Monthly Archives: November 2015

Governor McAuliffe Announces Winners of the 2015 Virginia Housing Awards

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the five winners of the 2015 Virginia Housing Awards, which were announced at the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference. The Virginia Housing Awards were given to several organizations and government entities throughout the Commonwealth to recognize their extraordinary efforts to address affordable housing challenges in Virginia.

“Creating a stable place for our residents to live is a key component in our efforts to build a new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “These housing awards recognize outstanding and innovative efforts in crafting effective solutions for the Commonwealth’s complex array of housing needs.  I applaud the winners for the great work they are doing.”

The Governor’s Housing Conference is Virginia’s largest and most comprehensive affordable housing event. The three-day event features workshops and sessions designed to help public and private sector representatives develop effective housing solutions in Virginia. Nearly 800 affordable housing advocates, providers and policy makers gather each year at the conference.

“Providing affordable housing for Virginians is critical for creating and maintaining healthy communities and contributing to economic growth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “I congratulate the award recipients and thank them for their efforts to provide housing all across the Commonwealth.”

In addition to the housing awards, the 2015 Outstanding Youth Award winner was recognized for making a positive impact in their community, and the first-ever Blueprint for the Future design competition winners were announced.  The Blueprint competition was open to students, amateurs and professionals in the design arena for the design of a home that meets affordability, energy and accessibility. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development partnered with Blueprint partner organizations, including EarthCraft Virginia, Virginia Home Builders Association, Virginia Building and Code Officials Association, Easy Living Virginia and Virginia Housing Development Authority. The winning design is being built as a Habitat for Humanity home in Hampton for a veteran.

Winners of the 2015 Virginia Housing Awards: 

Best Housing Development


Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Project: Commerce Village


Best Housing Program or Service


St. Joseph’s Villa

Project: Flagler Rapid Re-housing Services


Best Housing Preservation/Revitalization Effort


Albemarle Housing Improvement Program and the city of Charlottesville

Project: Block-by-Block Charlottesville


Best Affordable Housing Energy Conservation Effort


Community Housing Partners

Project: Grissom Lane Apartments


Best In My Backyard “IMBY”


Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development

Project: Fairfax County Affordable Dwelling Unit Program


Blueprint for the Future


First Place Winner

Christopher Eads


Second Place/Student Scholarship Winner

Alex Eitler


Third Place Winner

Anthony Ripper


Outstanding Youth Award


Bobby Justice

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Director Bill Shelton receives Excellence in Virginia Government Award

Today, Bill Shelton, director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Excellence in Virginia Government Awards (EVGA) Luncheon hosted by the Virginia Commonwealth University L. Douglas Wilder School. This award recognizes a Virginian whose career represents the highest values of public service and citizenship and who has made a substantial contribution to the good of the commonwealth.

“I cannot think of a more deserving individual to receive this award than Bill Shelton,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “He has spent more than 30 years in public service, and his work has made a difference to people and communities all over the commonwealth. I am grateful to him for his commitment and faithfulness. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with him.”

Shelton has served as the director of DHCD for 17 years of his 37-year state government career. He is responsible for the management and policy oversight of the agency, which provides community development and housing program support to communities across the commonwealth. The department also administers statewide building codes.

Among his many accomplishments, Shelton helped launch Virginia Community Capital, one of the leading community development banks in the U.S., with assets exceeding $133 million. He also has a strong commitment to water quality and availability in Southwest Virginia. Shelton is an ex-officio member of the board of commissioners of the Virginia Housing Development Authority and serves on the board of Virginia Community Capital Inc.  He also serves as the governor’s state alternate for the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Virginia is the First State in the Nation to Functionally End Veteran Homelessness

Today Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia has been certified by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as the first state in the nation to functionally end veteran homelessness.  Speaking at a Veterans Day ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial alongside U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Governor McAuliffe declared that Virginia has housed 1,432 homeless veterans since October 2014.

“On a day when we remember those who fought and died for our nation, I am proud to proclaim that Virginia is leading the way in the fight to end veteran homelessness,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This is an important victory in our ongoing efforts to make our Commonwealth the best place on earth for veterans to live, work and raise a family. However, we must remain committed to keeping homelessness among veterans, and, all Virginians, rare, brief and non-recurring. This successful effort will serve as the launching pad for our next goal of functionally ending chronic homelessness among all Virginians by the end of 2017.”

The announcement is the culmination of efforts that began when Governor McAuliffe committed Virginia to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessnessin June 2014 and pledged to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.

Since signing on, 20 mayors and county chairs throughout Virginia have publicly declared their commitment to achieving the goals of the Mayor’s Challenge, and communities throughout Virginia have successfully housed veterans through two consecutive 100 Day Challenges in partnership with Community Solutions and the Rapid Results Institute.

Communities throughout Virginia have made vast improvements in their homelessness response and housing assistance systems. By using evidenced-based tools for triaging the needs of identified veterans, making both rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing resources available, as well as incorporating the principles of Housing First throughout the entire spectrum of housing assistance for a veteran, these systems have been streamlined to help a veteran experiencing homelessness to quickly secure permanent housing.

The availability and provision of supportive services to help veterans maintain stability within their new homes have been equally critical in this effort. By implementing efficient homelessness response systems across the state, Virginia has ensured that any veteran’s experience with homelessness either now or in the future will be rare, brief, and non-recurring.

The effort to end Virginia homelessness relied on partnerships with regional Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, local housing continua of care (CoC) providers, Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) programs and local public housing authorities. The increased level of coordination, collaboration, and communication at the state level among such partners as the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Virginia Housing Development Authority, Governor’s Coordinating Council on Homelessness.

Key federal partners included: the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of Labor (DOL).

“Virginia is grateful to have such collaborative relationships with our community based, state and federal level partners,” said John Harvey, Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs.  “We must remain committed to effectively and freely communicating and collaborating in order to keep our veterans homelessness response and housing assistance systems fully functional and sustainable over the long haul”.

Additionally, by engaging with non-traditional partners, such as Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power Company, Virginia is continuing to expand the depth of the supportive networks in place to help veterans to continue living in their homes.