Northam announces $12M for 25 affordable housing, homeless reduction
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday nearly $12 million in funding to increase access to affordable housing, reduce homelessness, and provide permanent supportive housing options for Virginians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The funding includes more than $10.7 million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans for 12 projects and more than $1.2 million in Homeless Reduction Grants to support 13 projects funded through the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, which assists local and regional efforts to implement affordable housing solutions.
Since 2010, overall homelessness in Virginia has decreased 36.3 percent, and homelessness among families has decreased 45 percent. The Homeless Reduction Grants announced Thursday will support targeted efforts to reduce homelessness, including projects that provide rapid re-housing for individuals experiencing homelessness and permanent supportive housing options.
“Housing is the foundation for building vibrant communities and creating equal access to economic opportunity across our Commonwealth,” Northam said. “Every time I meet with housing service providers and individuals who have overcome homelessness, I am given hope that with the right investments, we can effectively address homelessness, reduce housing instability, and provide more Virginians with safe and affordable living options.”
The Affordable and Special Needs Housing (ASNH) loan projects are focused on creating affordable new construction and rehabilitation housing projects as well as permanent supportive housing options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities or serious mental illness. These 12 funded projects will create or preserve 607 affordable housing units targeting low-income and very low-income Virginians, and leverage over $246 million in additional federal, state, local, and private lending resources.
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers the ASNH program and combines state and federal resources to ensure a simplified application process. Funding comes from three primary sources: the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the federal National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund (VHTF).
“Increasing and preserving the number of affordable housing units throughout Virginia and supporting programs to make homelessness rare and nonrecurring are key goals of this administration,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Creating more affordable housing opportunities can transform our communities and the lives of many Virginians.”
The governor recently announced that his proposed budget invests $63 million in the VHTF, bringing the total amount to $84 million over three years. The VHTF provides financing for housing construction projects that create or preserve affordable housing units, reduce the cost of affordable housing, and increase homeownership.
This includes an allocation of an additional $1.3 million in Homeless Reduction Grants that if approved by the General Assembly would support 15 projects providing rapid re-housing and longer-term housing solutions for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.