Recent News


Richmond – The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development announced today the Virginia Main Street Merit Award winners during the 2020 virtual Downtown Intersections training. The awards were given to seven winners in five merit areas celebrating excellence in downtown revitalization efforts. “Virginia’s Main Street organizations are continuing to transform our downtowns into vibrant communities through downtown revitalization, entrepreneurial support and innovative events that highlight what makes each community unique,” said DHCD Director Erik Johnston. “These winners are shining examples of how to do community development right and are on the front lines assisting our Main Streets and their businesses through the COVID-19 recovery and reopening process.” The VMS program, managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), provides assistance and training to help communities increase the economic vitality of their downtown commercial districts. Virginia Main Street uses the National Main Street model to help communities revitalize their downtowns by focusing on their unique heritage and attributes. The program helps communities implement a comprehensive revitalization strategy that creates economic growth and pride in downtowns. Currently, the VMS program has 26 designated communities and more than 90 Commercial District Affiliates. In 2019, Virginia Main Street communities generated more than $115.5 million in private investment, representing 523 rehabilitation projects, and created a net gain of 732 jobs. Below is a list of award recipients: 2020 Virginia Main Street Merit Awards Best Downtown Public Improvement Project Town of St. Paul for the Downtown Comprehensive Infrastructure Project Best Adaptive Reuse Project Seven Sisters Brewery in the town of Wytheville Outstanding Business Grizzly’s Hatchet House in the city of Danville Lineage in the city of Harrisonburg Best Downtown Business Promotion Historic Manassas Inc. for the Sip and Shop Town of Strasburg for the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Festival Volunteer of the Year Holly Redding for Winchester’s Old Town Advancement Commission For more information about the Virginia Main Street program, visit To view videos on each merit award winner, visit


Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to approximately 7,000 applicants HAMPTON—Governor Ralph Northam today announced $70 million for small businesses and nonprofit organizations whose normal operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will be made available through Rebuild VA, a new economic recovery fund, and grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to approximately 7,000 applicants to cover eligible expenses. Rebuild VA will be administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD). Businesses and nonprofits must be in good standing, have annual gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million, and have no more than 25 employees. Eligible businesses and nonprofits include food and beverage establishments, non-essential retail, exercise and fitness, entertainment and public amusement, personal care and personal grooming services, and private campground and overnight summer camps. Businesses must also certify that they have not received federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funds or other federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. “Small businesses and nonprofits are the backbone of the Virginia economy and the bedrock of our communities, and they have been devastated by this ongoing health crisis,” said Governor Northam. “Rebuild VA will help address the vast challenges that small businesses and nonprofits across our Commonwealth are facing as they work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Because many of the affected small businesses and nonprofits located in distressed and economically disadvantaged areas of Virginia, we are designating a portion of this funding to ensure they get the support they need.” SBSD worked together with the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to develop Rebuild VA. The parameters for the initiative were established in House Bill 1505, which was amended during the reconvened session to implement a grant program for certain small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s clear that our COVID-19 economic recovery is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, and this puts great pressure on our small businesses to make costly, unexpected adjustments, from paid sick leave to purchasing PPE,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “It is our goal that Rebuild VA will help ease the burden on small businesses, which are the livelihood of many Virginia families.” In an effort to accomplish the Northam administration’s objectives for diversity, equity, and inclusion, half of the program funds will be distributed to eligible small businesses and nonprofits operating in low-income and economically disadvantaged communities. This will help to meet the needs of underserved businesses and nonprofits with broad geographic diversity, while ensuring there is adequate representation of minority- and women-owned businesses. “Access to capital remains the number one challenge for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said SBSD Director Tracey G. Wiley. “At a time such as this, providing funding to the most vulnerable businesses—the unbanked and underserved is our primary objective. The Agency is proud to administer Rebuild VA in partnership with our sister agencies across the Commonwealth.” Rebuild VA funding may be utilized for the following eligible expenses: Payroll support, including paid sick, medical, or family leave, and costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during those periods of leave; Employee salaries; Mortgage payments, rent, and utilities; Principal and interest payments for any business loans from national or state-chartered banking, savings and loan institutions, or credit unions, that were incurred before or during the emergency; Eligible personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfecting materials, or other working capital needed to address COVID-19 response.   SBSD will hold several webinars to review eligibility requirements and documentation needed to apply when the application opens on August 10, 2020. A one-pager on Rebuild VA is available here. For more information about Rebuild VA, eligibility criteria, covered expenses, and how to submit an application, please visit


