Author Archives: Department of Housing and Community Development

Governor McAuliffe Announces More Than $1.9 Million in Industrial Revitalization Funds

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced more than $1.9 million in Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) awards for the city of Lynchburg, Bedford County and the towns of Boones Mill and Warrenton. IRF provides gap financing for construction projects aligned with local and regional economic development strategies, primarily in distressed communities.

Speaking about today’s announcement at an event in Warrenton, Governor McAuliffe said, “Small business growth is critical as we work to diversify and build a new Virginia economy, and viable small business strategies will help bring new investment and job creation to the Commonwealth.  The redevelopment of properties like this is key to the revitalization of historic downtown areas and helping the region to attract businesses and visitors.”

IRF is intended to leverage local and private resources to achieve market-driven redevelopment of dilapidated structures, creating a catalyst for long-term employment opportunities and on-going physical and economic revitalization. Since the inception of the program in 2012, IRF has invested more than $7.7 million in these structures throughout the Commonwealth. The funding has leveraged more than $46.6 million in additional funding from both private and public entities, and more than 170 jobs are being created from these projects.

“By leveraging public and private resources, we are able to create support for the project and invest in the revitalization of these communities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “These four projects will spur nearly $34 million in total development for the four localities and bring new life into these communities to make them better places to live, work and raise a family.”

The 2016 IRF projects were reviewed and evaluated competitively, with an emphasis on those with a high level of blight, identification of impediments to economic development efforts, alignment with regional or local strategies, availability of matching resources, the level of community distress where the property is located and an identified and feasible end use.

The maximum award is $600,000 per project. Thirteen applications totaling almost $7 million in funding were received. The funds are intended to leverage local and private resources to achieve market-driven redevelopment of these derelict structures, creating catalysts for long-term employment opportunities and on-going physical and economic revitalization.

The following projects were awarded funding through the 2016 IRF program:


Locality Project Name Award Offer
Town of Boones Mill Boones Mill Industrial Park Revitalization $ 600,000
Bedford County Bedford Brewery Block Development $ 600,000
Town of Warrenton Wort Hog Brewery $ 600,000
City of Lynchburg Academy of Music Theatre $ 186,000

Governor McAuliffe announces $71,000 in Building Entrepreneurial Economies funding

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced $71,000 in Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE) awards for five projects in the Commonwealth. The BEE program provides funding to nonprofits and local governments to assist with the development of local and regional entrepreneurial economies that foster job creation and expansion by small businesses.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “In order to create jobs and build a new Virginia economy, we must help develop and grow our small businesses by creating and maintaining entrepreneurial environments in our communities.  Through the BEE program, we are assisting organizations and local governments that are supporting place- and community-based entrepreneurship in their communities.”

BEE offers several types of grants, including implementation and planning. The implementation grants are awards up to $75,000 for projects that expand coverage for small business support services or implement innovative ideas that have already been funded and field tested through the BEE planning grant. Planning grants are awards of up to $7,500 to research, develop and plan for a potential project.

“Helping communities develop and sustain an ecosystem that catalyzes entrepreneurship is a key strategy in our efforts to grow and diversify our economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “This program equips communities with the right tools, services and financing to create a quality environment for business start-ups and expansions.”

Ten applications totaling approximately $276,000 in funding were received. Applications were competitively evaluated, scored and ranked based on criteria including organizational and personnel capacity, reasonable goals, alignment with local or regional community’s vision for economic and community development and various other items.

The following projects were awarded funding through the 2016 Building Entrepreneurial Economies program:

BEE Implementation Grants

Applicant Localities Project Name Award Offer
BizWorks Enterprise Center Chesterfield County Start Smart Program      $ 23,505
City of Galax City of Galax Jump! Galax (Phase I)      $ 25,000
Total:  $ 48,505                          

BEE Planning Grants

Applicant Localities Project Name Award Offer
Beans and Rice Inc. Pulaski, Montgomery, Floyd and Giles counties Launch Something NRV $7,500
STEP Inc. Franklin, Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania counties Entrepreneurship Training Center $7,500
IA Foundation for Kids City of Roanoke The Making Foundation $7,500
Total: $22,500

Governor McAuliffe Announces $150,000 in Virginia Main Street Grants

Governor McAuliffe announced today $150,000 in Virginia Main Street funding for 10 projects in Virginia. The grants, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), include Downtown Investment Grants (DIG) and Financial Feasibility Grants targeting areas of specific need in historic downtown neighborhoods located in designated Virginia Main Street communities. Through the communities it serves, the Virginia Main Street Program has generated more than $716 million dollars in private investments and also created 15,621 jobs.

