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Virginia lawmakers pass bills to collect data on pretrial detention

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The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation this week that lawmakers said will increase transparency and equity in the judicial system, which disproportionately impacts communities of color.

The bills, introduced by Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, and Del. Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, will create a centralized, publicly-accessible data collection system on pretrial detention. Senate Bill 1391 and House Bill 2110 both passed Thursday.

Pretrial detention is the practice of holding a defendant in jail until trial. It is used, officials say, to guarantee the defendant appears in court and to ensure public safety. The compiled pretrial data would be distributed annually by the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, or VCSC.

The bills require the VCSC to compile and share data on the sex, age, race, and zip code of an individual charged with a crime. The individual’s criminal background will also be included in the report without their name. No case identifying information could be accessed through the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, or made publicly available, per the bills.

Maisie Osteen, an attorney at the Legal Aid Justice Center, said the bills are a tremendous opportunity to understand release conditions like a bond or pretrial services. She said they also illuminate trends in the racial, gender, and economic demographics of people in jail.

“This is the heart of transparency,” Osteen said. “It’s opening up the actual raw data to the public in a downloadable, accessible format.”

In Virginia, 46% of the total jail population is being held pretrial, according to the Legal Aid Justice Center.

Lucas and Herring drafted the bills at the Virginia State Crime Commission’s recommendation. The lawmakers used data from the commission’s 2017 Pretrial Data Project, which sought to study the different types of release mechanisms involved in pretrial services, such as a bond or pretrial holdings. Of the individuals included in the data, 40% were Black, though this group makes up 20% of the commonwealth’s total population.

Cherise Fanno Burdeen, an executive partner at the Pretrial Justice Institute, said the commission’s new role was the first step in creating a more equitable Virginia. The institute provides information on current criminal justice issues and works to reform pretrial policies.

“The point of the bill is for advocates to take what they already knew was true about the way the system operates in terms of its disproportionate impact on communities of color,” Burdeen said. “And surely, its disproportionate impact on poor Virginians of all races.”

Being in jail before a trial can drastically destabilize the accused and their families, according to a 2020 National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) study. The research found that as a result of pretrial detention people were more likely to lose connections to employment, housing, and family.

Osteen said most people are held pretrial because they can’t make bail and are more likely to have non-salaried employment. She said they stand a greater chance of losing employment after a few days of being unable to report to work. This financial instability can then lead to a loss of housing or a loss of children.

The NLADA study also found that those held in pretrial detention are more likely to be rearrested for new crimes, and more likely to have longer prison sentences.

Osteen said that when a judge sees a defendant who “looks like a criminal” it can lead to harsher sentencing.

“I’ve heard judges say, honestly, ‘It’s just easier to send somebody to prison if they show up in a prison or jail outfit, then I already know they’ve been plucked from their lives,’” Osteen said.

She said the judges are less likely to feel as if sentencing is the destabilization factor because it has already happened to the defendant.

Osteen said she is excited by the potential impact data collection will have on understanding the commonwealth’s justice system. She wishes the legislation included information about why judges decide to detain a defendant or not, a standard not currently required, Osteen said.

According to the VCSC, this legislation will cause a significant increase in the agency’s workload. The agency expects it will need additional funding to finance two new salaried positions.

By Josephine Walker
Capital News Service

Capital News Service is a program of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students in the program provide state government coverage for a variety of media outlets in Virginia.

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Virginia Attorney General secures debt relief and restitution for student loan borrowers

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RICHMOND (March 3, 2021) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring today announced that he has secured debt relief and restitution for 700 Virginia student loan borrowers through a settlement with Equitable Acceptance Corporation (Equitable). Under the terms of the agreement, Equitable is required to cancel over $50,000 in debt and provide $40,000 in restitution for nearly 700 Virginians. The settlement resolves allegations that Equitable violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (VCPA) by making loans with illegal interest rates that were used by Virginians to purchase fake student debt relief services from companies that partnered with Equitable.

