Gov. Ralph Northam on his second-to-last day in office Jan. 13 announced more than $60 million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans for 42 projects across the commonwealth, including $1.1 million for two related projects in Sterling.
Mt. Sterling Four and Mt. Sterling Nine, two projects within the same development by Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, were awarded $900,000 and $200,000 respectively.
Mt. Sterling Four is the new construction of 50 rental units for seniors, with a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments. Residents will get free wi-fi and amenities such as a business center and a fitness and wellness suite. Units will be rent-controlled for people making 30% area median income, 50% and 60% area median income.
Mt. Sterling Nine adds another 48 rental units for seniors, with the same amenities. Those units will be set aside for seniors making 30% area median income and 50% area median income.
Across the state, according to Northam’s office, the grants will create or preserve 2,552 affordable housing units, improving access to energy-efficient affordable housing, reducing homelessness, and providing permanent supportive housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“Quality, affordable housing is essential to building vibrant communities and ensuring every Virginian has the opportunity to thrive,” Northam stated. “We must keep investing in the Commonwealth’s stock of affordable housing, and the Affordable and Special Needs Housing programs will continue to be a vitally important resource for vulnerable Virginians.”
Funding comes from four main sources: the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the National Housing Trust Fund, the Housing Innovations in Energy Efficiency fund, and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund. Both Mt. Sterling projects were funded through the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, to which Northam and the General Assembly sent $55 million this fiscal year.
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development administers Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans, which combine state and federal resources to provide a simplified and comprehensive application process. In his press release, Northam commended the work of the department and its director, Erik Johnson, for its work, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans are awarded through a competitive process. Fifty-five applications requesting more than $79 million were received for this round of funding. Across the state, the funded projects will leverage more than $651 million in additional federal, state, local and private lending.