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Southside Outreach nets $350,000 for area housing / June 19, 2017

Southside Outreach, a South Boston-based housing assistance agency, was a big winner last week when Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced $2 million in grant funding for six housing rehabilitation programs in Virginia.

Southside Outreach received $350,000 in funding, making it among the largest recipients of the grant awards. Others receiving the same amount were James City Council, Project HOMES of Amelia, Charles City, Hanover and New Kent County and Henry County.

The governor also announced a $320,000 award for Action Against Poverty in Bath County, and $280,000 for the Accomack Northhampton Regional Housing Authority.

The funds will be used to provide zero-percent deferred loans for the rehabilitation of owner-occupied modest homes in targeted areas of rural Virginia.

In South Boston, Southside Outreach has recently undertaken a complete renovation of the former Fairmont Apartment Complex, which is now almost fully occupied. The agency also built a subdivision on Myrtle Street in South Boston to provide low- and moderate-income housing for several families.

Southside Outreach also has rehabilitated numerous other individual residences, according to its director, Earl Howerton.

The latest funding is being provided as part of a new initiative to complement the existing Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Indoor Plumbing Program. That effort in rural Virginia provides rehabilitation to homeowners in need of repairs beyond septic or sewer systems.

“I’m pleased to announce these grants, which will improve existing affordable housing in rural Virginia,” said McAuliffe. “Rehabilitation assistance for housing occupied by low-and moderate-income homeowners in rural Virginia makes critical repairs possible that otherwise are unaffordable.

“Thanks to these innovative investments and DHCD’s efforts, we are able to ensure that our residents have safe, healthy housing options.”

DHCD allocated $2 million from the HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) funds for the program. Only DHCD-administered Community Development Block Grant and HOME non-entitlement areas of Virginia were eligible to apply. Entitlement areas are larger communities that receive HOME funds directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“This new, innovative program provides a needed boost to locally driven housing rehabilitation efforts in the Commonwealth’s rural communities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Low- and moderate-income homeowners who can afford a mortgage, but not costly improvements, or those on fixed incomes, with few other resources, can benefit from rehabilitation services.”

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