“Equitable scammed Virginia student borrowers by offering them illegal loans, when they were in vulnerable positions and needed help managing their debt,” said Attorney General Herring. “Tens of thousands of Virginia student loan borrowers, like so many around the country, face enormous amounts of debt once they have finished pursuing their educations. This settlement sends a strong message that my office will not tolerate debt relief scammers like Equitable and its partners who prey on Virginians who are in tough financial situations.”

Attorney General Herring’s Complaint alleges that:

• From February 20, 2015, through August 24, 2018, Equitable offered closed-end installment loans in Virginia, but misrepresented that its loans were a form of open-end credit;

• Equitable failed to qualify for an exemption from Virginia’s general usury cap of 12% APR, but misrepresented its ability to charge interest rates exceeding 12% APR; and

• Equitable and its partners conspired to offer fake student loan debt relief services to Virginia’s student loan borrowers and misrepresented the costs associated with those services.

The settlement includes the following key terms relating to loans Equitable made during the period in question:

• Equitable remains subject to a $5.5 million civil penalty to ensure its compliance with the settlement;

• Equitable agrees to pay $40,000 in restitution for 467 Virginia consumers who paid more than their loan principal plus 12% APR;

• Equitable agrees to give up the collection of $51,657.92 in illegal interest it charged on loans with 225 Virginia consumers;

• A payment to the Commonwealth of $10,000 for its costs and fees in investigating Equitable’s alleged violations of the VCPA; and

• Permanent injunctions preventing Equitable from, among other things, financing the purchase of student loan debt relief services in Virginia.

The settlement is in the form of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance which was filed for approval with the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond on March 2, 2021. This matter was handled by the Predatory Lending Unit of Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section. The Unit was established as a part of Attorney General Herring’s reorganization of his Consumer Protection Section, which now includes a focus on predatory lending in addition to deceptive conduct, antitrust matters, charitable solicitation, and more. During Attorney General Herring’s administration, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section has recovered approximately $356 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators.

For additional information on the settlement or to file a complaint about a consumer protection matter, please contact Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section:

By phone: (800) 552-9963
By email: consumer@oag.state.va.us
Online Contact Form/Online Complaint Form

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Dutch national affiliated with “Bugaloo Bois” arrested for illegal possession of a firearm

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ABINGDON, Va.- Jaap Willem Lijbers, a Dutch national and member of the Bugaloo Bois, was arrested yesterday on a federal criminal complaint charging him with illegal possession of a firearm while being unlawfully present in the United States. Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar and Christopher R. Derrickson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division announced the arrest on March 3, 2021.

Lijbers, 26, was living in the United States on an I-94 Visa that expired on May 20, 2014. A review of immigration records showed that Lijbers never applied for adjustment or readmission.
According to court documents, Lijbers, who was residing in Raven, Virginia, frequently coordinated and communicated online with members of the Bugaloo Bois, a loosely connected group of individuals espousing violent anti-government sentiments. During some of these interactions, court documents allege that Lijbers encouraged other members of the Bugaloo Bois group to attend political rallies and commit acts of violence, including taking over government buildings. Lijbers also encouraged others to participate in violent conduct against law enforcement officers in a “pig roast.”

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Kavanaugh is prosecuting the case for the United States.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Virginia Department of Elections announces completion of statewide post-election risk-limiting audit for the November 2020 election

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The Virginia Department of Elections’ (ELECT) Commissioner Christopher Piper announced today that Virginia’s elections administrators have successfully completed the state’s risk-limiting audit (RLA). The audit confirmed that the original count of the votes accurately portrayed the winners of the election in Virginia for the United States President and Senate.

Pursuant to Va. Code §24.2-671.1, ELECT is required to coordinate an annual post-election RLA of ballot scanner machines used in the Commonwealth of Virginia. ELECT collaborated with VotingWorks, a non-profit organization that assists with RLAs across the country. All 133 localities in Virginia participated in the audit.

“The success of Virginia’s first statewide audit reaffirms our dedication to ensuring secure and accurate elections for our voters,” said Christopher Piper, Virginia’s Commissioner of Elections. “I am proud of the hard work that our election administrators do in the Commonwealth, and this audit further exemplifies the integrity and validity of the 2020 November General Election results”.