14 projects include new construction and rehabilitation of affordable and permanent supportive housing RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $10.3 million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing (ASNH) loans for 14 projects across the Commonwealth, creating or preserving 790 affordable housing units for low-income and very low-income Virginians. The projects will support new construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing for vulnerable populations and will leverage over $181 million in additional federal, state, local, and private lending resources.  “Quality affordable housing is essential to creating vibrant communities and ensuring that every Virginia family has the opportunity to thrive,” said Governor Northam. “That’s why I committed to doubling the Virginia Housing Trust Fund this past General Assembly session and will continue to prioritize efforts to transform our housing stock. This increased funding is even more critical as we work to address homelessness, reduce evictions, and help Virginians facing economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The funding comes from the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the federal National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund (VHTF). The Virginia Housing Trust Fund is a key source of financing for this initiative. Governor Northam worked with the General Assembly to double the Virginia Housing Trust Fund to $14 million in the previous fiscal year, which enabled additional awards to projects that will create and preserve affordable housing units, reduce the cost of housing, and increase homeownership.  ASNH loans are awarded through a competitive process, combining state and federal resources to ensure a simplified application process. The Department of Housing and Community Development administers the program to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing for Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens. “Each of these projects will help to address the significant affordable housing needs of the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These new affordable housing units will boost the vibrancy of our communities and help attract economic development opportunities to these communities, while leveraging a variety of sources of funding. I thank our state agencies and the many partners involved in working to secure these important resources.”  Spring 2020 Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans were awarded to the following organizations: Organization Project Name Amount Source Project Location Better Housing Coalition Cameo Street Apartments $800,000 VHTF Richmond Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority South First Street Phase One $800,000 VHTF NHTF City of Charlottesville Community Housing Inc. Brookland Park Apartments $800,000 NHTF Richmond Community Housing Partners Northway $500,000 VHTF Galax Dakota Partners, Inc. Brady Square 9% $700,000 VHTF Richmond Humanities Foundation Keswick Senior Apartments $700,000 VHTF Spotsylvania Mark-Dana Corporation King William Manor $700,000 VHTF King William Project:HOMES Omni Park Place Senior Apartments $400,000 HOME Hanover Housing Partnerships Powhatan Terrace Apartments $700,000 HOME Williamsburg People Incorporated Sweetbriar II Apartments $800,000 VHTF Abingdon The Community Builders Church Hill North Phase 2B $700,000 VHTF Richmond The Maggie Walker Community Land Trust CLT Scattered Site Homeownership $440,000 VHTF Richmond Wesley Housing Development Corporation The Waypoint $700,000 VHTF Fairfax Wesley Housing Development Corporation Senseny Place $1,600,000 VHTF NHTF Winchester 

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Rent and Mortgage Relief Program

The Rent and Mortgage Relief Program will launch on Monday, June 29. Click here to find out if you may be eligible.

COVID-19 Homeless Assistance and Prevention

Those experiencing homelessness or other housing crisis should contact their local crisis assistance hotline by clicking here to find your local hotline.

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a market-based collaborative effort among Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector, while driving economic growth. DHCD, in coordination with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, will administer just over half of the proceeds from the RGGI cap and trade program to energy efficiency programs benefiting low-income Virginians by making investments in affordable housing.

Virginia Governor's Housing Conference

Mark your calendar for the 2020 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference on Nov. 18-20 at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in Roanoke, Virginia. Join us for Virginia’s largest housing event packed full of educational sessions led by experts in housing, finance, and community development as well as amazing networking opportunities with colleagues from across the commonwealth. 

Pool and Spa Safety

In the midst of summer, pool safety is at the forefront of our minds. Check out multiple resources to keep your family safe in and around pools. 

Local Government Exchange Program

The Virginia Local Government Exchange Program will serve as a vehicle to explore and build stronger relationships between community leaders in our vast state. This pilot program is a partnership of the Governor’s Office, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) and Virginia Municipal League (VML).

Partners for Better Communities Podcast

Each episode features the voices of leaders and change makers across the commonwealth. We will look at the innovation and inspiration at play as local, regional and state leaders work together to create safe, affordable and prosperous communities.

Virginia Disparity Study

Virginia has commissioned BBC Research & Consulting (BBC) to conduct a disparity study to assess whether barriers exist for minority- or woman-owned businesses that make it more difficult for them to compete for commonwealth contracts.

Virginia Main Street Blog

Check out the latest happenings in the Main Street and downtown revitalization world through the Virginia Main Street Blog.

2018 Code Development Process

The Virginia Building Codes are updated through the code development process. Virginia is a leader in building and fire code development, and stakeholder input is vital to Virginia’s code development process. Participation is encouraged and remote participation is made possible through cdpVA.

Landlord Tenant Handbook

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA) handbook has been prepared to provide information on the rights, remedies and responsibilities of landlords and renters concerning the rental process. Before signing a lease, prospective tenants should read and understand the terms of the contract. Consulting a lawyer or the landlord for clarification of the rental agreement is advisable.