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RICHMOND – A new source of funding will be helping Virginia’s Planning District Commissions provide more affordable housing in their regions. Virginia Housing today announced $40 million in grants to Virginia’s PDCs for the creation of new housing initiatives.

“We are proud to provide these grants to Virginia’s 21 PDCs,” said Virginia Housing CEO Susan Dewey. “We have a close working relationship with these organizations, and this grant program will build upon that partnership by promoting regional approaches to housing development, enhancing collaboration between local housing service providers, and creating new affordable homes.”

The grants will be used for a number of local housing needs identified by the PDCs, including financing new affordable homeownership opportunities, renovating vacant and blighted properties, supporting the development of a regional housing trust fund, and creating upper-story housing in downtown business districts.

The $40 million grant program is a new initiative provided through Virginia Housing’s REACH Virginia program. The program uses Virginia Housing’s own resources to provide support to local housing groups, non-profits, developers and other partner groups working to meet affordable housing needs.

“We are pleased that Virginia Housing has made significant funding and strong collaboration with the PDCs a top priority in its efforts to support regional housing opportunities and solutions,” said Kim Callis, president of the Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions. “With this initiative, Virginia’s PDCs will be able to

develop or enhance their own collaboration with regional and local organizations to help meet a critical housing need. We are excited to partner with Virginia Housing in this endeavor.”

PDCs provide a variety of technical and program services to local governments, including strategic planning, administration of housing program funds, land use planning, and transportation planning.

Virginia Housing has provided planning resources to PDCs in the past through its Capacity Building and Community Impact grant programs, but this initiative marks the first time it has provided funding to invest directly into housing production.

“Virginia Housing’s grants will allow the PDCs to make development resources available to their housing partners and focus on regional priorities,” said Chris Thompson, Virginia Housing’s Strategic Housing Director.