Virginia Member Information

VA Caucus Packet – 10/28/2020

From VHA:

SAVE THE DATE!

VIRTUAL HOUSING LOBBY WEEK JAN. 25-28

  • Join our Tweetstorm onWednesday, January 27 at 2pm.
  • Attend a General Assembly Session Briefing on Friday, January 29 at noon. Register here.
  • Post on Social Media throughout the week, tagging your legislators and speaking out about the importance of housing. As noted above, we’d like to have a selection of graphics illustrating our policy priorities. If you’d like to create a graphic that others can use throughout Housing Lobby Week, please email it to Molly Jacobson who will upload it to our social media folder.
  • Follow the Happenings of Our Policy Priority Bills by viewing committee hearings.To find out about House meetings and how to sign-up to speak at committee meetings or submit comments, visit the House Speak page.
We hope you will help us elevate the importance of housing access and affordability in the Commonwealth during our Virtual Housing Lobby Week January 25-29. We will share sample social media posts as well as talking points and fact sheets ahead of the week.
Ways to Participate in Housing Lobby Week (engage in any of the below activities, whether it’s one or all of them):
Schedule a Virtual Meeting with Your Legislators During Housing Lobby Week. Schedule a virtual meeting on your own or coordinate with other housers from your district using this spreadsheet. If you’re willing to take the lead on coordinating a meeting with a group of constituents from your district, please add your name and email address to the highlighted column in the row of your legislator(s). This way interested constituents can reach out to you and you can coordinate among yourselves. Feel free to use this document to make notes about your meetings. If you plan to arrange a meeting outside of a group, please email mjacobson@vahousingalliance.org so we can keep track of the meetings taking place during Housing Lobby Week. As mentioned, we will share talking points and fact sheets about our housing priorities that you can use during your meetings with legislators. We will add them to the social media folder described in the 7th bullet point below.

Helpful Resources:
·    See our sample email meeting request language. You may use the exact language in the body of your email or create your own message to request a meeting with your legislators.
·    Find the name and contact information of your Virginia Delegate and Senator by entering your address at the Virginia General Assembly website.
·    Review our 2021 Legislative Agenda.
·    If you are new to advocating at the General Assembly, check out our Advocacy 101 PowerPoint to learn more about the General Assembly and the importance of making your voice heard.
·    Schedule your meetings using any video conferencing tool to which you have access. You might consider using Google Meet, a free video conferencing application through Gmail.
·    Review VPAP’s General Assembly Citizen’s Guide.
·    Find talking points, social media graphics & social media posts in our Google folder. Content will be added to this folder by 1/25. We’d like to have a variety of graphics illustrating our policy priorities, so If you’d like to help us by creating a graphic for Housing Lobby Week for others to share on social media, please email your graphic to Molly at mjacobson@vahousinfalliance.org. Molly will upload it to the folder. The dimensions 1200px X 670px seem to work well on Twitter (and can also be used on Facebook). However, If you know of a better dimension combination, please let us know.
·    Please note that this year we will not be scheduling meetings on behalf of constituents and their legislators due to our limited technology capacity. We are happy to answer any questions and support in any way we can.

Virginia Housing UPDATES:

Notice of Funding Opportunity: VHDA Capacity Building Grant Tier 3 – Program Enhancement & Evaluation

Interested applicants must submit a Pre-Application by February 28. 

REACH Virginia FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: VHDA reinvests a portion of our net revenues into Virginia’s communities through REACH Virginia (Resources Enabling Affordable Community Housing in Virginia). This is a multifaceted resource that VHDA uses to support vital housing initiatives through our Homeownership, Rental and Community Outreach programs.

The intent of the Tier 3 Capacity Building Grant  – Program Enhancement & Evaluation is to fund non-profit organizations seeking to enhance a current program to result in better outcomes.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Organizations must be physically located in Virginia.
  2. The organization cannot be an emerging organization. The organization must have:
  3. At a minimum, five years of operations.
  4. Engaged leadership, staff, and volunteers.
  5. Ability to demonstrate fiscal soundness and measurable program outcomes.
  6. The organization must carry out at least one of the following housing-related mission:
  7. Creating economically integrated and inclusive housing opportunities including affordable housing, workforce housing, mixed-income housing, and/or community-based housing options for people with disabilities and/or
  8. Planning and Community Development to include significant attention to housing planning needs throughout Virginia, and/or
  9. Providing services and/or educational opportunities in order to further affordable housing.
  10. The organization must align with VHDA’s mission of Helping Virginians Attain Quality, Affordable Housing, and VHDA’s Strategic Direction.

 Program Parameters: Approved agencies must comply with the VHDA Capacity Building Handbook. Click the document below for a detailed explanation of the scope, disbursement, and reporting requirements.