Speaking at today’s announcement at an event in Richmond, Governor McAuliffe said, “These grants will create jobs and provide a needed boost to communities that are working hard to revitalize historic downtown neighborhoods.  Virginia is home to so many cities and towns that are ready to thrive as centers of tourism and commerce. I am proud to partner with them and help make every Virginia Main Street a better place to live, work and start a business.”

Through the Downtown Investment Grants, $112,500 will be awarded to Main Street organizations in the designated communities of the towns of Bedford, Bristol, Culpeper, Luray, Marion and Staunton. These grants are available to designated Main Street organizations to accelerate the economic revitalization of their downtown districts by helping implement innovative strategies, plans and programs that create an environment for increased, accelerated private investment.

A total of $37,500 in Financial Feasibility Grants will be awarded to the Main Street organizations in the towns of Altavista, Blackstone, Hopewell and St. Paul. These grants are intended to assist owners of “white elephant” buildings identify their highest and best use and fund development of preliminary engineering reports, preliminary architecture reports, market demand studies and gap-financing research.  These grants often lead to more prompt redevelopment and leverage private investment.

“In the last five years, designated Main Street communities have sparked more than $148 million in private investment in their districts,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “By providing funding for downtown improvement projects, we will continue to bring new life to these historic downtown communities and encourage economic growth and continued private and public investment.”

In 1985, DHCD adopted the Main Street program for Virginia to help prevent downtown districts across the Commonwealth from economic decline and possible demolition.  This unique program works to re-energize economic development of downtown communities while utilizing their cultural assets and character.  This is further accomplished by pooling the resources of their local civic and business leaders who are determined to bring their Main Street communities back to life. The innovative Four-Point Approach © program uses design, promotion, economic restructuring and organization to reach their goal to help localities build better communities.  Virginia Main Street works with 25 designated communities throughout Virginia. 

2016 Virginia Main Street Downtown Investment Grants:

Organization Project Name Award
Bedford Main Street Building Improvement Revolving Loan Program $ 20,000
Believe in Bristol Downtown Bristol Wayfinding System $ 20,000
Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. Urban Plaza Transformation $ 12,500
Luray Downtown Initiative Brown Building/Bridge Theater Project $ 15,000
Marion Downtown Revitalization Association Building Improvement Revolving Loan Program $ 20,000
Staunton Downtown Development Association Shop. Staunton. First. $ 25,000




2016 Virginia Main Street Financial Feasibility Grants:

Organization Project Name Award
Altavista On Track 616 Broad Project $ 10,000
Downtown Blackstone, Inc. Harris Memorial Armory $ 10,000
Hopewell Downtown Partnership Community Kitchen $ 15,000
St. Paul Tomorrow Bryan Property $  2,500

Governor McAuliffe Announces More Than $1.5 Million in Community Development Block Grants

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today more than $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for Scott County and the town of Brodnax. Scott County will receive $530,000 for the Scott County Riverside Offsite Utilities Project through the CDBG Community Economic Development Fund, and the town of Brodnax will receive $1 million for the Brodnax Water System Improvements Project through the CDBG Competitive Grant Program.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “The CDBG program has been an invaluable tool in Virginia’s ongoing effort to kick start economic development in communities that are ready to grow. These grants will lay a foundation for future vitality and contribute to our work building a new Virginia economy in every corner of our state.”

Since 1982, the federally-funded CDBG program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and Virginia receives up to $17 million annually for this grant program. Most CDBG grant funds are awarded through a competitive process.

