CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County’s Department of Community Enhancement has about $2 million worth of federal funding available in the form of grants to various non-profit organizations across the community.
The Department held an information session Tuesday, Nov. 1 to share with the public how different entities can apply for a portion of the funding. Organizations throughout the community — including ProjectHOMES and other groups devoted to helping to foster expanded accessibility to affordable housing — attended.
Matt Morgan with ProjectHOMES explained why this type of assistance is so crucial given the current housing and economic atmospheres in Central Virginia.
“We live in a market where prices are growing fast still,” Morgan said. “People are having a hard time actually purchasing a home.”
A recent housing study by Plan RVA highlighted the issue of displacement. The average household’s income isn’t keeping up with a notable rise in home prices.
“That gap of being able to afford a home has gotten smaller,” Morgan said.
The money will be distributed in the form of either “Community Development Block” funding and/ or “HOME funding.” These separate forms of aid have different eligibility requirements and serve distinct purposes. Purposes cover an array of bringing more affordable housing units to the community and providing home repairs and infrastructure improvements to already existing low-income housing units.
Nick Feucht specializes in coordinating real estate and housing in Chesterfield County. He’s involved with the team responsible for managing this funding received through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Feucht described the foundational role owning a safe, secure home can have for someone. Similarly, he noted the degenerating effects not having such access can ensue in one’s life.
“They may not be able to afford a car repair and that can lead to job loss,” Feucht said. “They may not be able to afford utilities, they may not be able to afford foods.”
Plan RVA’s study also emphasized the role regional economic disparities play in the topic of housing insecurity. The study outlined how the wealthiest homeowners in the region line the western end of Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield County. Comparatively, those in most urgent need of assistance are generally clustered along the eastern end.
Feucht recognized the role solidarity plays in combatting the region’s housing crisis.
“To be part of a community you have to care about more than just yourself,” Feucht said. “When you do that, a lot of things that are adverse to other people and yourself, they can go away and we can make progress on having a less stressful, richer life.”
Organizations interested in learning more about qualifications, regulations, and how to apply for a portion of the funding can visit: https://www.chesterfield.gov/1223/Grants