls $800,000 VHTF City of Charlottesville Community Housing Partners The Residences at North Hill Bond 94 $1,300,000 VHTF HOME Fairfax County Community Housing Partners The Residences at North Hill Bond 47 $1,000,000 VHTF HOME Fairfax County Community Housing Inc. Brookland Park Apartments $700,000 VHTF City of Richmond Community Housing Inc. New Lake Anne House $700,000 VHTF Fairfax County Dakota Partners Inc. Huntington Village $500,000 VHTF City of Newport News Greater Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity Charlottesville Habitat-Lochlyn Hill Phase III $336,020 HOME  City of Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley Homes on Newtown Road $636,341 HOME Floyd County Hope Community Builders Covenant Heights-Phase VI $500,000 HOME City of Harrisonburg Humanities Foundation Keswick Apartments II $700,000 VHTF Spotsylvania County People Incorporated Housing Group Luray Meadows Apartments $700,000 HOME Page County Restoration Housing Dale Avenue Permanent Supportive Housing $300,000 PSH City of Roanoke Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Habitat for Humanity Booker T. Washington Neighborhood $325,536 HOME City of Staunton The Community Builders Church Hill North Phase 2A $700,000 VHTF City of Richmond Wesley Housing Development Corporation The Arden-Building A $700,000 VHTF Fairfax County TOTAL $11,147,897   **HOME = Federal Funding     VHTF = Virginia Housing Trust Fund     PSH — Permanent Supportive Housing   Full Release  

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05.29.2019
~Virginia ranked number two by Insurance Institute of Business and Home Safety for effectiveness of states’ residential building code ~   RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam has issued a proclamation declaring May as Building Safety Month in Virginia. Today, the Governor recognized Virginia’s building and fire community professionals with a special ceremony held at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University and highlighted the importance of building and fire safety in creating vibrant and sustainable communities in the Commonwealth.   “Virginia has long been recognized as a national leader in the development of statewide building and fire codes, due, in large part, to the Commonwealth’s hardworking building and fire safety professionals and our government and industry partners,” said Governor Northam. “Strong and effective building safety standards are essential to maintaining secure structures and creating resilient communities, and my administration remains committed to ensuring the homes, schools, business, and buildings that Virginians depend on every day are built to keep us safe.   Virginia is beginning its three-year code development cycle for the 2018 Virginia codes, and in response to Governor Northam’s Executive Order Twenty-Four, the code development process will require each code change proposal submitted to include a “resiliency statement” indicating whether the proposal will increase or decrease resiliency and how. In addition, there will be a strong focus on building technology and innovation, as well as increasing energy efficiency in buildings.   “The work our building and fire community do every day is vital the safety of all that live, work, and raise families in Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Not only are building and fire regulations a matter of public safety, but they are also vital to the success of commerce and trade across the state by promoting reuse of materials and economic development.”   “The safety of Virginians is a top priority for this administration,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran. “We are dedicated to implementing smart regulations which protect our residents and move Virginia forward. We must continue to work together to cultivate efforts which support innovative and efficient building practices.”    In addition to presenting the Building Safety Month proclamation to community stakeholders, Governor Northam also recognized five Virginia high school and college students who received scholarships through the Building Safety Month Essay Contest. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), in partnership with the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association (VBCOA) and the Virginia Plumbing and Mechanical Inspectors Association (VPMIA), produce a student essay scholarship contest to highlight Building Code Safety Month. This year’s winners are:   Award Name School Locality First Place ($2,000) Kyle Renaux Bob Jones University Hampton Second Place ($1,000) Grace Beattie Midlothian High School Midlothian Honorable Mention ($500) Arden Floyd Orange County High School Orange Honorable Mention ($500) Kariyah Jones James Madison University Harrisonburg Honorable Mention ($500) Nathalie Williams Broadway High School Keezletown   Read the full proclamation below:    By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:   BUILDING SAFETY MONTH   WHEREAS, safeguarding the health, safety, and welfare of citizens is of paramount concern to all building safety professionals in Virginia; and   WHEREAS, protection is realized through the devotion and dedication of our Commonwealth’s first preventers: building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical and fire prevention regulators, the design community, and the construction industry, who work year-round to ensure that our buildings are affordable and safe; and   WHEREAS, Virginia building safety professionals create and influence our built environment through the consensus development and implementation of the highest quality codes; and   WHEREAS, our Commonwealth’s continuing efforts to maintain the highest quality construction with regards to safety, structural soundness, and sustainable construction methods, and allow the use of emerging technologies in the construction process give us confidence that structures throughout the Commonwealth are durable, reliable and will be the blueprint for the future; and   WHEREAS, Building Safety Month is sponsored by the International Code Council, and promoted statewide by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, to promote and inform the public about the critical and often little-known role of the Commonwealth’s first preventers and building safety professionals; and   WHEREAS, the theme for Building Safety Month, “No Code, No Confidence,” encourages all Virginians to raise awareness of the importance of safe and resilient construction, fire prevention, disaster mitigation, and new technologies in the construction industry; and   WHEREAS, Building Safety Month encourages appropriate steps everyone can take to ensure that the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play are safe, and recognizes that countless lives have been saved due to the implementation of safety codes; and   WHEREAS, in observance of Building Safety Month, Virginians should consider the commitment to improve building safety and economic investment at home and in the community, and to acknowledge the essential services provided by Virginia’s building safety community in protecting lives and property;   NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 2019 as BUILDING SAFETY MONTH in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of our citizens.   Full Release

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05.15.2019
At their March 18, 2019 meeting, the Board of Housing and Community Development adopted emergency cooling regulations within the Virginia Maintenance Code. The Governor has approved the emergency regulations and the change is effective immediately. The relevant code provision is enforceable May 15.   The emergency regulations alter Chapter 6 of the Virginia Maintenance Code, Section 602.4 Cooling supply, to lower from 80 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the maximum allowed temperature, where cooling is provided, in R-2 multifamily residences (the Virginia Administrative Code reference is 13VAC5-63-540 B 5). This provision is enforceable from May 15 until October 1. To see the emergency regulations use the link below:   Emergency Regulations   The emergency regulations are effective for an initial period of 18 months. During this time, the Board of Housing and Community Development will work with stakeholders to solicit input and develop permanent regulations regarding this issue.   Please contact the State Building Codes Office at sbco@dhcd.virginia.gov if you have any questions.   Thank you for your continued support in making Virginia a safe place to work, live, and do business. To view the entire memo, click here. 

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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!

Downtown Intersections

Save the date and mark your calendars to attend Downtown Intersections, presented by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Virginia Main Street Program on July 22-24 in Lynchburg, Virginia. This two-day event promises a packed schedule full of field and classroom sessions spanning topics geared toward strengthening your downtown revitalization efforts and helping you create the ideal downtown destination marketplace.

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.

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