City receives loan for apartment project

Published 10:01 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2022

A Suffolk project will receive a $700,000 loan from the Virginia Housing Trust Fund as part of a state program that will allow it to build 120 two- and three-bedroom apartments across five, three-story buildings in the city.

It’s one of 42 projects across Virginia that will receive $60 million in loans to create or preserve 2,552 affordable housing units for low-income and extremely low-income households.

The money, according to a news release, will improve access to energy-efficient affordable housing, reduce homelessness, provide permanent, supportive housing options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and complete energy efficiency updates in affordable housing units.


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Oak Terrace, at 1140 Portsmouth Blvd., will be built to EarthCraft standards and include a playground, picnic shelter, a community building with laundry facilities, a computer room and an exercise room.

Twelve of the units will comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, with three to be equipped to serve people with sensory impairments. Commonwealth Catholic Charities will be providing financial coaching, education and employment services to tenants.

“Quality, affordable housing is essential to building vibrant communities and ensuring every Virginian has the opportunity to thrive,” said outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam in a news release. “We must keep investing in the Commonwealth’s stock of affordable housing, and the Affordable and Special Needs Housing programs will continue to be a vitally important resource for vulnerable Virginians. In addition to its tremendous work supporting affordable housing, community development, and other priorities, DHCD has led our programs to keep people in their homes and support small businesses during the pandemic. I want to thank DHCD Director Erik Johnson for his superb leadership of the agency, especially during the past 22 months. He has led an outstanding and creative team in finding innovative ways to help people during a challenging time.”

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development administers the Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans, which combine state and federal resources to provide a simplified and comprehensive application process. The money comes from four main sources: the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the National Housing Trust Fund, the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, and Housing Innovations in Energy Efficiency funds.

Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans are awarded through a competitive process, as the state received 55 applications requesting more than $79 million for this round of funding. 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 leverage more than $651 million in additional federal, state, local and private lending resources.