The statewide audit provided opportunities for all localities and the public to participate. The audit results were reported today during a meeting with Virginia’s general registrars and electoral board members. You can find a copy of the audit results on our website: www.elections.virginia.gov.

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Virginia restaurants grapple with plastic foam container ban

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From vermicelli bowls to crispy chicken, Pho Luca’s, a Vietnamese-owned Richmond restaurant, uses plastic foam containers to package takeout meals. That may soon change after the General Assembly recently passed a bill banning such packaging.

After negotiations on a Senate amendment, the House agreed in a 57-39 vote last week on an amendment to House Bill 1902, which bans nonprofits, local governments, and schools from using polystyrene takeout containers. The Senate passed the amended bill in a 24-15 vote.

“We’re just leveling the playing field,” said Del. Betsy B. Carr, D-Richmond, about the amendment. “So not only do restaurants, but nonprofits and schools will be subject to this ban in 2025.”
Food chains with 20 or more locations cannot package and dispense food in polystyrene containers as of July 2023. The remaining food vendors have until July 2025. Food vendors in violation of the ban can receive up to $50 in civil penalty each day of violation.

Carr said she is glad Virginia is taking the lead to curb plastic pollution and that the measure will “make our environment cleaner and safer for all of our citizens (by) not having styrofoam in the ditches and in the water and in the food that we consume.”

This is the second year the bill was sent to a conference committee. Last year’s negotiation resulted in a reenactment clause stipulating the bill couldn’t be enacted until it was approved again this year by the General Assembly.

The COVID-19 pandemic loomed over this year’s bill dispute as businesses shift to single-use packagings, such as polystyrene, to limit contamination.

Lawmakers skeptical of the polystyrene ban spoke out on the Senate floor, arguing the ban will hurt small businesses who rely on polystyrene foam containers, which are known for their cheaper cost.

“The places that give me these containers are the places that are struggling the most right now,” said Sen. Jen A. Kiggans, R-Virginia Beach.

The pandemic has financially impacted the restaurant industry. In 2020, Virginia’s food services sector lost more than 20% of its employees from 2019, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Like many small businesses, Pho Luca’s has relied on polystyrene foam takeout packaging because it is affordable and functional.

Dominic Pham, the owner of the Pho Luca’s, said he has been in contact with several vendors that sell polystyrene alternatives, but it has been a challenge for Pham to find suitable alternatives.

Pho Luca’s currently uses plastic foam containers that cost about a nickel per container, Pham said. The alternatives will cost about 55 cents more. However, Pham said he is willing to make the change, recognizing that polystyrene containers are detrimental to the environment.

Pham said he distributed surveys to consumers on the possibility of raising prices to offset the cost of polystyrene alternatives. The results were overwhelmingly positive.

“Even if we have to upcharge them a dollar for the recyclable, reusable containers, people (are) happy to do that, they don’t mind,” Pham said.

The use of plastic foam containers has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several states and cities have reversed or delayed restrictions and bans on single-use plastics since April 2020, according to a USA Today report.

The pandemic also has resulted in an increase in single-use plastics, such as plastic bags and personal protective equipment. A 2020 report in the Environmental Science & Technology journal estimated plastic packaging to increase 14% as consumers seek out prepackaged items due to sanitary concerns.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic sparked renewed interest in single-use plastics, environmental organizations and businesses have spoken against the use of plastic foam containers. Polystyrene biodegrades slowly and rarely can be recycled, posing a risk to wildlife and human health, according to Environment Virginia.

MOM’s Organic Market, a mid-Atlantic grocery chain, has used compostable containers and cups since 2005.

“I think that it’s the right thing to do for the environment, for communities, for our residents,” said Alexandra DySard, the grocery chain’s environment, and partnership manager.

DySard said purchasing compostable takeout containers instead of polystyrene foam containers has not financially hurt the chain. She said using a plastic lid that can be recycled locally is a better alternative than using polystyrene foam.

Polystyrene alternatives will become more affordable and accessible the more businesses use those products, DySard said.

“If it’s a statewide change, that’s kind of the best-case scenario because everybody makes the change at once,” Dysard said. “And it’s driving demand for the product up and costs down.”

