Recent News

09.30.2021
Funding will allow communities to prioritize local needs Governor Ralph Northam today announced an allocation of more than $7.7 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants to advance community economic recovery efforts. This funding will support 14 projects focused on economic diversification, workforce development, talent pipelines, economic resiliency, and business-ready sites. “As Virginia's economy continues to surge, it's important that every part of the state shares in that success,” said Governor Northam. “These grants support projects that drive local and regional economic growth, spurring innovation and creating jobs in our communities across the Commonwealth.” GO Virginia has funded 196 projects and awarded approximately $75.6 million to support regional economic development efforts since 2017. This round of grants include eleven regional projects and three projects through GO Virginia’s Economic Resilience and Recovery Program. The awarded projects will receive an additional $4.2 million in local and non-state resources. “Economic development is an inherently collaborative endeavor, and GO Virginia’s regional approach has proven to be an invaluable tool in this regard,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These projects build upon the economic assets each region has to offer, supporting job creation and new investment in the Commonwealth’s communities.” “I would like to commend the thoughtful work of councils and partners represented in the projects awarded today,” said GO Virginia State Board Vice Chair Todd Stottlemyer. “The success of GO Virginia is predicated on the belief that communities are stronger when the public and private sectors work together on shared challenges and opportunities. The projects reflect that commitment to working collaboratively to strengthen regional economies and provide good job opportunities for the individuals who reside in them.” Grants include a $1.4 million investment to accelerate the growth of the emerging Pharmaceutical Manufacturing cluster, making it an international leader in advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing, research, and development. This will lead to high-paying jobs, the expansion of companies, and investments in high-tech sector activity. Another grant helps equip unemployed and under-employed residents of South Norfolk, many of which have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the skills needed to be gainfully employed in a career that provides a sustainable living wage. To learn more about the GO Virginia program, click here. 2021 ROUND THREE REGIONAL GRANT AWARDS GROW(TH): The Business of Agriculture in Southwest Virginia | $52,950 Region 1: Counties of Smyth and Washington and the towns of Abingdon, Glade Spring, Meadowview, and Saltville Emory & Henry College School of Business will complete a feasibility study of an innovation hub for agriculture initiatives to support ongoing agriculture-related entrepreneurship education through a set of distinct, custom programs that will drive workforce growth in the sector. Appalachian Council for Innovation Business Continuity and Resiliency | $68,500 Region 1: Counties of Bland, Wythe, and Tazewell and the towns of Bluefield and Wytheville The Appalachian Council for Innovation, in partnership with the Appalachian Council of Business Leaders, Small Business Development Centers, and others will take a three-tiered approach to provide access to information and resources, along with knowledge of business continuity and resiliency and its importance in business survival during times of crisis. This strategy includes the implementation of community-based educational events, business continuity, resilience assessments, gap analysis, and input from the health care community to help guide businesses moving forward through the COVID-19 crisis, as well as for future disasters. Hampton Roads Regional Energy Master Plan | $84,000 Region 5: Counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton and the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach The Hampton Roads Alliance will work with partners to evaluate the projected population growth of the region and analyze the energy infrastructure needed to support this level of growth. This project will develop a baseline of the capacity of the current energy supply system, create a clear understanding of the capacity of that system, and identify options to deliver energy to meet further demand. Setting Pathways that Activate Real-World Knowledge (SPARK) | $100,000 Region 5: Cities of Franklin, Newport News, Norfolk, and Portsmouth Portsmouth Public Schools will contract with a partner organization, JASON Learning, to design, produce, publish, and distribute a digital course module to support effective classroom instruction of the SPARK course material and deliver that training to up to 100 educators from regional school districts. This project will ensure a strong connection between STEM learning opportunities available in the region’s high schools and regional workforce needs in advanced manufacturing, enabling high school juniors and seniors to prepare for immediate entry into the workforce upon graduation. Profiles that Increase the Competencies, Knowledge and Skills that Matter | $100,000 Region 2: Counties of Floyd and Pulaski Using the American College Testing (ACT) Job Profiling system, the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Consortium Board will consult with experts at companies to analyze the skills, skill levels, and skill frequency workers need to be successful at certain jobs. This project will support the economic growth of the region’s priority industry clusters by developing a tool, process, and common language in