“In order to create strong, resilient and sustainable communities, we need to help localities improve their infrastructure assets, especially in rural parts of Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “These community development projects are great examples of federal, state and local partners working together as a team to make the Commonwealth a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

The Scott County project will provide infrastructure improvements to the Riverside Industrial Park. The improvements include the installation of water and sewer lines, storm water control facilities and 3,400 linear feet of broadband conduit. This grant is expected to create 300 jobs, with at least 51 being made available to low- to moderate-income persons. The Community Economic Development Program recognizes the need to be responsive to economic development opportunities in eligible localities. The funding is available for projects involving the location, expansion or retention of a basic industry and is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis from January 1 through the end of September.

The town of Brodnax water project will upgrade and replace aging waterlines that are providing water to residents. The project will install more than 12,000 linear feet of waterline and install 16 fire hydrants in the community. This project is expected to benefit 344 persons, with 53 percent of households being low- to moderate-income.

During this year’s competitive cycle, 21 projects were submitted by localities throughout the Commonwealth. The initial allocation of this program included 12 localities, totaling more than $8.2 million in grants.

2015 CDBG Community Economic Development Fund:

Locality Project Name CDBG Award
Scott County Scott County Riverside Offsite Utilities Project $530,000

2015 CDBG Competitive Grant Program:

Locality Project Name CDBG Award
Town of Brodnax Brodnax Water System Improvements Project $1,000,000

Virginia to receive more than $120.5 million from National Disaster Resilience Competition

Governor Terry McAuliffe joined U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julian Castro today to announce that Virginia will receive more than $120.5 million through HUD’s National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC).

Speaking about today’s announcement at an event in Norfolk, Governor McAuliffe said, “These funds will significantly aid our work to protect the economic vitality and quality of life in areas like Hampton Roads by preparing now for the real impacts of climate change and sea level rise. I want to thank HUD for this important grant and all of the Virginia leaders, including Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, who advocated for our application. I look forward to working with our federal, state and local partners to prepare every community to meet these historic challenges.”

Virginia competed with 40 other communities nationwide affected by natural disasters in recent years for funding from HUD’s $1 billion competition. The competition will fund the implementation of innovative resilience projects to better prepare communities for future storms and other extreme events, including climate change.

“This federal funding is great news for Hampton Roads and a testament to the hard work of the region’s municipalities, academic institutions like ODU and VIMS, Naval Station Norfolk, and leaders across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Tim Kaine.  “I’m proud of the bipartisan work we’ve done to address the impacts of sea level rise in Hampton Roads, and I’ll continue serving as a loud voice in the Senate on the importance of combating climate change before its effects on our communities and military installations become even more extreme.”

“Sea levels are rising faster in Norfolk than almost anywhere else in the U.S., and recurrent flooding continues to damage the communities and homes in the region,” Senator Warner said. “By helping communities incorporate innovative policies to address the many challenges presented by extreme weather, we can create long-lasting resilience to protect Hampton Roads against the very real threat of climate change.”

“As home to some of the largest military installations in the world, Hampton Roads must remain prepared and vigilant to deal with the risks associated with living on a coast,” said Congressman Scott Rigell. “I appreciate the partnership among state, local, national and private-sector leaders to ensure that our region remains the best place to open or grow a command or business.  I am glad this urgent matter has received bipartisan attention.”

“This federal grant is a down payment toward preparing for and alleviating the risk of climate change to Hampton Roads,” added Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott.  “Our success in securing this critical federal funding demonstrates that by working together, our Commonwealth will be able to meet this challenge.”

In November 2015, Kaine, Warner, Scott and Rigell sent a bipartisan letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in support of Virginia’s application for NDRC grant funding.

Throughout the NDRC application process, Virginia created an innovative living-with-water approach called “thRIVe: Resilience in Virginia.” The goal of this plan is to unite the region, create coastal resilience, build water management solutions, improve economic vitality and strengthen vulnerable neighborhoods. This comprehensive approach is designed to capitalize on the region’s strengths, convert risks and vulnerabilities into economic opportunities, and demonstrate best practices for at-risk areas nationwide. Participation in Virginia’s effort has been broadly based, bringing together multiple state and federal agencies, local governments, institutions of higher education, community groups, residents and private-sector partners.

