Recent News


New laws cap late fees and protect renters during emergencies, $12 million to help non-profit housing organizations RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today shared new resources to protect Virginians from eviction and support individuals who have lost their job or income due to COVID-19. These tools include, a new website to help Virginians navigate housing programs, services, and resources. The website offers guidance on working with landlords, financial institutions, and other organizations to use eviction and foreclosure protections during this health crisis. Resources include relief for private mortgage holders, multifamily complexes, and tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “This public health crisis has created unprecedented housing challenges, regardless of whether you rent or own a home,” said Governor Northam. “Right now, many Virginians are struggling to make next month’s rent or mortgage payments amid a loss in wages due to the pandemic. These resources will help Virginians get the information they need to make decisions, and ensure they have access to a safe, stable, and affordable place to live.” The new tools were developed in partnership with the Virginia Housing Development Authority, the Commonwealth’s housing financing agency. Virginia Housing has also committed $12 million to help non-profit housing organizations continue operations and deliver services during the COVID-19 emergency and recovery. This funding will support more than 200 non-profit housing entities across all regions of the Commonwealth. The Northam administration has also worked with Virginia Housing to provide a three-month mortgage deferral for those experiencing economic hardship. Landlords who have had their Virginia Housing-backed mortgage deferred must pass this deferral on to their tenants. Governor Northam also signed two important bills approved by the General Assembly during the reconvened session on April 22 that included his proposed amendments to provide relief to tenants and mortgage holders. Capping late fees on rent. House Bill 1420 caps late fees at 10 percent of the periodic rent or 10 percent of the remaining balance due, whichever is lesser. This new law will help prevent cascading late fees, allow charges only on the amount due, and set a maximum late fee percentage for the first time in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Delegate Jeffrey Bourne sponsored this measure. Protecting tenants from eviction during emergencies. House Bill 340 delays rental evictions or mortgage foreclosures for individuals who are not currently covered under the protections offered through the federal CARES Act or state and local protections. Under this new law, a tenant may receive a 60-day continuance of an eviction proceeding from a court if they appear in court and provide written evidence that they are not receiving payments or wages due to the state of emergency declared by the Governor. Additionally, homeowners or landlords that rent one, four, or multifamily units in the Commonwealth can pause a foreclosure proceeding for 30 days if the individual provides their lender with written evidence showing a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Delegate Marcia C. Price sponsored this measure.


