It was recently announced that more than $21 million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans for 24 projects across Virginia will create or preserve 1,266 affordable housing units for low-income and extremely low-income households. The funding will improve access to affordable housing, reduce homelessness, provide permanent supportive housing options for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and complete energy efficiency updates in affordable housing units.
“Quality, affordable housing is the key to advancing equity, opportunity, and economic prosperity in every corner of our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “The Affordable and Special Needs Housing program is an important resource for increasing access to safe and sustainable housing for low-income families, individuals with disabilities, and Virginians experiencing homelessness.”
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers Affordable and Special Needs Housing (ASNH) loans, which combine state and federal resources to provide a simplified and comprehensive application process. Funding comes from four main sources: the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the federal National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), the Virginia Housing Trust Fund (VHTF), and Housing Innovations in Energy Efficiency (HIEE) funds. In this round, DHCD awarded approximately $1.6 million in HOME funding, $1.1 million in NHTF funding, $12.6 million in VHTF funding, and $6.2 million in HIEE funding.
Governor Northam and the General Assembly invested an historic $70.7 million in the Virginia Housing Trust Fund this fiscal year, which provides financing for housing construction projects that create or preserve affordable housing units, reduce the cost of affordable housing, and increase homeownership. VHTF is a key source of financing to support moderate- and-low-income families in addition to providing homeless reduction grants for rapid re-housing and longer-term housing solutions for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.
“Providing housing stability and supporting programs to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring is more important now than ever as we turn the corner from this pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These loans will fill gaps in financing to make safe and affordable housing for our most vulnerable populations possible, which in turn strengthens our communities, our economy, and improves the lives of many Virginians across the Commonwealth.”
ASNH loans are awarded through a competitive process. Forty-one applications requesting over $45 million were received for this round of funding. Proposals were reviewed, evaluated, and scored with proposals ranked and award offers recommended to the highest-ranking proposals based on funding availability. The funded projects will leverage over $307 million in additional federal, state, local, and private lending resources.
- Submitted by Alena Yarmosky, Office of the Governor