Recent News

Virginia Seal

08.07.2020
Court suspends eviction proceedings through September 7 at Governor’s request RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced a temporary statewide moratorium on eviction proceedings in Virginia. The moratorium, which will begin on Monday, August 10 and remain in effect through Monday, September 7, halts all eviction proceedings related to failure to pay rent. Governor Northam requested this moratorium in a letter to Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Lemons on July 24. “Today’s decision comes at a time when we are still battling this public health crisis and need all Virginians to maintain safe, stable housing,” said Governor Northam. “As the ongoing Congressional stalemate leaves hundreds of thousands of Virginians without federal housing protection or unemployment relief, this is a critical step towards keeping families safely in their homes. I am grateful to the Virginia Supreme Court for granting this order, and I look forward to working with the General Assembly this month to develop more permanent legislative protections for Virginia homeowners and tenants.” On June 29, Governor Northam launched the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP), which provides an initial $50 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for Virginia households facing eviction and foreclosure due to COVID-19. Eligibility and application information for the RMRP is available here. Tenants are encouraged to know their rights and responsibilities and pay their rent on time if they are able. Please visit StayHomeVirginia.com for additional information and resources on tenant rights. Governor Northam’s letter to Chief Justice Lemons requesting this moratorium is available here. Today’s order from the Virginia Supreme Court can be found here.

VMS

07.30.2020
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 www.dhcd.virginia.gov. To view videos on each merit award winner, visit www.youtube.com/user/VirginiaDHCD.

rebuild

07.27.2020
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 governor.virginia.gov/RebuildVA.

Upcoming Events

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.