~ Funding to support regional economic development initiatives ~ Richmond – The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced today $2,872,931 in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) funding for 13 regional projects. The GO Virginia Board, which includes key members of the Governor’s cabinet, the General Assembly and the business community, reviewed and approved the 13 grant requests. These grants will add capacity to support existing companies in targeted industry sectors, implement innovative workforce development models, and develop networks of services to scale startup and second stage companies in the technology sector. The grant awards will leverage an additional $7,732,043 in non-state resources to assist with economic diversification throughout Virginia. “Regional collaboration is vital to growing our economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The projects funded through this round of GO Virginia will continue to support unique regional strategies, strengthen our entrepreneurial ecosystems, build a strong workforce, and encourage innovation throughout the Commonwealth. We look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition.” The GO Virginia grants will be used to implement projects that align with each region’s Growth and Diversification Plan. These locally developed plans identify priority industry sectors and strategies based on each region’s assets. Initiatives that advance strategies developed through the planning process are key in strengthening each region’s economy and creating better career opportunities for Virginians. "GO Virginia has created an incredible opportunity for regions to think creatively around their future economies and move the building blocks in place to get there,” said Tom Farrell, GO Virginia board chair. “We congratulate these applicants for their work and commitment to the goals of the program—strengthening regional economies and helping businesses to create good jobs to support Virginia families.” Since program inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 87 projects and awarded approximately $30.3 million to support regional economic development efforts. More information can be found about the GO Virginia program can be found here. 2020 ROUND ONE REGIONAL GRANT AWARDS GO VA Region and Partnering Localities Project Name Project Description   Award   Region 1: Dickenson and Grayson counties      SWVA Regional Agribusiness Opportunities   This position will meet a need identified in the plan to lead and coordinate business-development opportunities for the agricultural sector, a targeted industry identified by Region 1. $100,000 Region 2: Floyd, Giles and Montgomary counties Classrooms to Careers Classrooms to Careers will connect high school students and teachers to local IT businesses. Students will have opportunities to participate in IT internships and job shadowing, while teachers will work with these local IT companies to refine curriculum and better align certification offerings.   $180,000   Region 2: Alleghany, Botetourt and Roanoke counties and the Bedford and Vinton Increasing Birth Rates of New and High-Growth Companies   The Advancement Foundation (TAF) is continuing a previously funded pilot program designed to increase the number of high-growth companies by aligning regional assets, accelerating proof of concept, offering comprehensive technical support, and growing a culture of innovation.   $180,000       Region 4:Dinwiddie, Prince George and Sussex counties     Rowanty Technical Center Logistics Program   The Rowanty Technical Center will create a two-year global logistics program for high school students that includes forklift driver and OSHA-10 additional certifications. $110,213   Region 4: Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties and the city of Richmond VCU Pharmaceutical and Chemical Engineering Commercialization   VCU’s College of Engineering will develop a comprehensive strategic plan to support the commercialization of a new pharmaceutical manufacturing technology and develop a pharmaceutical engineering cluster in Region 4. $100,000 Region 4: Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties and the city of Richmond Developing Region 4’s Tech Talent Pipeline   VCU’s College of Engineering, together with numerous partners throughout Region 4, will create a comprehensive plan to better align the region’s existing tech talent educational programs and help expand the tech talent pipeline that the region needs now and in the future. $100,000                              Region 5: Cities of Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk and Suffolk Campus757   The Hampton Roads Workforce Council will develop a Campus757 business plan, and an online and offline platform to connect local job seekers with regional employers, using the previously funded CampusRVA project as a model for Region 5. $95,838 Region 6: Essex, Gloucester, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland counties Northern Neck Workforce Training Feasibility and Site Selection Study   The Northern Neck Planning District Commission, with partnerships from Rappahannock Community College, the Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board and local employers, will develop a blueprint of the region’s workforce needs to improve the quality and quantity of workforce training in the region. $62,500     Region 6: King George and Stafford counties and the city of Fredericksburg     Fredericksburg Region Cyber and Smart Tech Entrepreneurial Development Program   Stafford County Economic Development Agency, in partnership with King George County and the city of Fredericksburg, will implement a test program using the successful RIOT framework to help explore the potential market for hosting a technology-based accelerator focusing on tech and cyber opportunities. $75,000 Region 7: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the city of Fairfax Centurion Innovation Hub Refraction is developing the Centurion Innovation Hub to serve as a growth catalyst for the Northern Virginia innovation economy, based in the 33,000-square-foot co-working and event space located in Tysons Corner. Centurion will accelerate the development of startup companies with high-growth potential across innovative technology sectors, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G technologies, quantum computing and satellite-related technologies. $1,680,750     Region 8: Augusta, Bath, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham and Shenandoah counties and the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton and Waynesboro   Scale-up the Valley   The Shenandoah Valley Partnership, in partnership with the National Center for Economic Gardening, will lead the Scale-up the Valley initiative to help scale-up existing industry. The program focuses on small, successful companies that are mature enough to have a strong, positive financial record, are growing or poised for growth and have successfully grown beyond the startup stage.  $50,000   Region 8: Bath, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham and Shenandoah counties and the city of Staunton   Industrial Hemp Initiative Phase 1   James Madison University is leading a study that includes an economic landscape analysis, an agricultural data gathering effort among Region 8 growers and processors, and a web-based information sharing portal to better connect researchers to practitioners and publish and propel the results of this initiative forward. $53,630   Region 8: Augusta,  Bath, Highland, Page and Rockingham counties     Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Enterprise Center Feasibility Study   The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission will conduct a study to determine the feasibility of developing a certified, commercial, shared-use agricultural enterprise center. $85,000 Total: $2,872,931                


Initial $2.5 million in funding will house unsheltered individuals, support case management RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced an initial $2.5 million in emergency funding to shelter Virginia’s statewide homeless population during the COVID-19 pandemic. This emergency support will provide temporary housing for the approximately 1,500 Virginians who are currently unsheltered or rely on shelters that require them to leave every day. The funding will also provide housing for individuals in shelters that may need to be quarantined, or where social distancing is not feasible. “As we battle this unprecedented public health crisis, we must make sure no one is left behind,” said Governor Northam. “I have issued a statewide Stay at Home order, but we know there are many Virginians with no home to stay in. With this funding, we will ensure people experiencing homelessness have access to immediate housing options and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.” Funding will be used for hotel and motel vouchers, case management, food, cleaning supplies, and medical transportation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide partial funding to support individuals experiencing homelessness who are 65 and older, those with other pre-existing conditions, and those who have tested positive for COVID-19. People experiencing homelessness are more likely to have chronic health conditions that go untreated, and are among the populations most vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. In recent years, Virginia has seen an increase in the number of older adults experiencing homelessness. Virginia’s housing support system also relies largely on the use of congregate shelters, which can lack adequate space for social distancing. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) have provided guidance to homeless shelters on best practices to safely serve the homeless population during the COVID-19 epidemic. In addition, DHCD is preparing additional housing options for an estimated 10 percent of the 3,890 Virginians currently in shelters to allow space for social distancing and safe quarantine practices as needed. The Commonwealth has implemented a number of state and federal protections against housing insecurity during the COVID-19 crisis. The Supreme Court of Virginia has suspended eviction proceedings in all district and circuit courts through April 26, and evictions for all Housing Choice Voucher holders are halted for 120 days. For all mortgages guaranteed by federal mortgage programs, including Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) mortgages, the mortgage provider will defer mortgage payments—principal plus interest—for up to three months for those who have lost income due to COVID-19. Additional resources and information about Virginia’s COVID-19 response are available at 

Upcoming Events

COVID-19 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.

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 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.

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).

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.

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.