Provided by ACTS
Governor Ralph Northam today announced $2.2 million in Homeless Reduction Grants through the Virginia Housing Trust Fund (VHTF) for 30 projects in Virginia. The selected projects will result in targeted efforts to reduce homelessness around the Commonwealth. The grants will support 16 rapid re-housing projects, 12 existing permanent supportive housing projects, and the pre-development of two permanent supportive housing projects.
Locally, ACTS was awarded $41,525 for its permanent supportive housing services.
Successful efforts by the Governor and the General Assembly to increase the Virginia Housing Trust Fund allowed 16 additional projects totaling $1.1 million in funding to be awarded this fiscal year. Additional affordable housing construction loans will also be made possible with the increased funding which will be announced in the coming months.
“Virginia is focused on targeting our funds toward systematic strategies that have been proven successful in reducing homelessness, like rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing,” said Governor Northam. “We know that having a stable, safe, and affordable place to live is key to achieving positive educational outcomes, securing a good job, and leading a healthy, productive life—with this funding, we are working to strengthen our communities and ensure that no Virginian is left behind.”
Since 2010, overall homelessness in Virginia has decreased 34 percent, and homelessness among families has decreased 44 percent. Homelessness among veterans has decreased 48 percent since 2011, and in 2015, Virginia became the first state in the country to functionally end veteran homelessness. These successes have been driven by the leadership of the Governor’s Coordinating Council on Homelessness, collaboration between state and local partners, and the allocation of funding to support a systematic approach at the community level. Resources to address homelessness in Virginia are administered through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Virginia Homeless Solutions Program, which is a combination of state and federal funds.
“The Virginia Housing Trust Fund is a key resource in our efforts to reduce homelessness and make affordable housing more readily available for all,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Housing is the foundation to building and sustaining healthy and vibrant communities for all Virginians.”
At least 80 percent of the funds allocated to the VHTF must be used to provide loans that reduce the costs of affordable rental housing and homeownership. Up to 20 percent may be used for grants to reduce homelessness. Eligible activities of the Homelessness Reduction Grant pool include rapid re-housing, support services for permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless, and pre-development of permanent supportive housing projects for chronically homeless individuals or families.
The applications were reviewed, evaluated and scored, and $2.2 million was allocated for 30 projects. The increase in the Housing Trust Fund in the state budget allowed all projects meeting the scoring threshold to be funded.