“Resilience, like homeland security, is a ‘whole of community’ endeavor,” said Virginia’s Chief Resilience Officer and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran.  “I am very proud of the multidisciplinary, multijurisdictional team that worked throughout 2015 to develop this winning grant application.”

“These funds will enable much-needed resilience strategies at the local and regional level that we hope to replicate throughout the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward. “I am proud that this collaborative effort will produce real solutions to some of the most pressing problems that climate change presents.”

“An essential quality for sustained growth in any community is resiliency,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “We are excited about this announcement, as it will enable us to continue to work on positioning our communities to withstand challenges and to further economic growth.”

Governor McAuliffe Announces more than $6.9 million in Housing Trust Funds

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today more than $6.9 million in Housing Trust Fund grants and loans for the Homeless Reduction Grant and the Competitive Loan Program. Twenty-three projects will receive grants through these two programs of the Virginia Housing Trust Fund. The Trust Fund is intended to create and preserve affordable housing and to reduce homelessness in the Commonwealth. The biennial budget for fiscal years 2015-16 allocated $4 million in the first year and $4 million to fund activities through the Trust Fund. This follows the 2013-14 biennial budget, which allocated $8 million to create the Trust Fund.

Speaking about today’s announcement at an event in Arlington, Governor McAuliffe said, “Building a new Virginia economy means expanding economic security and opportunity to Virginians from every walk of life – and access to secure and affordable housing is an essential part of that effort.  The Virginia Housing Trust Fund uses innovative funding tools to promote affordable housing and homelessness prevention across the Commonwealth. I am proud to award these grants and watch them work to improve real people’s lives and grow our economy.”

“Safe, affordable housing is the foundation of a strong community and a key component of any economic development strategy for catalyzing job growth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “This funding will help our communities provide that foundation, which is vital to creating a place for people to live, go to school, work and do business.”

The Competitive Loan Pool is intended to create and preserve affordable housing units within the Commonwealth. The program provides assistance in the form of loans to projects that will meet local affordable housing needs and support the state housing policy. In total, 31 applications were submitted, totaling almost $18 million in requested loans. Eleven projects are being funded and will create or preserve nearly 550 affordable housing units.

The Homeless Reduction Grant program through the Virginia Housing Trust Fund is designed to reduce homelessness within Virginia. The program provides assistance to projects that address homelessness needs in the Commonwealth and supports the state housing policy. The projects are expected to decrease the length of time individuals experience homelessness, decrease the number of new incidents of homelessness and decrease the number of individuals returning to homelessness. Nearly $1.8 million was requested from 22 applicants for the program.

2015 Virginia Housing Trust Fund Competitive Loan Pool:

Organization Project Name Locality Amount
Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing Columbia Hills East Arlington County $750,000
Community Residences Inc. Community Residences Independent Permanent Supportive Housing Program Fairfax County $456,288
Pathways Homes Inc. Pathways Homes Permanent Supportive Housing First Program Fairfax County $600,000
Virginia Supportive Housing New Clay House II City of Richmond $750,000
Rush Lifetime Homes Inc. Old Forest Village City of Lynchburg $428,903
HEGM Corporation Ada Park City of Newport News $289,304
The Community Builders Church Hill North Phase 1B Seniors City of Richmond $750,000
Second Act Communities SM (formerly known as Virginia Housing Corporation) Cypress Landing City of Chesapeake $600,000
Community Housing Partners Powell Valley Village Apartments Lee County $235,690
Community Housing Inc. Brookland Park Plaza City of Richmond $500,000
Wesley Housing Development Corporation Lewinsville Senior Residences Fairfax County $644,576
TOTAL: $6,004,761


