Contact Us

 

City of Richmond
Housing & Community Development 

Main Street Station
1500 East Main Street, Suite 400
Richmond, VA 23219
 

Federally Funded Programs

The City of Richmond invests in homeless prevention and shelter, affordable housing, and neighborhood revitalization through specific federally-funded programs including:

  • The Community Block Grant program (CDBG);
  • The Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME);
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA); and
  • The Emergency Solutions Grant program (ESG).

 

With the use of these federal resources, the City also implements the federal requirements of Section 3 Employment and Davis Bacon wage rates.

 

Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG)

 

The City of Richmond Community Development Block (CDBG) Program receives federal funding to develop viable urban communities by providing decent and affordable housing, services to the most vulnerable individuals in our communities, and by creating jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. One of our primary focuses is to increase the number of affordable housing units for low and moderate income residents.

The CDBG program is one of the longest continuously U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) run programs. Beginning in 1974, the program addresses a wide range of unique community development needs.

The City received $4,462,031 in CDBG Program funding for FY20.

Community Development Block Grant funds constitute the largest block of financial resources available to the City for housing and community development activities. These flexible funds are provided on an annual basis to the City to carry out a wide range of community activities focused in the areas of:

  • Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Economic Development
  • Public Facilities
  • Planning
  • Public Services

All CDBG activities must meet a Broad National Objective (BNO). The objectives fall into three primary categories:

  • Providing a Benefit to Low to Moderate Income Persons
  • Preventing or Eliminating Slums and Blight
  • Meeting an urgent need, in cases of natural disasters or other emergencies

CDBG Program funds may be used for activities which include, but are not limited to:

  • Acquisition of real property
  • Relocation and demolition
  • Rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures Construction of public facilities and improvements, such as water and sewer facilities, streets, neighborhood centers, and the conversion of school buildings for eligible purposes
  • Public services, within certain limits
  • Activities relating to energy conservation and renewable energy resources
  • Provision of assistance to profit-motivated businesses to carry out economic development and job creation/retention activities

To view a list of CDBG Partners, click here

For a HUD Fact Sheet on the CDBG Program, click here.

Additional information regarding the CDBG Program can be found at https://www.hud.gov.

For questions or information about our CDBG Program please email Housing and Community Development Administrator Daniel Mouer at Daniel.mouer@richmondgov.com

 

Home Investment Partnership (HOME) Program

The HOME Program was created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990.

The City of Richmond HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) receives federal funding for neighborhood revitalization programs such as Neighborhoods in Bloom (NiB) and other housing related activities across the City. The City of Richmond uses HOME resources to contract with local housing community development corporations, for-profit organizations, non-profit agencies, and the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) to achieve the ultimate goal of stabilizing and revitalizing affordable housing in targeted City neighborhoods.

The City received $1,455,440 in HOME Program funding for FY20.                                                       

For more detailed information regarding the HOME Program, please refer to https://www.hud.gov.

The intent of the Federal HOME Program for localities is to:

  • Provide decent affordable housing to low- and moderate-income households;
  • Expand the capacity of non-profit housing providers to develop housing; and
  • Leverage public- and private-sector resources.

HOME-funded activities [24 CFR 92.252, 92.254] include:

  • Homeowner rehabilitation: HOME funds may be used to assist existing owner-occupants with the repair, rehabilitation, or reconstruction of their homes.
  • Homebuyer activities: The City of Richmond may finance the acquisition and/or rehabilitation or new construction of homes for homebuyers.
  • Rental housing: Affordable rental housing may be acquired and/or rehabilitated, or constructed to increase affordable housing opportunities.

The HOME Program provides grants and low-interest loans to assist low- and moderate-income communities - often in partnership with local nonprofit groups - to fund a wide range of activities described above. It is the largest Federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households.