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk. If signed, Virginia will join states such as Maryland and Maine to ban polystyrene foam containers.

By David Tran
Capital News Service

Capital News Service is a program of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students in the program provide state government coverage for a variety of media outlets in Virginia.

Virginia moves closer to ban plastic foam containers

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Virginia lawmakers pass COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation bills

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The Virginia General Assembly passed multiple bills allowing health care workers and first responders to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they are disabled or die due to COVID-19.

“We did it!” Del. Chris Hurst, D-Blacksburg, said in a Twitter post. “Health care heroes who got COVID on the job will get the retroactive workers’ comp presumption they deserve!”

Hurst’s House Bill 1985 expanded workers’ compensation benefits for health care workers “directly involved in diagnosing or treating persons known or suspected to have COVID-19,” including doctors and nurses. The bill provides coverage from March 12, 2020, until Dec. 31, 2021.

The health care worker must have been treated for COVID-19 symptoms and been diagnosed by a medical provider to qualify for compensation before July 1, 2020. The individual must have received medical treatment and a positive COVID-19 test to be eligible for compensation after July 1, 2020.

The bill also said health care workers who refuse or fail to get vaccinated for COVID-19 will not be eligible for workers’ compensation. The aforementioned rule doesn’t apply if a physician determines vaccination will risk the worker’s health.

“This is how we honor our brave health care heroes that put themselves in harm’s way to treat those infected with this horrible virus,” Hurst said in a press release. “They sacrifice for us and deserve our utmost praise and admiration, but they also deserve our help.”

There were concerns about the bill’s costs, according to Hurst. The Senate tried to remove the bill’s retroactive clause, but the bill passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support following negotiations.

The Virginia Nurses Association said the bill will make it easier for nurses to access benefits.

“Unfortunately, too many Virginia nurses caught COVID-19 while treating patients,” the association said in a Facebook post. “For those that got very sick, there is no easy way to file for workers’ compensation, and many have suffered not only physically, but financially.”

Senate Bill 1375 and HB 2207 cover workers’ compensation for first responders who are diagnosed or died from COVID-19 on or after Sept. 1 of last year. The measures include firefighters, police officers, correctional and regional jail officers, and emergency medical services workers. The bills require an official diagnosis through a positive COVID-19 test and symptoms of the disease.

The House bill, sponsored by Del. Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, originally included a retroactive clause that compensated cases going back to March 2020, but that was taken out of the legislation’s final version.

“We fought tooth and nail to provide our first responders – the real heroes of the pandemic – coverage under workers’ compensation for COVID, and we got it done,” Jones said in a Twitter post.

By Sam Fowler
Capital News Service

Capital News Service is a program of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students in the program provide state government coverage for a variety of media outlets in Virginia.

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Governor Northam announces over $24 million in affordable and special needs housing loans

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On March 1, 2021, Governor Ralph Northam announced more than $24 million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans for 28 projects across the Commonwealth, creating or preserving 1,635 affordable housing units for low-income Virginians. The funding will help increase access to affordable housing, reduce homelessness, and provide permanent supportive housing options for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create housing challenges in our Commonwealth and across the country, we are pleased to deploy this funding to support Virginians who are most in need,” said Governor Northam. “The Affordable Special Needs Housing program is a valuable resource for increasing the availability of safe, affordable, and sustainable housing for low-income Virginians, particularly those with special needs. With this round of funding, we will advance projects that strengthen our communities and help ensure every Virginia resident has the opportunity to build a healthy, productive life in our Commonwealth.”

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 three main sources: the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the federal National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund (VHTF). Through the ASNH program, DHCD also supports the creation of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) units to serve Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens. In this round of funding, DHCD allocated more than $7 million through the HOME Program, over $4 million through the NHTF, $12.6 million through the VHTF, and an allotment of $500,000 through PSH funds.

Governor Northam and the General Assembly invested a historic $55 million in the Virginia Housing Trust Fund this fiscal year, and the governor’s budget proposal increases this funding to $70.7 million in the current year. VHTF provides financing for construction projects that create or preserve affordable housing units, reduce the cost of affordable housing, and increase homeownership. This funding is a key source of financing for these affordable housing initiatives to support moderate- and-low-income families, as well as supporting homeless reduction grants to provide rapid re-housing and longer-term housing solutions for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.

