McAuliffe announces $2.5 million in funding to help revive Richmond’s East End

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday $5 million in Vibrant Community Initiative (VCI) funding for housing and community development projects.

The city of Richmond and Montgomery County will each receive $2.5 million for a regional comprehensive community-based strategy to expanding the availability of affordable housing and creating more opportunity for community residents to succeed.

“The Vibrant Community Initiative channels vital funding to affordable housing in central Virginia, which in turn fosters economic growth and job opportunities for communities that need it most,” Governor McAuliffe said. “We want to ensure that every Virginian has the opportunities to succeed and this starts with investments at the local level in housing, schools, and infrastructure. By combining state and federal resources, this pilot program will serve as a foundation for future economic investments and local initiatives across Virginia as we continue to build our new Virginia economy.”

VCI combines multiple Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) funding sources to support local or regional comprehensive community-based projects including affordable housing, community development and economic development components.

“This comprehensive approach will not only address affordable housing needs but also assist the development and execution of an economic and community development strategy that will create an overall better quality of life for their residents.”

“This comprehensive approach will not only address affordable housing needs but also assist the development and execution of an economic and community development strategy that will create an overall better quality of life for their residents.” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones said.

A tiered application process was utilized to solicit proposals, and applicants were required to submit a letter of interest to identify the project and its key characteristics.

A panel with representatives from DHCD and VHDA evaluated the proposals. Site visits were conducted for the five highest rated projects, and those five applicants all submitted final proposals for the $5 million program.

Richmond Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the Community Builders received funding for the city of Richmond project, which is focused on the Church Hill North and East End Revitalization.

The Church Hill North/East End Revitalization is a comprehensive project that focuses on increasing opportunities for low- to moderate-income residents by building quality and affordable housing options for residents of a variety of income levels.

The project capitalizes on ongoing economic and community development work and leverages existing plans to address the East End business corridor’s needs and lack of community amenities.

The VCI investment will fund the development of 220 units of rental housing for a mixed-income community, including 128 units of replacement public housing for residents of the nearby Creighton Court Public Housing development.

In addition, the VCI resources will be allocated to support homeownership opportunities for residents located on the site of the currently vacant old Armstrong High School.

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