Currently, the HOME Program in the City of Richmond provides funding for construction of low-income rental housing, new construction for homeownership, down payment assistance and housing rehabilitation projects:

For questions or information about the City's HOME Program please email Housing and Community Development Administrator Mary Blow at Mary.blow@richmondgov.com 

Credit Counseling Services

Is your credit not the best? Are you concerned that you may not be able to qualify for a loan because of your credit history or credit problems? Contact the following organizations

  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc.,
  • 2712 Chamberlayne Ave, Richmond, VA 23222
  • Richmond Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), 804-354-0641, http://homeofva.org/

They can work with you on an individual counseling basis to get your credit back on track and help you get yourself ready for home ownership.

 

Down Payment Assistance

The HOME program also funds HOME, Inc. for down payment and closing costs assistance to low-income first-time home buyers. HOME, Inc. offers forgivable loans of up to $15,000 for down payment and closing cost assistance to qualified applicants.

Contact HOME to see if you qualify at 804-354-0641. http://homeofva.org/

Home Buyer Education Classes

Classes for first-time and experienced home buyers are available on a regular basis from the following organizations.

Neighborhoods in Bloom 

Neighborhoods in Bloom (NIB) is an innovative City of Richmond program funded with federal HOME that supports the restoration of Richmond's historic neighborhoods. The program began in 1999 and won the recipient of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary's Opportunity and Empowerment Award.

The Department's staff works with nonprofit groups to buy, rehabilitate and sell vacant houses for homeownership.

The process to select the "Neighborhoods in Bloom" areas was very inclusive and deliberate. City staff developed a set of evaluation criteria to assess the conditions and potential for revitalization of each of the city's neighborhoods.

Neighborhood condition criteria included the following items.

  • the number of vacant properties
  • crime statistics
  • poverty levels
  • home ownership rates
  • housing quality

Revitalization potential was evaluated upon the strength of civic associations in the neighborhoods, the existence of redevelopment plans, and market trends.

City staff conducted numerous community meetings to obtain citizen input on the process and the neighborhoods they would recommend for the Neighborhoods in Bloom program. All of this information - the data, categorizations, and community perspectives - was provided to three separate groups. These were a group of civic leaders, a task force of housing providers, and city staff.

Each group independently reviewed the neighborhoods and recommended the finalists. After their independent evaluation, representatives from the three groups met to consolidate their decisions into a consensus recommendation to City Council for approval of the first "Neighborhoods in Bloom" communities.

The initial program premise was, and remains, that a concentrated investment of resources in a limited impact area can have a substantial impact for a targeted revitalization area. In Nib, the city works with nonprofit partners who

  • Buy vacant houses, rehabilitate them, and sell them for home ownership.
  • Buy vacant lots, build houses, and sell them for home ownership.
  • Provide homebuyer education classes and counsel potential buyers in determining affordability and purchase power.
  • Provide down payment assistance.
  • Assist owner occupants with house repairs and renovations.
  • In addition to removing blight and increasing home ownership in the city, the program seeks to instill private sector confidence to invest in rental and for sale.

NiB Neighborhoods

Bellemeade NiB

Bellemeade is a neighborhood with a strong sense of community. As far back as 1910, Bellemeade was known for its many African-American residents who worked at the industries on the Jefferson Davis Highway and Commerce Road corridor.

Today, Bellemeade is a front-porch neighborhood with a wealth of early-twentieth century one and two story Cape-Cod-style houses. Most of the neighborhood's housing stock was built in the 1940's after World War II to accommodate the soldiers coming home.

The Bellemeade community is committed to saving its structures with a character reminiscent of the early-twentieth century. In addition, new construction is designed to complement the neighborhood's character.

Blackwell NiB

Blackwell is a neighborhood with a strong sense of community. As far back as 1874, Blackwell was known for its many African-American-owned businesses created by the workers and merchants who lived there.

Today, Blackwell is a front-porch neighborhood of tree-lined streets with a wealth of late-nineteenth-century Italianate- and Victorian-style houses and early-twentieth-century bungalows.

The Blackwell community is committed to saving its structures with a character reminiscent of the early twentieth century. In addition, new construction is designed to complement the neighborhood's historic character.

Church Hill Central NiB

The Church Hill neighborhood embodies the historic nature of Richmond. Included in its boundaries are most of the original 32 blocks of the town laid out by Captain William Mayo in 1737.