“This vital program fills gaps in financing to make safe and affordable housing for our most vulnerable populations possible,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Ensuring housing stability and supporting programs to make homelessness rare and nonrecurring is transformative, both to communities and to the lives of many Virginians, and with the pandemic, it’s more important than ever.”

Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans are awarded through a competitive process. Forty-three applications were received for this round of funding, requesting more than $42 million. 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 create or preserve 1,635 affordable housing units, targeting low-income and very low-income Virginians and leverage over $351 million in additional federal, state, local, and private lending resources.

Fall 2020 Affordable and Special Needs Housing Awardees:

Arlington View Terrace East | AHC Inc.
$900,000 (VHTF)
Arlington County
The Arlington View Terrace East project will be a partial redevelopment of an existing 60-year-old, 77-unit affordable multifamily rental community in the Arlington View neighborhood. The new construction building will more than double the number of long-term affordable units on the parcel and add family-sized units in a neighborhood experiencing increased housing costs.

Central United Methodist Church Ballston Station | Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing
$900,000 (VHTF)
Arlington County
Central United Methodist Church Ballston Station is a new 144-unit residential construction project directly across the street from the Ballston Metro station in Arlington County. All units in this building are accessible under Fair Housing. Eight units will be fully accessible, and four will be accessible for sensory-impaired individuals.

Oakwood North Four | Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing
$900,000 (VHTF)
Fairfax County
The Oakwood North Four project will provide 79 units of critical affordable housing for independent seniors near the Van Dorn Metro station. This project will enable vulnerable households to age in place and includes a substantial number of smaller units focused on single-person senior households, which will be fully accessible under Fair Housing.

Winchester Forest 9% | Better Housing Coalition
$700,000 (HOME)
$700,000 (VHTF)
City of Richmond
Winchester Forest 9% is a 72-unit affordable housing apartment complex that will be constructed as an expansion of the neighboring Winchester Greens (240 units) and Market Square (229 senior units) communities. This is a master-planned community that includes a mix of family and age-restricted apartments, a community health center, a childcare center, and commercial uses.

Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity Affordable Housing 2020 | Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity
$400,000 (HOME)
City of Winchester
The Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity Affordable Housing 2020 project will result in five affordable home ownership units for five families that earn less than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). Funding will be used for families and individuals who are residents of Winchester. Families will participate in seminars that prepare them for first-time homeownership and contribute to the construction of their homes, performing 200 hours of “sweat equity.”

The Avenue to Family Housing | Central Valley Habitat for Humanity, Inc.
$450,000 (HOME)
City of Harrisonburg
The Avenue to Family Housing project will build three duplexes for a total of six units on two separate sites in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Four of these units will be developed using the funds from the ASNH grant, and a fifth unit will be developed using these funds in the Brentwood subdivision located in Rockingham County. Roads, curbs, sidewalks, and water and sewer infrastructure have been established at both sites. Families will participate in seminars that prepare them for first-time homeownership and contribute to the construction of their homes, performing 200 hours of “sweat equity.”

Daffodil Gardens Phase Two | Chesapeake Bay Housing, Inc.
$260,000 (VHTF)
Gloucester County
The Daffodil Gardens Phase Two project will support the construction of 40 apartments in a single, three-story building served by an elevator. The building is located less than one mile from Riverside Health System’s Walter Reed Hospital and numerous other services and shopping.

Woods at Yorktown NC | Community Housing Partners
$500,000 (VHTF)
$300,000 (HOME)
York County
Woods at Yorktown NC will expand 60 units of an existing 118-unit apartment community. This project will include the new construction of five three-story, 12-unit buildings comprised of two- and three-bedroom units. Twenty units will be built to meet Universal Design standards. In addition, six units will be built to be fully accessible, and two units will be built to serve residents who are hearing and/or site impaired.

