Governor McAuliffe Announces 10.5 Percent Decrease in Overall Homelessness in Virginia

~$14.7 million awarded in Virginia Homeless Solutions Program grants~

RICHMOND – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that overall homelessness in the Commonwealth declined 10.5 percent in 2016 versus 2015, with a 17 percent decrease in family homelessness in the same period. In addition, more than $14.7 million was recently awarded in Virginia Homeless Solutions Program (VHSP) grants to combat homelessness in Virginia. The new preliminary numbers originate from annual point in time data collected by local Continuum of Care groups across Virginia in January each year and compiled by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

“Virginia is leading fight to end homelessness by expanding access to safe, affordable housing for families who need it,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at today’s announcement. “Last year, I announced that Virginia was the first state to effectively end veteran homelessness and vowed to work to make all forms of homelessness in Virginia rare, brief, and non-recurring. These new numbers show that we are moving in the right direction and demonstrate the success of our collaboration between local, state, and federal organizations. Moving forward, we will continue to invest in our successful housing programs and partnerships, as we work to end chronic homelessness and homelessness among youth and families altogether in Virginia.”

“Virginia’s success comes from a collaborative and holistic approach to addressing homelessness throughout the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “By working together across multiple secretariats, state agencies, and care and nonprofit providers at the local level, we are utilizing all available resources to combat homelessness. Housing is the foundation for any vibrant and sustainable community, and the new VHSP grants will be a valuable tool in our efforts to ensure every citizen has access a quality and affordable housing.”

“The housing first model approach has been a successful model for Virginia,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel. “We continue to see homelessness decrease across the commonwealth, and we will continue to streamline our systems to get homeless populations housed quickly and safely.”

Since 2010, Virginia has seen a 31 percent drop in overall homelessness. During that same time period, the Commonwealth has seen a 37.6 percent decrease in family homelessness. In 2015, Virginia became the first state to functionally end veteran homelessness. This success stems from new efforts in communities to improve their homelessness response rate and housing assistance systems. By using proven tools to address the needs of individuals, families and veterans experiencing homelessness and incorporating housing first models, such as rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing, communities have streamlined their systems in order to help any Virginian experiencing homelessness quickly secure permanent housing.

Governor McAuliffe also established the Governor’s Coordinating Council, which is co-chaired by the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and Secretary of Commerce and Trade. The council is charged with implementing strategies identified by the Homeless Outcomes Advisory Committee Report and Recommendations that work to end homelessness among all populations, including the chronically homeless, as well as youth and families.

The ongoing effort to end Virginia homelessness relies on partnerships across local, state and nonprofit organizations.  In support of the effort, the Commonwealth has allocated money through the Virginia Housing Trust Fund.  $8 million was provided over two years for the Housing Trust Fund in the previous budget, and the new two-year budget increases total funding over two years to $11 million dollars.

VHSP recently awarded $14.7 million in state and federal funds to address homelessness. Through VHSP, funds are awarded to organizations as a part of a community emergency crisis response system.

Below are the awards for the 2017 VHSP allocation:

Continuum of Care (CoC) and Local Planning Groups Total Award
Greater Richmond CoC $ 1,634,465
Southeastern Virginia Homeless Coalition (SVHC) $ 1,254,248
Roanoke City and County/Salem CoC $ 520,492
Virginia Beach CoC $ 405,011
Charlottesville CoC $ 477,151
Greater Virginia Peninsula Homelessness Consortium (GVPHC) $ 1,039,438
Portsmouth CoC $ 359,658
Central Virginia CoC $ 334,118
Western CoC $ 850,185
Fredericksburg CoC $ 1,054,954
Arlington County CoC $ 701,798
Fairfax County CoC $ 817,791
Loudon County CoC $ 529,837
Alexandria CoC $ 979,839
Prince William CoC $ 753,247
Lenowisco $ 248,572
Cumberland Plateau $ 277,860
HOPE $ 415,638
New River Valley Housing Partnership $ 491,570
Foothills Housing Network $ 412,370
Valley LPG $ 64,175
West Piedmont Better Housing Coalition $ 225,681
Southside Planning District $ 121,593
Heartland $ 135,453
Northern Neck Middle Peninsula Housing Partnership $ 185,527
Crater Area Coalition on Homelessness $ 220,140
Accomack-Northampton PDC $ 241,173
TOTAL $ 14,751,984

Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy (at) governor.virginia (dot) gov | Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development: Amanda Love, (804) 840-0129, amanda.love (at) dhcd.virginia (dot) gov

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