Recent News


DHCD is closely monitoring the COVID-19 progress and continuing to review the need to cancel or reschedule in-person meetings, events, trainings, etc., as necessary. Click here for the full list of rescheduled or canceled events, updates on grants and other important changes.    

Ohio Creek Watershed Project Groundbreaking

Virginia to invest $120.5 million federal grant to help combat climate change and sea level rise NORFOLK—Governor Ralph Northam joined City of Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander and federal, state, and local partners to break ground on the Ohio Creek Watershed Project. The project is a collaborative effort to address the impacts of sea level rise in Hampton Roads. The Ohio Creek Watershed includes two residential, predominantly African American neighborhoods with civic leagues and a strong community identity. Historic Chesterfield Heights has over 400 houses on the Historic National Register, and Grandy Village includes a public housing community with more than 300 homes. A new park, to be named Resilience Park, will connect the Grandy Village and Chesterfield Heights neighborhoods and include a flood berm, a restored tidal creek and wetland, as well as a multi-use sports field and places for community gatherings and recreation. “Our climate is changing, and it is affecting our coastal areas with more intense hurricanes and storms and more frequent tidal flooding,” said Governor Northam. “The Ohio Creek Watershed project is an example of the kind of work we need to do to protect lives, property, and economic opportunity in Hampton Roads, and the innovation that will help us build a safer, more sustainable, and resilient Virginia for future generations.” In 2016, Virginia was awarded $120.5 million through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) National Disaster Resilience Competition for innovative solutions to prevent sea level rise in Hampton Roads. Over the last three years, the City of Norfolk has worked with stakeholders, partners, and affected communities to design and develop a plan for the project. “The Ohio Creek Watershed project is exactly the kind of community scale resilience effort we want to promote,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler. “We look forward to helping Norfolk and other localities find additional creative solutions to reduce the impacts of global warming.” Approximately $112 million will be used to design a coastal community that is resilient to the increasing risks of flooding. The Ohio Creek Watershed project will invest in pump stations, tide gates, road improvements, pervious pavement, and other water retention strategies to improve the City’s storm water system. The project will restore natural wetlands and create a coastal berm and natural living shorelines to increase the effectiveness of the structural flood control. There will also be additional ecosystem benefits, including green spaces to hold and absorb flood waters, filtration of pollutants, and natural walking trails that connect neighborhoods.  “This project is a great example of how local, state, and federal partners can work together to build stronger, innovative communities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “By including residents in the grant submission and the implementation of flood management, we are creating a community-driven approach to building a more resilient Norfolk community.” HUD allocated $5.25 million of the $120.5 million award to support the development of the nation’s first-of-its-kind resilience innovation hub called RISE, a Norfolk-based non-profit that provides businesses resources to develop and grow resilience-building solutions for coastal communities. The balance of the grant will be used to pay administrative costs of the project. RISE’s first initiative was their signature Coastal Community Resilience Challenge. In April 2019, Governor Northam announced $1.5 million in funding for six businesses that received between $160,000 and $310,000 to develop innovative products, services, and workforce development programs to help coastal communities adapt to climate change. “The City of Norfolk is honored to receive this grant,” said City of Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander. “Through strategic and collaborative partnerships between the City of Norfolk, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Ohio Creek Watershed Project strengthens our coastal resilience, creates innovative storm water management solutions, and unites communities. This transformational project sets in motion our plans to protect our historic and diverse neighborhoods.” In November 2018, Governor Northam issued Executive Order Twenty-Four to bolster Virginia’s resilience to sea level rise and natural hazards. The executive order is among the most comprehensive actions taken by any state to improve resilience and protect people and property from natural catastrophes and lays out a series of actions the Commonwealth will undertake to limit the impact of flooding, extreme weather events, and wildfires. “With the Ohio Creek Watershed Project, the City of Norfolk, along with the Chesterfield Heights and Grandy Village communities have achieved a level of collaboration that will serve as a model for many urban and rural localities across Coastal Virginia,” said Admiral Ann Phillips, Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection. “These communities deserve sound nature-based solutions that are uniquely tailored to their shared needs as they begin to adapt and protect neighborhoods from rising waters.” For more information on the Ohio Creek Watershed Project and Virginia’s National Disaster Resilience Competition grant, visit


