Governor Northam Announces Six Rural Localities to Receive Over $3.8 Million in Community Development Block Grants

Funding supports COVID-19 response, housing rehabilitation, and water and sewer improvements

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $3.8 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for the counties of Montgomery, Scott, and Southampton, the towns of Appomattox and Independence, and the city of Norton. The funding will support projects that rehabilitate housing, improve water and sewer infrastructure, and facilitate COVID-19 recovery and response efforts, benefitting more than 1,400 low- to moderate-income Virginians throughout the six communities.

“Supporting housing, infrastructure, and other immediate needs of our rural communities is more important now than it has ever been,” said Governor Northam. “This funding supports projects that will enable these six localities to continue delivering essential services to Virginians during the pandemic and help build a stronger future for our Commonwealth.”

Three projects will be funded through a second round of CDBG Community Improvement Grants, which are awarded through a competitive process that evaluated each project for demonstrated need, applicant readiness, capacity, and benefit to the community. Two projects will be funded through COVID-19 CDBG funding, a reallocated funding source that is assisting with a variety of COVID-19 response and recovery activities. One project will be funded through the CDBG Construction-Ready Water and Sewer Fund, which is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and offers assistance to projects providing public water or sewer service to communities made up of at least 60 percent low- to moderate-income households. 

The federally funded CDBG program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development since 1982 and annually receives approximately $18.5 million to distribute to small cities, counties, and towns. Most CDBG grants are awarded through a competitive process, with a goal of benefiting low- and moderate-income households, improving housing and infrastructure, and addressing an urgent community need. In 2020, the CDBG program distributed more than $31.1 million across Virginia. For additional information on the CDBG program, visit

“These grants fund six vastly different projects, all targeted to improve the quality of life for those who live and work in these communities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “One of CDBG’s great advantages is its flexibility to support a wide range of projects, and it is an important tool in solving issues caused or exacerbated by COVID-19.”

The following projects will receive CDBG funding:

Appomattox Church Street Waterline
Town of Appomattox
$650,000 (CDBG Construction-Ready Water and Sewer Fund)

The town of Appomattox will receive funding to replace an existing waterline on Church Street and the surrounding areas. The project will replace water lines and the central water main, as well as improve the area’s fire protection. The replacement water system includes 730 residential households and 200 commercial and industrial sites, benefiting 1,145 low- to moderate-income individuals.

Food Independence
Town of Independence
$105,000 (CDBG COVID-19 Response)

The town of Independence will receive funding for the purchase of food, safety equipment, freezers, and other equipment necessary for the operation of Food Independence, which serves approximately 600 individuals each month. Participants receive a box of food containing a mix of canned, boxed, and fresh foods from local givers, stores, farmers, and other local venders. 

Millstone Kitchen Food Program
Montgomery County
$135,433 (CDBG COVID-19 Response)

Montgomery County will receive funding to continue operations of the Millstone Kitchen Food Program through June 2021. The county, in partnership with the local community drive nonprofit Live Work Eat Gather, has been utilizing the Millstone Kitchen to bolster and expand meal delivery services in the community. The Millstone Kitchen is a commercial shared-use kitchen that is a part of the Old School at Prices Fork. The funding will provide a managing director for this operation, reliable contract work for caterers, and the delivery of meals to vulnerable populations in the area. This program has organized local caterers operating out of the Millstone Kitchen to prepare and deliver at least 600 meals per week, serving approximately 10,000 meals since July 2020. The new funding will provide approximately 10,000 additional meals through June 2021.

Southside Comprehensive Community Development
City of Norton
$1,500,000 (CDBG Community Improvement Grants)

The city of Norton will receive funding for the Southside Comprehensive Community Development Project, which includes the rehabilitation of 14 housing units, replacement of waterline infrastructure, and sidewalk and street improvements. Of the housing rehabilitation activities, two units will be substantially reconstructed, and nine vacant, dilapidated structures will be demolished. The project will serve 176 low- to moderate-income individuals in this neighborhood, which was voted as the highest-priority rehabilitation area for the city.

Blackgum Water Project
Scott County
$313,500 (CDBG Community Improvement Grants)

Scott County, along with the Scott County Public Service Authority, will receive funding to extend public water service to a neighborhood that is currently unserved. This project will result in the provision of a safe, reliable source of drinking water for area residents. Provision of the new public water line will benefit 19 households, which includes 31 low- to moderate-income individuals.

Newsoms Housing and Drainage Improvement Project (Phase 1)
Southampton County
$1,237,468 (CDBG Community Improvement Grants)

Southampton County, along with the town of Newsoms, will receive funding to support the Newsoms Housing and Drainage Improvement Project, which includes the rehabilitation of seven houses, substantial reconstruction of two additional houses, demolition of one blighted structure, and major improvements to the storm drainage systems throughout the neighborhood. The project has been a top priority for the town of Newsoms for many years. This project is the first phase of a multi-phased drainage improvement approach, and the project will serve 53 low- to moderate-income individuals.