The 15th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station successfully launched today at 12:36 p.m. from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A located on Wallops Island. The mission, designated NG-15, is a partnership of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, NASA Wallops Flight Facility, and Northrop Grumman.
Northrop Grumman’s unmanned Cygnus spacecraft launched on the company’s Antares rocket, carrying approximately 8,200 pounds of cargo that included scientific investigations, crew supplies, and hardware. A secondary payload of thirty ThinSats, which are small satellites that carry scientific experiments into space and are capable of transmitting data from low earth orbit, was integrated on the second stage of the Antares as part of a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) student outreach program.
The Cygnus spacecraft has been named in honor of longtime Virginia resident and pioneering Black NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and in celebration of Black History Month. Northrop Grumman traditionally names each spacecraft after an individual who has played a pivotal role in the legacy of human spaceflight. Johnson’s hand-written calculations were critical to the success of America’s early human spaceflight missions. She was among the group of Black women mathematicians at NASA who were celebrated in the 2016 film ‘Hidden Figures,’ based on the nonfiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly with the same title. The February 20 launch date also marks the 59th anniversary of the launch of Friendship 7, a mission that made John Glenn the first American astronaut to orbit Earth. Glenn asked Johnson to verify the complex orbital trajectory calculations prior to his flight.
“This important mission honors the legacy of Katherine Johnson, who broke through barriers of gender and race, and whose mathematical skill has been integral to the advancement of human spaceflight,” said Governor Northam. “Her work also paved the way for the delivery of critical equipment and scientific experiments to the International Space Station, like that which is aboard this spacecraft bearing her name. We remain committed to making strategic investments to support the growing aerospace industry in Virginia and help shape the future of space exploration.”
The S.S. Katherine Johnson will arrive at the International Space Station on Monday, February 22, and will remain attached to the space station for approximately three months. NG-15 is the thirteenth successful Antares launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A, which serves as the homeport of the Northrop Grumman Antares launch vehicle. The Commonwealth built the $120 million launchpads to accommodate the Antares 230+ rocket configuration and Cygnus spacecraft.
Once the S.S. Katherine Johnson is deployed to the International Space Station filled with the primary cargo payload, the ThinSats will be released into Extreme Low Earth Orbit (ELEO) from the second stage of the rocket. Students will be able to collect and analyze data relayed from their satellites for approximately five days before they deorbit and burn upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. Today’s mission marks the second time Virginia Space has launched ThinSats on a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket—the inaugural launch was on April 17, 2019. First Lady Pamela Northam witnessed the liftoff and participated in a virtual ThinSats team meeting with students ahead of the launch.
“As a former science educator, I understand the importance of sparking curiosity and inspiring young minds to explore their world,” said First Lady Pamela Northam. “I am so pleased to be able to watch this innovative STEM initiative launch the dreams—and possibly careers—of students across the country thanks to the amazing team at Wallops.”
The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (Virginia Space), in partnership with Northrop Grumman, NASA Wallops Flight Facility, and Twiggs Space Lab, created the ThinSat Program, a low-cost initiative to increase student engagement in STEM-related fields. Through this program, students in grades 4-12, as well as university-level students, have developed satellite hardware, tested sensor components with low and high-altitude balloon flights, analyzed data, and as of today, launched an actual payload into space.
Satellites for the ThinSat NG-15 mission were built by students from more than 50 elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities located in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Princeton University, Salisbury University, and Taylor University, along with Virginia institutions Old Dominion University, George Mason University, and Virginia Tech designed custom payloads for the ThinSat NG-15 mission. Learn more about the ThinSat Program and the custom payloads here.
“We are living in such an exciting time for space exploration,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Today, we launched an Antares rocket carrying a spacecraft that bears the name of NASA pioneer Katherine Johnson, witnessed the ingenuity of students, and marked the fifteenth resupply mission to the International Space Station.”
“The Virginia Space ThinSats mission for NG-15 was especially challenging for schools during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Virginia Space CEO and Executive Director Dale Nash. “Like the vigilant Virginia Space workforce that has safely continued mission-essential work during COVID-19, these students and their instructors persevered, showing tremendous resilience and grace.”
The Cygnus spacecraft is also carrying critical materials to directly support some of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during future expeditions. The scientific investigations launching on Cygnus are part of commercial and academic payloads across a variety of disciplines, including:
• Micro-16, a study of muscle strength changes in worms that will help scientists better understand the cause of decreased muscle strength that astronauts experience in microgravity. The findings could support the development of countermeasures to help maintain crew member health and support new therapies to combat the effects of age-related muscle loss on Earth.
• The European Space Agency Dreams experiment will serve as a technology demonstration of the Dry-EEG Headband in microgravity, while also monitoring astronaut sleep quality during a long-duration flight mission.
• Spaceborne Computer-2 will build off of the success of its first study to explore how commercial off-the-shelf computer systems—those without radiation shielding or other modifications—can advance space exploration by processing data significantly faster in space, speeding scientists’ time-to-insight from months to minutes.
• The Protein-Based Artificial Retina Manufacturing experiment builds upon an earlier project and will examine how microgravity may optimize production of artificial retinas or retinal implants, which could benefit millions of people on Earth who suffer from retinal degenerative diseases.
• The International Space Station serves as a testing ground for technologies that NASA plans to use on future Artemis missions to the Moon. The Artemis HERA on Space Station (A-HoSS) is a radiation detection system developed for the Orion spacecraft and certified for use on NASA’s Artemis II mission. The investigation will evaluate this hardware in the space radiation environment prior to the Artemis II mission, the first mission on which astronauts will orbit the Moon in the spacecraft.
• Previous research has shown that microgravity produces larger, clearer protein crystals that can be used to help better understand diseases and identify treatments. Real-Time Protein Crystal Growth-2 will test new ways of growing protein crystals in space and allow scientists to make real-time adjustments to the growth conditions throughout the duration of the experiment.
• The Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) is a critical element of regenerative life support technology that provides clean air and water to the space station crew. The Exploration ECLSS: Brine Processor System investigation will upgrade to the space station’s life support system to help provide more clean air and water.
This will be the fourth mission under Northrop Grumman’s Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) contract with NASA, for which the company will fly a minimum of eight missions to the International Space Station through 2024. Launchpad modifications in 2019 made it possible to accommodate the loading of time-sensitive experiments into the Cygnus spacecraft up to 24 hours before liftoff, shortening the previous four-day pre-loading requirement. This is the fourth official mission to use this late loading capability, which has made the facility eligible for missions that include life science investigations in the payload.
Last year marked 25 years since the Virginia General Assembly established Virginia Space Flight as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the 75th anniversary of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Wallops Flight Facility. Twenty successful missions have launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.
Virginia Space owns and operates the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), the MARS Payload Processing Facility, and the MARS Unmanned Systems Test Range. The facilities are all located on the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where their mission is to provide low-cost, safe, reliable, and “schedule-friendly” access to space and secure facilities for testing unmanned vehicles for integration into the National Air Space. Virginia continues to play a key role in national security and assured access to space, as one of only four states in the United States hosting a spaceport licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to launch spacecraft into orbit or on interplanetary trajectories. For more information, visit vaspace.org.
Virginia Attorney General secures debt relief and restitution for student loan borrowers
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:
Dutch national affiliated with “Bugaloo Bois” arrested for illegal possession of a firearm
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.
Virginia Department of Elections announces completion of statewide post-election risk-limiting audit for the November 2020 election
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.
Virginia restaurants grapple with plastic foam container ban
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 lawmakers pass COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation bills
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.
Governor Northam announces over $24 million in affordable and special needs housing loans
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.