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Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: October 2, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, | Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development: Amanda Love,, (804) 371-7006

Governor Northam Announces $4.5 Million in Vibrant Community Initiative Funding for Albemarle and Middlesex Counties

RICHMOND— Governor Ralph Northam today announced $4.5 million in Vibrant Community Initiative (VCI) funding for housing and community development projects in Albemarle and Middlesex counties.

“The Vibrant Community Initiative is focused on expanding affordable housing needs and encouraging economic growth in areas with great potential by channeling state and federal resources to tackle large-scale, community-based projects,” said Governor Northam. “We are excited to see the impact of this investment in Albemarle and Middlesex counties as they undertake projects that will transform each community and improve the quality of life for the Virginians living in them.”

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. The initiative identifies highly impactful, transformational projects and then leverages several funding resources to streamline the application, project management, and compliance processes. The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) has partnered with DHCD to provide critical technical assistance and financial support.

A tiered application process was utilized to solicit proposals, and applicants were required to submit a pre-application to identify the project and its key characteristics. A panel with representatives from DHCD and VHDA evaluated the proposals, and site visits were conducted for the three highest-rated projects, leading to the submission of full project specific proposals.

“VCI is a comprehensive approach to addressing community and economic development in our communities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Through the combination of multiple resources, we are addressing community development with a holistic approach to create affordable housing and spur economic development.”

Albemarle County received $2.25 million in VCI funding for the Southwood Redevelopment and Infrastructure Project. The Greater Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity has been working with the Southwood community for the last 10 years to develop a plan to transform the community and provide housing and community development opportunities. This project is the first of multiple phases, transforming the 350-plus unit mobile home park into a combination of affordable housing options and mixed-income rental units. This comprehensive project aims to construct water, sewer and road improvements necessary to develop a vacant parcel adjacent to the current Southwood mobile home park to spur economic development in the community. Following the construction of the critical infrastructure, at least 20 single-family houses will be developed, creating homeownership opportunities for Southwood residents.

Middlesex County received $2.25 million to revitalize the Cook’s Corner area of the county with a project that creates affordable housing, new business opportunities and the provision of critical infrastructure for development. A historic school building will be repurposed into a restaurant and brewery, saving the structure and creating a space for a private industry to expand current operations to include a processing center. The county, along with the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, is constructing water and sewer infrastructure to serve this area. Additionally, 24 units of affordable housing will be created, targeting teachers, law enforcement officers and public employees.

2018 Vibrant Community Initiative Fund Grantees:


Project Name


Albemarle County

Southwood Redevelopment and Infrastructure


Middlesex County

Cooks Corner Revitalization Project




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