Governor announces housing loans, including $635,000 for Claremont Schools Apartments project

Governor Northam Announces Over $24 Million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing Loans

Funding will support new construction and rehabilitation of 1,635 affordable and permanent supportive housing units

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam Monday, March 1 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.

Included in the loans approved is the Claremont School Apartments | Landmark Asset Services, Inc. project. The loan is for $635,000 from the federal National Housing Trust Fund.

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.

“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 an 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.