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Governor Ralph Northam congratulates the mayor of Newport News, dr. McKinley L. Price, and Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander, for obtaining combined $ 60 million of HUD's implementation grants under the Choice Neighborhoods initiative by focusing on the reconstruction of distressed public housing and assisted housing, the results improve learning opportunities, create pathways to employment and empower families.

"This is a great opportunity for the cities of Newport News and Norfolk, the Hampton Roads, and the Commonwealth to drive the transformation of public housing into dynamic, sustainable communities to realize the vision enshrined in the Executive Order Twenty-Five." Governor Northam.

The governor's implementing decision addresses the lack of affordable housing by coordinating economic development efforts with housing production, promoting housing-building technology and supporting regional and local pilot projects that increase the availability of affordable housing. Efforts are focused on developing affordable housing in close proximity to employment and educational opportunities.

"Providing quality and affordable housing for our communities remains a key priority for this administration, and this funding is a great advance for Newport News and Norfolk," said Brian Ball, Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Newport News and Norfolk were among the three national winners selected from 32 applicants. The implementation efforts for the two cities include:

Newport News CNI Implementation Grant

The Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NNRHA) and the City of Newport News received a $ 30 million CNI grant to revitalize the Marshall-Ridley neighborhood and surrounding area. Building on the success of new private and public reinvestments in the local area, local partners previously received a CNI planning grant and a comprehensive transformation plan for the Marshall-Ridley neighborhood.

With the support of the CNI Implementation Grant, NNRHA and the city will replace the outdated Ridley Place with 487 mixed-income housing units at various locations in the southeast and downtown Newport News. To ensure families benefit directly from this investment, a Newport News team will work closely with the Hampton Roads Community Action Program to implement employment, health and education strategies. A variety of open space improvements and landscaping activities are also planned.

Norfolk CNI Implementation Grant

The Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the City of Norfolk also received a US $ 30 million CNI implementation grant for the St. Paul's area. Just north of the main business district of Norfolk, St. Pauls is the least-income district in the city, and the Tidewater Gardens public housing development is one of the housing industry's most heavily burdensome and isolated locations.

Despite these challenges, the St. Pauls area has great potential with growing light rail traffic and significant planned private and public investment. Hoping to capitalize on this potential, local partners have previously received a CNI planning grant and created a comprehensive transformation plan for the St. Pauls area. With the award of the CNI Implementation Grant, these partners can build 709 new mixed-income housing units. Improving the neighborhood landscape by creating new open spaces and improving opportunities for local businesses; Improving the access of families to quality jobs and educational institutions.

Virginia's support for housing

Virginia's support for reshaping public housing in Newport News, Norfolk, and other locations included the allocation of residential property tax credits, the investment of state residential trust funds, and VHDA funding. Such dedication encourages the Governor's Executive Order 25, which was created to improve the quality, availability and affordability of housing in the Commonwealth.

In November 2018, the Governor signed the Executive Order at the Virginia Governor's Housing Conference. "Affordable, secure and accessible housing is the key to ensuring that all Virgins can live a healthy and productive life," Governor Northam said at the time of the announcement.

"This regulation supports the creation of vibrant communities throughout Virginia," added Commerce Minister Brian Ball at the time of the announcement. "The Executive Regulation will not only address the housing needs of our citizens, but will also foster the commitment of our various partners in housing and community development, including local governments, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and other interested stakeholders."

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