There is a disproportionate number of low income families on the Eastern Shore of Virginia compared to the state. In the Eastern Shore counties of Accomack and Northampton, approximately 20% of the population is below the poverty line, with 38% paying more than 30% of their income for rent and 21% of the homes were built in 1939 or earlier.
There is a great need for affordable housing. Accomack-Northampton Regional Housing Authority (ANRHA) is working to help create solutions for this problem. Upon completion, the new and improved Mill Run Apartments will provide 26 units of affordable rental housing to this impoverished community.
Twelve of these duplexes are new and 14 are being renovated. The renovations are being done on the original Mill Run Apartments which were built in 1995. In addition, an expanded community room and a maintenance office are being added. These units were originally developed to relocate people from a dilapidated neighborhood across the street called Duertown.
Duertown lacked streets, sidewalks and indoor plumbing. The structures were cement block housing that offered no amenities for the residents. Duertown was demolished after the Mill Run homes were built.
When Mill Run was originally built, HOME funding was scarce and the units were basic. The renovation project will allow the units to be enlarged and to offer new amenities, such as small eat-in kitchens, washer and dryer and the addition of a bathroom in the three bedroom units which previously only had one full bath.
Since more housing is needed, 12 new units are also being added. The development has been funded by Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, HOME funds through the state of Virginia and AHP funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta.
There will also be rental assistance from the local housing authority. The duplexes will serve families at 50% of median income and below.
According to David Annis, Director of Housing Development for the ANPDC, “There has been no question that this project is filling a desperate need. Families show up to the construction site to apply for housing. The units were rented up long before Mill Run was completed and we have a pretty huge waiting list.”
He also sees NCALL’s help as invaluable, “Putting together a financial strategy to develop affordable housing is much more complicated these days than back when you could go to HUD or USDA for the whole package, and rely on those agencies for the technical assistance required to get through construction.”
“Most all developments now require multiple sources of financing from different agencies and entities, all of which have their own regulations and their own rent and income restrictions.
Many of the funding sources such as the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, and the Federal Home Loan Bank programs come with very specialized regulations and restrictions that require professionals who work with those programs on a daily basis in order to stay in compliance.
NCALL provides the professional services and technical assistance that helps bridge the gap between what’s required by the funders to stay in compliance, and the capacity of many local, community-based nonprofits.”
NCALL's housing development team provides its expertise to nonprofit organizations seeking to develop and/or preserve affordable housing that serves low-income families, the elderly, and farmworkers.
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