Overlooking Shockoe Bottom and Downtown, Church Hill is Richmond's first historic district. Among its many attractions are St. John's Episcopal Church, where Patrick Henry delivered his famous "give me liberty or give me death" speech, and Chimborazo Park, the site of the Civil War's largest military hospital.

The area features restored antebellum homes ranging from modest cottages to the magnificent mansions of some of the neighborhood's original residents, the managers of the Shockoe Valley factories. These handsome homes reflect influences of Federal, Greek revival and Victorian architectural styles in their construction.

Complementing the older structures are developments such as Jefferson Mews on Jefferson Avenue. Locations such as Libby Terrace offer breathtaking views of the James River.

The NiB Church Hill Central neighborhood is located just to the east of downtown. Church Hill Central is bounded by 28th Street on the east to Nine Mile Road, the northern boundary is Nine Mile Road and Fairmount Avenue, 22nd Street on the West and then down Tulip Street to 23rd Street to Jefferson Avenue. The southern boundary of the neighborhood runs up Jefferson Avenue to M Street and then along M Street to 28th Street.

Highland Park NiB - Southern Tip

The neighborhood of Highland Park is situated just north of downtown Richmond, on the heights above Shockoe Valley. The history of the area goes back to 1820, but the neighborhood's development did not begin until the late 1890s, when Highland Park became one of Richmond's original streetcar suburbs.

The southern tip of Highland Park features the most extensive collection of Queen Anne architecture left in the city. Through hard work and the dedicated commitment of neighbors, many of Highland Park's beautiful old homes are now ready for a new generation to discover.

The NiB Highland Park - Southern Tip neighborhood is located across the 5th Street bridge from Downtown on Richmond's north side. The neighborhood begins at the intersection of 1st Avenue and 5th Street and then follows 1st Avenue on the west up to Pulaski Street on the north, then over to 5th Street on the east.

Swansboro NiB

Swansboro is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the City of Richmond. Originally part of the City of Manchester, it was consolidated with the City of Richmond in 1910. After the consolidation, Swansboro remained a diverse and vibrant residential community consisting of primarily working class residents.

The primary architectural style of Swansboro's housing stock is the Bungalow-style cottage and many of the houses were constructed between 1910 and the 1940's. This style was popular throughout the early 20th century for middle class dwellings. Most of these structures are one and a half stories high with long sloping roofs, deep porches, and irregular room sizes. The appearance is of a low house using natural wood and stone to harmonize with the landscape. The roof lines are often dotted with dormers to allow light into the upper floor bedrooms.

The Swansboro neighborhood is generally bounded by Hull Street on the south, Broad Rock Road to the west, Perry Street on the north and Cowardin Avenue to the east. There are new houses being constructed in the neighborhood, as well as many existing houses that well maintained. There are also opportunities in Swansboro to find a "gem" ready for your personal touches to bring it back to its former beauty.

 

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)

The City Of Richmond administers the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program. The HOPWA Program is designed to help provide needed housing and supportive services for persons living with HIV/AIDS related diseases. Since Richmond is the largest entitlement community in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the City of Richmond is required by HUD to administer the funds for the entire MSA, which includes 17 independent jurisdictions; Cities of Richmond, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and the Counties of Amelia, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King William, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George and Sussex.

The City received $1,186,209 in HOPWA Program funding for FY20.

The City of Richmond contracts with three local non-profits to delivers housing and supportive services programs throughout the MSA.

