Friday, January 8, 2016

City Accepting Applications for 2016 Affordable Housing Trust Fund Program

The Richmond Affordable Housing Trust Fund Application deadline is Jan. 21. For more information, click here.

~ Mayor Jones and City Councilwoman Robertson Announce 2015 awardees ~

Applications for the 2016 Affordable Housing Trust Fund program are due by Jan. 21, 2016. Activities eligible for AHTF award include housing related support services, pre-development costs, new construction, property acquisition, rehabilitation costs, relocation and conversion of non-residential to residential development.

On Dec. 7, Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Ellen Robertson, Richmond City Council 6th District and Chair of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund Oversight Board, announced the City’s 2015 AHTF awardees. The 2015 AHTF awards, totaling nearly one million dollars, are expected to generate more than $23.5 million in affordable housing development in the city and nearly 200 new and rehabilitated affordable housing units. In addition, special housing related services will be provided to more than 220 families and homeless individuals.

The list of affordable housing developments and services receiving AHTF awards are:
  • William Byrd Senior Apartments with project:HOMES
  • Cary Street Preservation Project with Better Housing Coalition
  • Studios II with Virginia Supportive Housing
  • Eggleston Plaza with The Hanson Company
  • Wheelchair Ramp Project with project:HOMES
  • Rebuilding Together Year Round with Rebuilding Together of Richmond
  • Move to Opportunity with Housing Opportunities Made Equal
  • Home Again Rapid Re-Housing Project with Emergency Shelter, Inc., dba Home Again
  • Home Link with Virginia Supportive Housing
  • Flagler Rapid Re-Housing with St. Joseph’s Villa
  • Coordinated Outreach with The Daily Planet

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mayor Jones Announces Lower Fuel Costs for Richmond Natural Gas Customers

Beginning with the first utility bills in January 2016, natural gas customers of the city of Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will see a savings on their monthly utility bill.  Mayor Dwight C. Jones has authorized DPU to lower the Purchased Gas Cost (PGC) portion of the natural gas utility bill from $0.425 to $0.325 per Ccf (100 cubic feet). Other components of the natural gas bill – the distribution charge and customer charge – are unchanged.   

The PGC rate of the average residential customer who uses 70 Ccf’s of natural gas per month will pay approximately $71.11 compared to a current bill of $78.11.  This equates to a 24 percent reduction in the PGC rate charged by the City and an overall ten (10) percent reduction in the entire natural gas bill.  At the time of this release, DPU’s PGC rate is less than or equal to surrounding natural gas franchises. Mayor Jones stated, “This is more good news for our customers. We are always pleased when we are in a position to offer significant savings. The City continues to review and adjust the gas costs on a quarterly basis to reflect the price that DPU pays for natural gas and we’ve been able to steadily reduce the costs over the past year.  By law, we pass along the cost of the natural gas purchased and delivered to our customers, dollar for dollar without any markup.”    
Across all energy sectors (electricity, heating oil, propane), natural gas prevails as the most efficient and economical choice of fuel for home heating, water heating, cooking and clothes drying.
DPU offers information and programs year-round to encourage customers to better manage their utility bills and seek assistance before bills become unmanageable.  DPU also encourages customers to consider enrolling in the Equal Monthly Payment Plan in order to avoid large seasonal fluctuations in their monthly bill.  More information about EMPP and other programs is available by calling (804) 646-7000 or visiting DPU’s website at

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Community Schools Initiative Launch at Huguenot High

On Monday, Jan. 4, Mayor Jones, 4th District Councilwoman Kathy Graziano, and Debra Gardner, DCAO for Human Services kicked off the Grand Opening of the Huguenot High Community Center and launched the Community Schools Initiative. This initiative was designed to establish Richmond public schools as community “hubs” that promote academic achievement, personal wellness, and family and community stability.

“We knew that schools can be the nucleus of a community if they are open to everyone – days, evenings and weekends – and not just seen as a place where only teachers teach and students learn,” said Mayor Jones. “By utilizing these facilities to bring services, not just to the students, but to the communities at large, we are providing a bridge to health care, to social services and to community resources.”

Services available include social services, health services, family engagement and parent education, recreation, after school, senior programs, tutoring and mentoring. The integrated focus on wraparound services leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities.

This was the City of Richmond’s third Community Schools Initiative launch. It also currently operates at Oak Grove-Bellemeade and Broad Rock Elementary schools.