helping businesses with their recruiting, hiring, training, and promoting practices. Additionally, it will assist businesses to make decisions about jobs, identify strengths, set training goals, and find appropriate training programs for in-demand jobs for high-growth businesses. Shenandoah Valley Aviation Technology Park Site ECB | $100,000 Region 8: Counties of Augusta and Rockingham and the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton, and Waynesboro The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Commission will build-out the infrastructure of the Shenandoah Aviation Technology Park, completing the water and sewer design and engineering to support subsequent phases of the park. Lighthouse Labs Alumni Program | $429,000 Region 4: County of Henrico and the city of Richmond  Lighthouse Labs will strengthen the post-acceleration resources offered to startup companies in high-growth sectors. By offering support for an additional nine months after the three-month acceleration program, Lighthouse Labs will help alumni scale organically and attract outside capital to grow. ExperienceWorks | $516,628 Region 3: Counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Charlotte, Cumberland, Danville, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Martinsville, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania, and Prince Edward The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research will lead the ExperienceWorks initiative, a systems approach that leverages GO Virginia Region 3 investments to connect students and young adults to high-skill, high-wage employment opportunities through a myriad of work-based learning opportunities. Establishing connections with students while they are still in high school will allow businesses to access an emerging workforce and provide mentorship, increasing the number of high school graduates in Region 3 who are connected to employment opportunities in targeted growth sectors. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Cluster Scale-Up | $1,400,000 Region 4: Counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico, Prince George, and Powhatan and the cities of Petersburg and Richmond  Activation Capital will accelerate growth of the emerging Pharmaceutical Manufacturing cluster for Region 4, making it an international leader in advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing and research and development, thereby growing high-paying jobs, recruitment, and expansion of companies and investment in high-tech sector activity. The project will use a six-pronged approach: create a collaborative organization, build the supply chain in the region, solve critical regional infrastructure and lab space issues, implement a communications campaign, assure workforce needs are identified and met, and cultivate strategic relationships. Strengthening Southern Virginia’s Economy by Expanding the Inventory of Shovel-Ready Sites | $1,534,900 Region 3: Counties of Halifax, Patrick, and Pittsylvania and the city of Danville The Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, will develop a site development program that will parallel the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s site characterization program. The project will raise seven sites, totaling 1,188 acres, from Tier 2 to Tier 4, and raise three sites, totaling 311 acres, from a Tier 2 to Tier 3 or 4 on the VBRSP scale. 2030 Initiative | $2,460,190 Region 7: Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William and the city of Fairfax Refraction Inc., in partnership with George Mason and participating localities, will double the capital raised and jobs created by technology startups and high-growth companies in Northern Virginia by 2030. The 2030 initiative is targeted to address three critical needs of startups: capital, customers, and coaching. ECONOMIC RESILIENCE AND RECOVERY APPLICATIONS Career and Community Development Program Expansion | $85,222 Region 5: Cities of Chesapeake and Norfolk The organization, Neighborhood, will help equip unemployed and under-employed residents of South Norfolk, many of which have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the skills needed to be gainfully employed in a career that provides a sustainable living wage. The organization will relocate and expand its 620-square-foot building to a larger 2,400-square-foot facility to meet a growing workforce demand in South Norfolk. Neighborhood will provide a six-month training program to provide community leaders with soft skills, personal development, community engagement, and job skills training in high demand jobs of shipbuilding, ship repair, cyber security, and information technology. New Kent County/Rappahannock Community College Welding Program | $300,000 Region 4: Counties of Charles City, King William, and New Kent and the town of West Point New Kent County, in partnership with Charles City County, King William County, the town of West Point, Rappahannock Community College, and local employers, will renovate a portion of the former New Kent High School to develop a start-of-the-art welding facility for the greater region. This project will address the critical and growing need for welders in the area and help revitalize the talent pipeline of welders, which was significantly stalled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tech Set | $425,000 Region 7:  Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun Marymount University will implement a two-month educational program designed to develop work-ready social and technological skills to help economically disadvantaged juniors and seniors who were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will address a need identified by Region 7’s tech companies for entry-level workers.