Activities promote participation in the upcoming census, encourage Virginians to take action in their communities RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today invited Virginians across the Commonwealth to participate in a 2020 Census week of action tomorrow through next Friday. Events throughout the week encourage Virginia residents to learn more about what’s at stake in the 2020 Census and to take action in their communities to help ensure Virginia has a complete and accurate count. “An accurate count in the 2020 Census will support our efforts to build a Commonwealth for all Virginians and paint a more complete picture of the diverse voices that make up our state,” said Governor Northam. “I urge all Virginians to take part in the 2020 Census week of action and learn about how you can raise awareness about the upcoming census in your community.” Virginians throughout the Commonwealth can help promote the census by taking part in the following activities. Friday, February 21 – Sunday, February 23 | Interfaith Engagement This weekend, faith-based organizations and communities are encouraged to share information about the 2020 Census with their parishioners by incorporating messaging into their sermons, lectures, or other teaching, and by including information in programs, bulletins, and newsletters. Faith-based organizations and communities can access the Virginia Complete Count Commission’s Interfaith Engagement Toolkit here. Monday, February 24 | Engaging Virginia’s Seniors Facilities and organizations that support Virginia’s seniors are encouraged to share information about the 2020 Census. Additionally, families are encouraged to create a plan of action for completing the 2020 Census with the seniors in their lives. Older Virginians and their loves ones are also asked to mark their calendars for Wednesday, March 4 and join the 2020 Census Tele-Townhall hosted by the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and AARP Virginia. From protecting themselves against census scams to letting family caregivers know how to help their loves ones, the Tele-Townhall will offer important information to help people make sure they are counted. Details about how to participate in the 2020 Census Tele-Townhall will be made available here. Tuesday, February 25 | College Students’ “Talk About It Tuesday” Colleges and universities are encouraged to educate students and faculty about the importance of the 2020 Census. Students are encouraged to participate in “Talk About It Tuesday” by talking to their parents and guardians to create a plan of action for completing the 2020 Census. College Students can find information on student enumeration here. Wednesday, February 26 | Let’s “Get Social” (on Media) Virginians can “Get Social” (on Media) by following Virginia’s Census engagement efforts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Virginians are also invited to participate in a Twitter chat about what’s at stake in the 2020 Census. Questions can be tweeted to @CountOnVirginia. Promote the Census using the hashtags #Census2020 #VACompleteCount #CountOnVirginia. Pledge to be Counted The Northam administration recently announced a partnership with CommunityConnect Labs to use mobile messaging to connect with hard-to-reach populations. On Wednesday, February 26, Virginians are encouraged to “Pledge to be Counted” by texting the word “PLEDGE” or “CENSO” (Español) to the number for their respective locality. Participants will receive a digital pledge card that can be shared on social media. Standard text messaging data rates may apply. Valley: (540) 235-5155 Northern: (703) 684-0007 or (571) 200-0828 Coastal: (757) 210-3232 Southside: (434) 201-4884 Southwest: (276) 218-8138 Central: (804) 203-0393 “We are excited to use our new text messaging platform to reach Virginians all over the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson. “We know that text and other mobile messaging is one of the best ways to reach underserved populations, especially those populations that are historically hard-to-count in the census.” Thursday, February 27 | Counting Our Youngest Virginians It is estimated that upwards of 5 percent of children under the age of four went uncounted in the 2010 Census. On Thursday, early childhood care and education centers are encouraged to share information with parents and guardians about the 2020 Census and the importance of young children born on or before April 1, 2020 (Census Day), being counted. Information on the enumeration of children ages 0-4 can be found here. Friday, February 28 | K-12 “Census in Schools” Educators and school administrators are encouraged learn about how they can incorporate the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools (SIS) program into their lessons and classroom activities. The SIS program uses census statistics to create classroom materials for grades pre-K through 12. Learn more about the SIS program here. Additionally, Parent-Teacher Associations are encouraged to share information on the importance of the 2020 Census through newsletters and on social media—highlighting the value of programs such as Head Start, school breakfasts and lunches, and how 2020 Census data will support these efforts.   About the Virginia Complete Count Commission On December 18, 2018, Governor Northam signed Executive Order Twenty-Seven establishing the Virginia Complete Count Commission. The purpose of the Commission is to improve participation and representation of all Virginians in the 2020 Census. The Commission facilitates the sharing of ideas and community resources regarding the 2020 Census and serves as a conduit between the Commonwealth and the United State Census Bureau. The Virginia Complete Count Commission serves as a trusted voice and resource to educate, empower, and engage all communities for the purpose of ensuring that everyone who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia is counted in the 2020 Census. For more information on the 2020 Census and Virginia Complete Count Commission, visit or follow @CountOnVirginia on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Upcoming Events


“Whether it is providing guidance on funding or attending a training, we gain knowledge and confidence in our abilities to improve the quality of life or others.” 

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).

Virginia Governor's Housing Conference

Mark your calendar for the 2020 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference on Nov. 18-20 at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in Roanoke, Virginia. Join us for Virginia’s largest housing event packed full of educational sessions led by experts in housing, finance, and community development as well as amazing networking opportunities with colleagues from across the commonwealth. 

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.

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.

Business Appreciation Month

Business Appreciation Month is an annual month-long celebration in Virginia throughout the entire month of May to honor our businesses. DHCD has various ways to recognize and participate in Business Appreciation Month.

Homeownership Down Payment Assistance Program

The HOMEownership Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance program (DPA) provides flexible gap financing for first-time homebuyers at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) to purchase homes that are safe, decent and accessible.

Virginia Main Street Blog

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

Code Connection Blog

Check out the latest happenings in the world building and fire regulations through the Code Connection Blog.

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.