Mayor prepares $5.8M local and federal aid package to address emergency housing needs during COVID-19 pandemic
Funds will supplement Eviction Diversion Program, increase emergency shelter bed capacity, serve families experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity
Under the authority granted by the State of Emergency declared in the Commonwealth of Virginia and in the City of Richmond, Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced that the city will make over $5.8 million in funding available to meet the emergency housing needs of its most vulnerable populations.
“These dollars are vital to address the urgent housing needs within our community, especially for our homeless and housing insecure,” said Mayor Stoney. “However, we must also keep in mind that housing insecurity existed before this pandemic and will still exist after. We must not only implement short-term solutions, but plan for long-term permanent housing solutions as well. That has been and will continue to be the approach taken by my administration and our community partners. Caring for our most vulnerable residents will always remain a high priority.”
The mayor has authorized disbursement for the following purposes:
- $250,000 to Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia to supplement the Eviction Diversion Program; and
- $300,000 to Homeward, which is part of the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care, to provide shelter and services to those experiencing homelessness during the current pandemic.
In addition, the city will issue a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for $4,229,953 in federal funds made possible by the CARES Act and $1,000,000 in city funds (AHTF):
- $2,683,549 in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG);
- $1,351,959 in Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG);
- $194,445 in Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) funds; and
- $1,000,000 from the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund for permanent supportive housing solutions.
The NOFA totaling $5,229,953 in federal and city funds includes three HUD grant programs: CBDG, ESG, and HOPWA as well as the city’s AHTF.
“As the NOFA includes $1 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, I will be requesting City Council approve that part of the package as a budget amendment. Funds from the AHTF will therefore be awarded once City Council approves the budget amendment,” said Mayor Stoney.
“We’re directing the $1 million from the AHTF and the allocations to Homeward and HOME in order to provide relief for families experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. Despite the uncertainty around the budget, we are allocating these funds to serve the Richmond families most in need.”
The priority uses for the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund monies will be to create new emergency permanent supportive and affordable housing solutions to expand the city’s capacity to provide supportive housing solutions during this pandemic and beyond.
For those who need assistance, use the following resources:
- Eviction Diversion Program: Eviction Helpline, 1-833-663-8428
- Homeward and the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care: Homeless Crisis Line, 1-804-972-0813
- Family Crisis Fund (OCWB): Call 804-646-6464 or visit https://www.rvastrong.org/i-need-income-support
To learn more about the effort to aid those experiencing homelessness in Richmond, use these resources:
- Homeward newsletter: Sign up here http://www.homewardva.org/news/e-newsletter
- GRCoC newsletter: Sign up here http://endhomelessnessrva.org/contact-us