This program is an eighteen (18) month intensive process where organizations will analyze up to three existing programs and take a deep dive evaluating the inefficiencies of and improving one program. Working with a VHDA-approved consultant, organizations will evaluate program outcomes, identify and implement technology solutions; and receive an action plan to address other programs.

Application Process: Agencies seeking funding should apply to VHDA’s Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) using VHDA’s Grants Management System at https://vhdagrants.com/. For questions concerning this program or assistance with application submission, contact Frank Curbeira, Strategic Housing Officer, at (804) 343-5818.

      Grant Program Expands Eligibility   The Commonwealth of Virginia has announced the expansion of its REBUILD! VA grant program. The grant, designed to help small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19, has expanded its eligibility criteria to allow more small businesses to apply.        Small supply chain partners of businesses forced to close under Executive Order 53 or 55, as well as businesses that received CARES Act funding, are now eligible to receive a $10,000 REBUILD! VA grant. Businesses that have received CARES Act funding must certify that they will only use the REBUILD! VA grant for recurring expenses and that the grant will not be used to cover the same expenses as the other CARES Act funds.   Please help us get the word out by sharing this information with your networks!   Learn More & Apply       Administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), Rebuild VA has received over 3,000 applications. SBSD and its program partners, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, made the decision to expand eligibility criteria after analysis of eligible and ineligible applications received within the first 30 days of the grant’s launch.       Stay connected and in the know     Virginia Housing | Customer Service: 1-800-235-6938 | Website | Join Our Email List   The information contained herein (including but not limited to any description of Virginia Housing and its lending programs and products, eligibility criteria, interest rates, fees and all other loan terms) is subject to change without notice.    

VHDAREACH Virginia Innovative Demonstration Grants to spur affordable single family and mixed use housing development by supporting technological innovations to reduce construction costs in the home building industry. Awards will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Questions? Contact Matthew Bolster, Strategic Housing Office, at (804) 343-5631.

  1. We’ve added a COVID-19 Response and Resource page to our website that is constantly updated with recent information regarding Federal and State responses as well as useful information from members and partners. I hope you find it useful. If there’s something that needs to be included, let us know at vha@vahousingalliance.org
  2. To better understand how this crisis is impacting our clients, tenants, and organizations so that we can effectively advocate on their behalf for policy and budgetary solutions, we have been hosting weekly calls with members and representatives of the affordable housing continuum across the state.
  3. Our friends at the Virginia Poverty Law Center have put together a great list of resources that covers everything from evictions to loss of health insurance. I encourage you to check it out.

From VHDC

Using CDBG Resources in Response to COVID-19 – The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is making available current CDBG funding to small cities, towns and rural counties to respond to local needs related to COVID-19 response. DHCD is also closely monitoring availability of funding for all localities through the recently passed CARES Act (federal stimulus) and will post additional details when this funding becomes available.    The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program will assist units of local government and communities in response to the health and economic impact of COVID-19 by supporting planning grant, open submission and urgent need recovery activities.   Eligible Activities: Construction or rehab of structures to be used for shelters, testing or equipment manufacturing . Training programs for healthcare workers or service industry jobs transitioning to food/ pharmaceutical delivery systems. Acquisition costs for telework /telemedicine services. Job creation or business development for manufacturing of COVID-related materials, supplies or equipment (PPE) How to Apply Eligible localities (small cities, towns and rural communities) should submit a letter of interest describing the project need and its activities to DHCD. Information will continue to be provided as any additional funding is made available through the CARES Act.   Contact Us Phone: 804-371-7011 or 804-371-7076 Email: matthew.weaver@dhcd.virginia.gov or rachel.jordan@dhcd.virginia.gov Website: www.dhcd.virginia.gov
CDBG Resources in Response to COVID-19:   CDBG COVID-19 Fact Sheet   CDBG COVID-19 Response Document  

Help Community Heroes Purchase a Home – New Program! Community Heroes, VHDA in partnership with FHLB-Atlanta helps law enforcement officers, public school educators, firefighters, and other first responders purchase a home.  It’s an opportunity to access $1 million in grant funds for eligible homebuyers. Learn more.

Office of National Drug Control Policy

We are very excited to share that on Friday, the Administration released a new tool to assist rural community leaders in building an effective local response to the crisis of addiction, the Rural Community Action Guide: Building Stronger, Healthy Drug-Free Rural Communities.  

The guide complements both the Community Assessment Tool, which gives county specific data about deaths and factors which may make a community more vulnerable to addiction, and the Federal Rural Resources Guide, which includes comprehensive information about different federal funds for rural communities impacted by addiction.  The Guide also has a companion supplement, a listing of promising practices which you can find here: Rural Community Action Guide: Promising Practices.

Per Anne Hazlett, news sent on funding announcements every few weeks- to be added to that list, please email Betty-Ann Bryce

Kaboom grant for playground equipment – rolling deadline, fundraising match required – check it out HERE Frequently Asked questions/answers HERE