Northway | Community Housing Partners
$500,000 (VHTF)
City of Galax
Northway is an existing affordable multifamily development of 72 units, including one-, two-, and three-bedroom garden-style apartments. Eight of the units will be designed to meet Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and two units will be designed to serve residents who are hearing and/or sight impaired. Sixty units will benefit from project-based rental assistance which means these households will not have to pay more than 30 percent of their income towards housing costs including utilities.

Habitat for Humanity Roanoke Valley Affordable Homes 2020 | Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley
$806,868 (HOME)
City of Roanoke
This project will build and renovate 10 single-family homes, including seven new builds and three rehabilitations. The properties will primarily be constructed within the Belmont-Fallon target area. Families will participate in seminars that prepare them for first-time homeownership and contribute to the construction of their homes, performing 200 hours of “sweat equity.”

Charles City and Forest Heights Homebuyer | Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg
$300,000 (HOME)
Charles City County and the city of Williamsburg
This project will consist of the construction of six homes, two in Williamsburg and four in Charles City. Each home will be affordable, single-family, and detached. The project will benefit low- to moderate-income families (up to 80 percent of the AMI), that will purchase the homes from Habitat for Humanity as first-time homebuyers. Families will participate in seminars that prepare them for first-time homeownership and contribute to the construction of their homes, performing 200 hours of “sweat equity.”

Fairview Town Homes | Helping Overcome Poverty’s Existence, Inc.
$150,000 (PSH)
Town of Wytheville
The Fairview Town Homes project will create 12 two-bedroom units, with four units reserved for Permanent Supportive Housing. The permanent supportive housing services will be provided through a memorandum of understanding with Mount Rogers Community Services.

Southside Lofts | Landmark Asset Services, Inc.
$615,000 (HOME)
Pittsylvania County
The Southside Lofts project will renovate Southside High School/Blairs Middle School, which was built in 1953, into 55 affordable units for low- to moderate-income individuals and families. The community will offer a wide range of amenities, including a computer room with free access to WiFi for residents, a fitness room, a community room, and outdoor recreation areas. Pittsylvania County will lease the former auditorium and make it available to the residents for public functions.

Claremont School Apartments | Landmark Asset Services, Inc.
$635,000 (NHTF)
Pulaski County
This project will redevelop the presently vacant Claremont Elementary School into 50 affordable housing units for low- to moderate-income individuals, families, and seniors. The proposed Claremont School Apartments will encompass the historic school building, originally completed in 1952, as well as a newly constructed three-story building. All units will be fully accessible.

Richmond Senior | Michaels Development Company
$900,000 (VHTF)
$900,000 (NHTF)
City of Richmond
Richmond Senior is a redevelopment project with six senior-designated properties consisting of 349 units currently owned by the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Supportive housing services will be available to all 349 units, with 35 units set aside for Permanent Supportive Housing in partnership with Homeward, a Richmond-based nonprofit organization.

City Line Apartments | Millbrook Realty Group
$900,000 (VHTF)
City of Newport News
City Line Apartments is a fully subsidized multifamily property comprised of 200 one- and two-bedroom units centrally located in Newport News. In addition to offering fully rent-subsidized units, City Line will be setting aside 20 units for the provision of Permanent Supportive Housing, specifically for households that have serious mental illness and/or an intellectual or developmental disability, along with those persons who are returning from incarceration. This project will renovate and rehabilitate the existing rental property to modernize the units including energy efficiency upgrades, upgrading a minimum of 10 units to be fully accessible to individuals with physical disabilities, and two units to be accessible to individuals with sensory impairments.

Renaissance Ridge Phase I | Nelson County Community Development Foundation
$400,000 (HOME)
$200,000 (VHTF)
Nelson County
The Renaissance Ridge Phase I project is the new construction of 60 housing units in the Wintergreen community, with 20 workforce housing units targeting families with household incomes less than 80 percent of the AMI. The proposed development has dedicated open space featuring minimal site disturbance and access to several amenities.

Carrier Point I | Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority
$700,000 (VHTF)
$700,000 (NHTF)
City of Newport News
Carrier Point I is the 43-unit residential portion of Newport News’ Marshall-Ridley Revitalization Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan’s first phase. Carrier Point I and Carrier Point II are sister developments, located on parcels separated by a public street being developed simultaneously as nine-percent and four-percent low-income housing tax credit twinned transactions. Carrier Point I will have 43 mixed-income units, which will include seven one-bedroom units, 27 two-bedroom units, and nine three-bedroom units spread between two buildings. One building will be a four-story, elevator building with residential apartments, a community room, and a management suite on the ground floor.