10.05.2021
Infrastructure advancements will benefit 240 households Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $2.5 million in grants to help Russell County upgrade water quality for 240 households and support a regional wastewater project in the Dante area. The project, funded by Community Development Block Grants, will improve water quality flowing from Lick Creek into the Clinch River, a major water source for the area and the centerpiece of the Clinch River State Park. “Safe and reliable water infrastructure is an important way to keep communities healthy,” said Governor Northam. “The Community Development Block Grant program is a vital tool in ensuring everyone across the Commonwealth has access to safe drinking water and reliable wastewater systems. This grant will help Russell County keep its residents safe and protect the Clinch River.” The Department of Housing and Community Development has administered the federally-funded Community Development Block Grants program since 1982. Virginia has received approximately $18.5 million from this program annually. Funding is allocated among local government applicants through a competitive process using objective scoring criteria developed with eligible localities. This project is funded through the Community Development Block Grants Regional Water and Wastewater program, which is designed to address water and wastewater improvements on a regional scale. “Community Development Block Grants funding provides critical aid aimed at increasing the quality of life for many Virginians,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Improving the water and wastewater systems in Russell County will increase the water quality of the Clinch River, which will enhance tourism opportunities and provide a welcome boost to the regional economy."   The following project will receive Community Development Block Grants funding:   Dante Regional Sewer Line Extension | $2,500,000 Russell County Russell County, in partnership with the town of St. Paul, will provide 240 households with new and/or improved sewer treatment services and a regional wastewater project. This project will address water quality in Lick Creek and serve mostly low-to moderate-income households. The project will send sewage from the Dante Sewer System to the town of St. Paul Sewer Treatment Plant. The Dante Sewer Treatment Plant will be decommissioned. A new sewer line will extend from the existing Dante system to the town of St. Paul. It will serve additional households that are not yet served by public sewer and are contributing to water quality issues in Lick Creek. Lick Creek empties into the Clinch River, which is a major water source to the area. Improved water quality will support the region’s efforts to maximize tourism benefits anticipated from the Clinch River State Park. 

Rounded square with blue in the top left, a stripe of white in the middle, and green in the lower half with ARC in white lettering. Next to the square reads Appalachian Regional Commission

09.21.2021
New grants will support entrepreneurship, workforce development, and infrastructure  Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia will receive more than $2.5 million in grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. The funding will support broadband infrastructure expansion, workforce development, and job growth efforts through economic development initiatives. “As our economy recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, it is critical to invest in Appalachia,” said Governor Northam, ARC Co-Chair. “ARC’s POWER initiative will continue to build on the region’s strengths and address its challenges, driving growth and opportunity throughout Appalachia. These projects demonstrate how regional collaboration can spur innovation, encourage entrepreneurs, diversify our economy, and support the critical infrastructure needed to bridge the digital divide, all of which strengthen Appalachian communities.” In February, Governor Northam was elected by Appalachia’s 13 governors to serve as the Appalachian Regional Commission’s states’ co-chair for 2021. The ARC POWER Initiative is a congressionally funded program that helps communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. $46.4 million in funding for 57 projects across 184 counties was made possible by the POWER initiative as part of the efforts to support economic diversification in the Appalachian region. “Ensuring Appalachian residents and businesses have resources to create thriving and robust communities has been a top priority for this administration,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This funding will foster employment opportunities, critical infrastructure improvements, and broadband expansion, helping to build a stronger and more resilient economy in the Appalachian region. “The downturn of the coal industry has impacted economies across Appalachia. That’s why ARC’s POWER initiative helps to leverage regional partnerships and collaborations to support efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “Many of the projects we announced today will invest in educating and training the Appalachian workforce, nurturing entrepreneurship, and supporting infrastructure—including broadband access. These investments in our Appalachian coal-impacted communities are critical in leveling the economic playing field so our communities can thrive.”   2021 ARC POWER Virginia Awardees:   Buchanan/Tazewell Wireless Communication Job Growth Corridor | Virginia Coalfield Coalition | $1,000,000 The Virginia Coalfield Coalition will build six new, fiber-lit cell towers along a 20-mile stretch off U.S. Route 460. A public-private partnership with a national wireless service ensures the coverage provided by these new cell towers will fill the current service gaps. The project is expected to serve 25 existing businesses and facilitate business retention and recruitment at industrial parks in the region.   Central Appalachian CDC: Bringing Community Development Investment to Coal-Impacted Communities | Appalachian Community Capital | $1,500,000 Appalachian Community Capital and its partners will create high-quality community development and entrepreneurial opportunities by helping communities and businesses access new sources of capital. Serving five central Appalachian states (North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia), the project will provide 40 coal-impacted communities with technical assistance, guidance, and outreach support. This will lead to a portfolio of investments that provide sufficient financial and social returns. Financial support for the project will be provided by the CDFI Fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Dogwood Health Trust, Goldman Sachs, and OhioSE Economic Development Financial. The project is expected to create 15 businesses and 3,000 jobs, while also leveraging $400 million in private investment.   Project Trace | LENOWISCO Planning District | $49,875 The LENOWISCO Planning District, in partnership with Invest SWVA, will determine the feasibility of adapting or creating an ag-tech tool to track and report food miles of specialty grains grown in Southwest Virginia. This tool will help capture the value that Southwest Virginia grains add to the industry, increasing grain market opportunities for area farmers and driving additional revenue.   Established in 1965, ARC is a federal agency focused on economic development in the Appalachian region. Grants administered by ARC support initiatives that build a strong and sustainable asset-based economy in Appalachia. The funding for these projects serve as catalysts for bringing jobs and prosperity to the region’s communities

