Monthly Archives: April 2014

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development announces Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Awards

– Virginia communities recognized for downtown revitalization efforts –

RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced today the Virginia Main Street Program Milestone Achievement Awards to designated Virginia Main Street communities. The awards were presented at a luncheon at Richmond’s historic Hippodrome Theater.

Main Street communities and organizations were recognized for achieving notable milestones in volunteer contribution, private investment and building rehabilitation. The Partnership for Warrenton Foundation was also recognized for 25 years of membership in the Virginia Main Street program.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones spoke to the audience of more than 90 downtown revitalization volunteers and professionals about the visible results of their hard work. “This year, you have been thinking outside of the box and using entrepreneurship as a keystone to successful downtown revitalization,” said Secretary Jones. “With entrepreneur development strategies like business boot camps and even an Ideaspace, you are bringing new ventures and amazing growth to your downtowns.”

DHCD Director Bill Shelton pointed to downtown progress through the numbers. “In the last five years, designated Main Street communities have sparked more than $217 million in private investment in their districts.” Shelton continued, “As a result, last year, there was a net collective gain of 453 jobs across the 26 Main Street downtown districts.”

Below is a list of award recipients:

Volunteerism Milestone Achievement Awards
1,000 Volunteer Hours
Believe in Bristol

5,000 Volunteer Hours
Farmville Downtown Partnership

St. Paul Main Street

15,000 Volunteer Hours 
Altavista On Track

20,000 Volunteer Hours
Luray Downtown Initiative Inc.

Marion Downtown!

Destination Downtown South Boston

25,000 Volunteer Hours
Berryville Main Street

30,000 Volunteer Hours
Culpeper Renaissance Inc.

35,000 Volunteer Hours
Old Towne Development Board (Winchester)

50,000 Volunteer Hours
Downtown Franklin Association

85,000 Volunteer Hours
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance

95,000 Volunteer Hours
Lynch’s Landing Foundation

100,000 Volunteer Hours
Staunton Downtown Development Association

Private Investment Milestone Achievement Awards
$5 Million in Private Investment
Abingdon Main Street and the town of Abingdon

$20 Million in Private Investment
Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association and the city of Martinsville

$25 Million in Private Investment
Berryville Main Street and the town of Berryville

$55 Million in Private Investment
Culpeper Renaissance Inc. and the town of Culpeper

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and the city of Harrisonburg

Staunton Downtown Development Association and the city of Staunton

$110 Million in Private Investment
Lynch’s Landing Foundation and the city of Lynchburg

Building Improvement Milestone Achievement Awards
250 Building Projects
Destination Downtown South Boston and the town of South Boston

Special Achievement Awards
Destination Downtown South Boston

25 Years of Main Street
Partnership for Warrenton Foundation and the town of Warrenton

The Virginia Main Street program, managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, 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.

For more information about the Virginia Main Street program, call (804) 371-7030 or visit
http://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/MainStreet.

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Multi-agency Effort Brings New Home to Wounded Veteran

– Mari Richardson served in the U.S. Air Force on two overseas deployments –

SUFFOLK – A ribbon cutting ceremony took place today at the new home of Air Force-vet and
wounded warrior Mari Richardson and her daughter, all in part to a multi-agency effort including the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS), the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, Suffolk Redevelopment Housing Authority and Sherbco Inc.

Richardson served honorably in the U.S. Air Force for 13 years. During her years of service,
Richardson served our country at many bases around the globe and served for two overseas
deployments including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn.

“The men and women of our armed forces stand fast and help to secure the freedoms we as Americans enjoy every day” said Regional 5 Director Carol Berg of the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, part of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. “The Virginia Wounded Warrior Program is honored to partner with the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority by helping one of our Virginia Veterans realize their dream of home ownership.”

Virginia is focused on improving and increasing affordable and accessible housing options for our veterans. Recognizing this vital need for housing for veterans, DVS appointed a director and associate director of housing development for veterans to focus on proactively pursuing housing opportunities for veterans and their families and making those critical connections. The housing development program is helping communities leverage resources to serve the housing needs of veterans and their families. In addition, DVS operates the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program (VWWP), which was created by the 2008 Virginia General Assembly to ensure that behavioral health, rehabilitative and supportive services to veterans and their families are readily available in all areas of the state.

“It’s an amazing feeling to own your own home, and as the regional director of the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program in Hampton Roads, we are honored to present this home to a Virginia Veteran,” said Berg. The home was made available by the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The Virginia NSP received $38.7 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2008 to acquire, rehab and resell foreclosed homes in areas hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, including Hampton Roads.

“DHCD is very pleased to be a part of this collaborative effort,” said Bill Shelton, director of DHCD. “Housing is an important issue for Virginians, and by collaborating with various partners and utilizing our combined resources, we were able to provide a home for this well-deserving veteran.”

The Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (SRHA) received an NSP grant allocation of funding to pair with other housing programs as a means of providing decent, safe and affordable housing opportunities in communities that face foreclose in the city of Suffolk. Throughout the past two years, SRHA has helped a total of 11 participants in their Homebuyer Program become first time homeowners, including Richardson.

“The Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority is pleased to be a partner in this collaborative effort to provide a homeownership opportunity to a deserving veteran. We welcome Ms. Richardson and her family to Suffolk,” said Clarissa E McAdoo, executive director of SRHA.

SRHA worked with Sherbco Inc. to renovate the home. “We are very excited to be part of such a great effort for a very deserving veteran,” said Jeff Sherbinsky, president of Sherbco Inc.

Richardson is a native of Hampton Roads and has a 10-year-old daughter. Richardson said about the home, “I am so happy. This is such a good spot for us, and my daughter and I both love the house.”