Carrier Point II | Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority
$700,000 (VHTF)
$700,000 (NHTF)
City of Newport News
Carrier Point II is the 38-unit residential portion of Newport News’ Marshall-Ridley Revitalization Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan’s first phase. Carrier Point I and Carrier Point II are sister developments, located on parcels separated by a public street being developed simultaneously as nine-percent and four-percent low-income housing tax credit twinned transactions. Carrier Point II will include 14 one-bedroom units, 21 two-bedroom units, and three three-bedroom units in a four-story, elevator building with residential apartments, a ground floor community room, and a fitness room on the ground floor.

Sweetbriar II Apartments | People Incorporated Housing Group
$600,000 (VHTF)
Town of Abingdon
Sweetbriar II Apartments is a new construction apartment community consisting of 22 units in 11 duplex-style buildings, comprised of three-bedroom, two-bathroom garden and townhome units. Five of the garden-style units will be fully accessible, and six will include Universal Design features. Highlands Community Services, the Community Services Board for Washington County, will provide referrals and offer ongoing supportive and independent living services to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities or serious mental illness living in these Permanent Supportive Housing units.

The Coile | Petersburg Community Development Corporation, Inc.
$700,000 (VHTF)
$700,000 (NHTF)
City of Newport News
The Coile is a 62-unit new construction multifamily, mixed-income development with sustainable design elements including a rooftop terrace garden, electric car charging ports, solar benches, and a kinetic tile children’s game. The community will also be EarthCraft Gold certified, and all units will be constructed to meet Universal Design Standards. The Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech is conducting a 10-year case study to monitor the construction processes and evaluate variances in energy consumption between the two buildings (traditional stick-framing methods versus panelization construction). The goal is to publish the academic findings and set a precedent for sustainable multifamily design in the Commonwealth.

Kilmarnock Village | Petersburg Community Development Corporation, Inc.
$240,000 (VHTF)
Town of Kilmarnock
Kilmarnock Village is an affordable multifamily development consisting of 24 units originally constructed in 1984 and renovated in 2002 with tax credit financing. Kilmarnock Village will renovate the property with an allocation of tax credits and the assumption and reamortization of the outstanding USDA Rural Development Section 515 loan. Comprised of one- and two-bedroom garden apartments, all units will be restricted to households earning below 60 percent of the AMI. Twenty-three units are subsidized and will benefit from project-based rental assistance and five units are reserved for veterans. Five units will be renovated to be fully accessible according to Section 504 regulations and Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. Under the proposed terms of the USDA and low-income housing tax credit financing, this development will remain affordable for 50 years.
Omni Park Place Senior | Project:HOMES
$400,000 (VHTF)
Hanover County
Omni Park Place Apartments is the proposed rehabilitation of an existing 61-unit project that will convert seven additional units to full accessibility and house individuals previously excluded from affordable housing due to disabilities.

Florida Terrace | Rush Homes, Inc.
$900,000 (HOME)
$700,000 (VHTF)
$450,000 (NHTF)
City of Lynchburg
Florida Terrace will provide 31 affordable and accessible new construction apartments primarily for individuals and families with disabilities who also have incomes less than 60 percent of the AMI. Florida Terrace will set aside eight one-bedroom units for Permanent Supportive Housing and four units for persons with developmental disabilities. The Permanent Supportive Housing units will have rent subsidy via project-based vouchers provided by the Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority. The project includes one 23-unit, two-story building with an elevator and two additional quadruplexes with units at ground level.