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Tenant and Landlord Resources

Current state law requires landlords and tenants to cooperate with each other in matters regarding nonpayment of rent and applying for rental assistance based on income eligibility and availability of rental assistance funds. If you feel like this is not happening, you should contact an attorney to learn more about your legal rights.

Eviction Moratorium

SCOTUS rules against the CDC Eviction Moratorium, ending federal protection for renters in High Risk Communities. Virginia’s eviction protections remain intact. For more information, visit www.stayhomevirginia.com/renters.

Homeless Assistance and Prevention

Those experiencing homelessness or other housing crisis should contact their local crisis assistance hotline by clicking here to find your local hotline.

Housing Innovations in Energy Efficiency

DHCD's Housing Innovations in Energy Efficiency (HIEE) Program is funded through Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) proceeds. The program will make energy efficiency upgrades to new and existing residential buildings to reduce energy bills for low-income Virginians

Virginia Governor's Housing Conference

Mark your calendar for the virtual 2021 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference Nov.10-12. Join us for this three-day event packed full of educational sessions led by experts in housing, finance, and community development.

Building Safety Month

Building Safety Month (BSM) is a public awareness campaign celebrated by jurisdictions worldwide during the month of May to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures. DHCD has various campaigns to recognize and celebrate Building Safety Month throughout the commonwealth.

Local Government Exchange Program

The Virginia Local Government Exchange Program will serve as a vehicle to explore and build stronger relationships between community leaders in our vast state. This pilot program is a partnership of the Governor’s Office, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) and Virginia Municipal League (VML).

Partners for Better Communities Podcast

Each episode features the voices of leaders and change makers across the commonwealth. We will look at the innovation and inspiration at play as local, regional and state leaders work together to create safe, affordable and prosperous communities.

Virginia Disparity Study

Virginia has commissioned BBC Research & Consulting (BBC) to conduct a disparity study to assess whether barriers exist for minority- or woman-owned businesses that make it more difficult for them to compete for commonwealth contracts.

Virginia Main Street Blog

Check out the latest happenings in the Main Street and downtown revitalization world through the Virginia Main Street Blog.

2018 Code Development Process

The Virginia Building Codes are updated through the code development process. Virginia is a leader in building and fire code development, and stakeholder input is vital to Virginia’s code development process. Participation is encouraged and remote participation is made possible through cdpVA.

Landlord Tenant Handbook

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA) handbook has been prepared to provide information on the rights, remedies and responsibilities of landlords and renters concerning the rental process. Before signing a lease, prospective tenants should read and understand the terms of the contract. Consulting a lawyer or the landlord for clarification of the rental agreement is advisable.