  • Commonwealth Catholic Charities (CCC) provides Case Management, Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA), Short Term Mortgage, Rent & Utility (STRMU) assistance, Permanent Housing Placement assistance such as first month's rent and security deposits. To contact CCC for HOPWA assistance please call 804-529-2004 or visit www.CCCofVA.org
  • Serenity Inc. provides Case Management, Short Term Mortgage, Rent & Utility (STRMU) assistance and Permanent Housing Placement assistance such as first month's rent and security deposits. To contact Serenity Inc. for HOPWA assistance please call 804-861-9977 or visit www.serenity-crater.org.
  • Virginia Supportive Housing provides Case Management and Housing to residents that live in housing developments owned and operated by VSH that are located in the Richmond area. To contact Virginia Supportive Housing for HOPWA assistance please call 804-232-0481 or visit http://www.virginiasupportivehousing.org.
  • Citizens can also call the regional Housing Crisis Line at 804-972-0813. The Housing Crisis Line facilitates access to resources and shelter alternatives for those who are three days or less away from losing their housing. This line is also available for those already experiencing homelessness.
  • The best way to find programs and resources available in your community is to contact Virginia 2-1-1. Visit www.211virginia.org/consumer/index.php to find service information online, or call 211 toll-free from anywhere in the state. Get the Street Sheet (English) for a quick reference to services in the Richmond area.
  • If you live outside of the Richmond MSA area and need HOPWA assistance please go to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development website www.dhcd.virginia.gov or contact Nichele Carver at hsnh@dhcd.virginia.gov.

For questions or additional information about the City's HOPWA Program please contact Patrick Odehnal at Patrick.odehnal@richmondgov.com

Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)

The Emergency Solutions Grant is a federal resource, allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which supports a variety of activities to address homelessness under the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transit to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009. As an entitlement community, the City of Richmond, receives a direct, annual allocation from HUD. The City uses ESG funds to support homeless shelter operations, rapid re-housing programs, homeless outreach, data management, and program administration.

The City received $376,954 in ESG Program funding for FY20.

In 2019-2020, the City of Richmond has contracts with five local non-profits to deliver rapid re-housing services, emergency shelter, homeless prevention services, database management, and case management.

For questions or additional information about the City's ESG Program please contact Patrick Odehnal at Patrick.odehnal@richmondgov.com

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, please call the Homeless Crisis Line at 804-972-0813.

Click here for a HUD Fact Sheet on the ESG Program.

Additional information regarding the ESG Program can be found at https://www.hud.gov.

 

Section 3 

Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968. The purpose of Section 3 is to ensure that employment and other economic opportunities generated by certain HUD financial assistance shall, to the greatest extent feasible, and consistent with existing Federal, State and local laws and regulations, be directed to low- and very low income persons, particularly those who are recipients of government assistance for housing, and to business concerns which provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons.

For questions regarding Section 3, contact Kristen Stell at 804.646.1766.

Click here for a HUD Fact Sheet on Sec 3 requirements.

Additional information regarding Sec 3 requirements can be found at https://www.hud.gov.

 


 

Davis Bacon Labor Standard

All laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors on construction work financed in whole or in part with assistance received under CDBG, ESG, HOME, or HOPWA shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act, as amended (40 U.S.C. 276a - 276a-5). By reason of the foregoing requirement, the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (40 U.S.C. 327 et. seq.) also applies. These requirements apply to all public facility projects and the rehabilitation of residential property only if such property contains more than 8 units. For HOME projects only, this requirement applies to residential properties containing 12 or more units in new construction or rehabilitation activities.

Click here for a HUD Fact Sheet on Davis Bacon Wage Rate requirements.

Additional information regarding Davis Bacon Wage Rate requirements can be found at https://www.hud.gov.

 

Other Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Resources     

State and Federal Historic Tax Credits

The Commonwealth of Virginia offers a 25% investment tax credit to qualified rehabilitation work done to historic properties or properties that contribute to the character of a recognized historic district. This tax credit is available to both owner-occupied houses and income-producing (rental) properties.

The investment tax credit available from the federal government is 20% of qualified rehabilitation expenses. This can be used in combination with the 25% state investment tax credit. The federal tax credit is only available to income-producing (rental) property.

For more information about the historic tax credits, contact the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/

 

Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) Loan Program

VHDA offers conventional and flexible financing options to help low and moderate income families become home owners. Many programs are geared toward first time homebuyers. For more information contact VHDA.. Call 804-782-1986 https://www.vhda.com/Homebuyers/Pages/homebuyers.aspx