2015 Virginia Housing Trust Fund Homeless Reduction Grants:

Organization Service Area Amount
3E Restoration Inc. Cities of Hampton, Williamsburg, Newport News and Poquoson, and James City and York counties $100,000
ForKids Inc. Cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake and Suffolk $81,265
HomeAgain City of Richmond and Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Charles City, New Kent, Powhatan and Goochland counties $100,000
Micah Ecumenical Ministries City of Fredericksburg and Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties $100,000
New River Community Action Inc. City of Radford and Giles, Floyd, Montgomery and Pulaski counties $30,000
Northern Virginia Family Service Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, and Prince William County $100,000
People Incorporated of Virginia City of Bristol and Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, Tazewell and Washington counties $47,400
Samaritan Housing Inc. City of Virginia Beach $100,000
St. Joseph’s Villa Cities of Colonial Heights, Emporia, Hopewell and Petersburg, and Dinwiddie, Greensville, Prince George, Surry and Sussex counties $50,000
St. Joseph’s Villa City of Richmond and Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Charles City, New Kent, Powhatan and Goochland counties $50,000
The Planning Council Cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake and Suffolk $99,935
Virginia Supportive Housing City of Richmond and Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Charles City, New Kent, Powhatan and Goochland counties $100,000
TOTAL: $958,600

Governor McAuliffe announces $196,000 in Building Collaborative Communities Funding

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced $196,000 in funding for five collaborative efforts in Virginia through the Building Collaborative Communities (BCC) program. The BCC program was introduced in 2012 and designed to assist regions in creating and sustaining new economic opportunities across Virginia. The program promotes regional economic collaboration in economically distressed areas that stimulates job creation, economic development, and provides a significant return on state investment.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Successful regional partnerships have been created and prospered through the Building Collaborative Communities program.  Regional collaboration is a key in our efforts to build a new Virginia economy, and we continue to see the impact it has on building strong and sustainable communities throughout the Commonwealth.”

Economic research shows that in areas around the country where localities work together cooperatively, the promotion of  a sense of place, business growth and leveraging additional funding for regional economic development initiatives account for approximately 76 to 92 percent of new jobs. Quality of life indicators such as income disparity between localities, area median income and job creation are more positive in areas that interact on a regional level. Regional, community-based strategies that capitalize upon the unique assets of communities offer stronger opportunities for success and long-term sustainability.

“The communities with the highest functioning team are the ones that experience economic growth and prosperity,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “Collaborative efforts represent the best opportunity for this growth in all regions of the Commonwealth.”

Selected projects will focus on and facilitate significant involvement from the private sector, economic development agencies, community organizations, educational institutions, nonprofits, local leaders and governmental officials.  Today’s announcement was made in Kilmarnock for the Northern Neck High-Tech Center.

“The Northern Neck High-Tech Center holds the promise of benefiting our region by highlighting its potential in the 21st-century economy,” noted Senator Ryan T. McDougle. “This grant is further evidence of the viability of this project and an important initiative to bring jobs to the Northern Neck region.”

“I am appreciative of the administration’s investment in the Northern Neck region and look forward to seeing ta long-term, viable High-Tech Center with new jobs,” said Delegate Margaret Ransone.

The following projects were awarded funding through the Building Collaborative Communities program:

Applicant and Localities Targeted Project Name Award Offer
New River Valley Planning District

(Counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski and the city of Radford)

New River Valley Regional Tourism      $25,000
Northern Neck Planning District

(Counties of Westmoreland, Richmond, Lancaster and Northumberland and the towns of Colonial Beach, Montross, Warsaw, Kilmarnock, White Stone and Irvington)

Northern Neck High-Tech Center      $70,000
Northern Shenandoah Valley Collaborative

(Counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren and the towns of  Berryville, Boyce, Edinburg, Front Royal, Luray, Middletown, Mount Jackson, New Market, Shenandoah, Stanley, Strasburg, Stephens City, Toms Brook and Woodstock and the city of Winchester)

Northern Shenandoah Valley Collaborative      $40,000
Roanoke Regional Partnership

(Counties of Botetourt, Franklin and Roanoke, the cities of Roanoke and Salem and the town of Vinton)

Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority      $36,000
West Piedmont Planning District Commission

(Counties of Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania; cities of Danville and Martinsville and the towns of Boones Mill, Rocky Mount, Chatham, Gretna, Hurt, Ridgeway and Stuart)

West Piedmont Planning District Regional Strategic Plan      $25,000