Ovation at Arrowbrook | SCG Development
$900,000 (VHTF)
$900,000 (NHTF)
$600,000 (HOME)
Fairfax County
Ovation at Arrowbrook (Arrowbrook Apartments I) will be new construction of 126 family units, consisting of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments for tenants with incomes at or below 30 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent, and 60 percent of the AMI. Six units will be reserved for individuals with developmental disabilities with incomes at or below 40 percent of the AMI. Fifteen units will be fully accessible to physically impaired and/or sensory impaired residents. The building will include a structured parking garage, finished clubroom, fitness room, a conference center, and a study and computer center. The project will include an outdoor lounge and grilling area, bicycle storage, dog park access, as well as proximity to a 15-acre park inside the development site.

High Street Apartments | Southside Community Development and Housing Corporation
$500,000 (HOME)
City of Petersburg
The High Street Apartments will be new construction of an 11-unit apartment building. The Southside Community Development and Housing Corporation has partnered with UnitedHealthcare on a housing and health pilot program to provide affordable housing units for rapid re-housing efforts for chronically homeless individuals under 30 percent of the AMI on Medicaid through a Permanent Supportive Housing program. The project will provide health care, transportation, broadband, housing counseling, financial readiness counseling, employment counseling, and digital and technology literacy training. Both organizations have the explicit goal of utilizing housing rental vouchers and subsidies to keep residents permanently housed in the units as they transition out of the pilot program and continue providing supportive services as needed.

Cool Lane Apartments | Virginia Supportive Housing
$300,000 (VHTF)
Henrico County
The Cool Lane Apartments project is an adaptive re-use of a vacant building located in Henrico County. Virginia Supportive Housing will thoroughly renovate the former assisted living facility into Permanent Supportive Housing for homeless and low-income individuals. The existing structure will be redesigned and adapted to create 86 units of affordable housing, 13 of which will be fully accessible to individuals with disabilities. The project will also incorporate various resident amenities, including a large community room with a kitchen and pantry, resident computer lab, phone room, fitness room, and laundry facilities. The building will also contain offices for onsite support services and property management staff as well as a security system and front desk, which will be staffed 16 hours a day.

Pump Street | Valley Area Community Support, Inc.
$500,000 (PSH)
City of Staunton
The Pump Street project will enable the refinancing and rehabilitation of a recently acquired and established 8,000-square-foot concrete block building. The project will provide six equally-sized, one-bedroom apartments suitable for housing Valley Area Community Support, Inc. mission-specific tenants. There is off-street parking for all tenants. The rehabilitation of the existing six apartments includes replacing six 25-year-old cooling-only air conditioning systems with high-efficiency heat pumps.

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Upcoming Events

Mar
9
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 9 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Mar
13
Sat
10:00 am HSWC Polar Plunge @ Culpeper Lake at the 4-H Center
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Culpeper Lake at the 4-H Center
Mar 13 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Culpeper Lake at the 4-H Center
The Humane Society of Warren County “Polar Plunge” delayed from February 20 due to “too-polar” weather here in northwestern Virginia has been rescheduled to Saturday, March 13 – Don’t worry, it will still be a[...]
Mar
16
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 16 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Mar
23
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 23 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Mar
28
Sun
2:00 pm Pictures with the Easter Bunny @ Warren County Community Center
Pictures with the Easter Bunny @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 28 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Pictures with the Easter Bunny @ Warren County Community Center
Come join the staff of Warren County Parks and Recreation and get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny! Pictures will be taken and printed on site; upon departure you will be given an Easter[...]
Mar
30
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 30 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Apr
3
Sat
12:00 pm Egg-stravaganza! @ Sky Meadows State Park
Egg-stravaganza! @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 3 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Egg-stravaganza! @ Sky Meadows State Park
Eggs are popping up all over Sky Meadows State Park. Visit our egg-laying free-range chickens by taking our Chicken Walk. Go on an egg-citing Geocache adventure. Kids, use your scavenger hunting skills using clues from[...]
Apr
17
Sat
all-day Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
Apr 17 all-day
Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
This tried and true Epic 24-hour AR will test your biking, paddling, trekking, and navigation skills as you explore two state parks (one of them brand new!) and national forest lands. Join soloists and teams[...]
Apr
24
Sat
10:00 am Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 24 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
On this Earth Day, celebrate safely by doing your part to restore our earth and joining the Great Global Cleanup. Stop by one of our tables at the Explorer Outpost, Picnic Area, or Lost Mountain[...]