U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced a federal CARES Act grant totaling $2,633,897 to help meet the housing needs of Central Virginia families in Henrico and Chesterfield.
The award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be disbursed through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to 31 Virginia counties. Chesterfield County will receive $1,216,799 and Henrico County will receive $1,417,098. In March 2020, Spanberger helped pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which injected millions of additional dollars into this vital program.
“Across Virginia this week, families are navigating the new challenges of virtual learning, work from home schedules, additional safety precautions, and disrupted routines. Far too many of our neighbors are facing these added challenges while also worrying about whether they can keep a roof over their children’s heads,” said Spanberger. “I was proud to approve millions of dollars of emergency housing aid in the CARES Act, and I thank HUD for directing their attention to the needs of homeless, housing-insecure, and low-income families in Virginia’s Seventh District. As we enter a new season of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must remember that the needs that are most urgent for a family are sometimes invisible. Strengthening our communities and getting our economy back on stable footing will require creative, compassionate solutions, and I thank HUD for working together with our local leaders in Henrico and Chesterfield to meet the needs of our neighbors.”
CDBG grants are traditionally used to support homeless and low-income families in finding housing, complete urgent home repairs for families who are housing-insecure, and implement other anti-poverty measures that increase the availability of affordable housing in the Central Virginia region. Local county officials will have the power to decide how to spend the award on the projects that are best for their communities, and how best to support families facing unstable housing situations, homelessness, and other housing challenges aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic slowdown.
As of January 2019, HUD estimates that more than 5,700 Virginians are experiencing homelessness on any given day, including 652 families.