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Our Website / Newsletter Archive                                                      September / October 2011

 

Save the date!
BEACH Community Partnership Meeting
Nov. 4 at 9:30 a.m.
 
BEACH logo
 
Learn how you can help end homelessness in the city by attending BEACH's fall meeting at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1279 North Great Neck Road.

The meeting will feature remarks from Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. and highlight upcoming events and projects related to homelessness.

BEACH -- Bringing an End to All City Homelessness -- is a partnership between the city, faith-based organizations, businesses and citizens who seek to address homelessness through enhanced cooperation and communication, coordinated service delivery, resource development and new strategies.

To learn more, visit
 
teamwork

Don't Get Left in the Cold! Assistance is Available for Homeowners without Heat

winterNeed heat during the winter? We can help provide heat to eligible homeowners during the season through our Emergency Home Repair Program. The program makes repairs or modifications to remove health or safety hazards more affordable through a one-time-only grant. Beginning Oct. 1 through May 15, eligible households may receive assistance to replace or repair heating equipment.


Other eligible activities include replacing defective air conditioning equipment in the summer; correcting electrical, gas and plumbing hazards; and correcting defective roof/ceiling assemblies in life-threatening situations. The program also assists with making homes more accessible for the physically disabled. The program is not intended for making routine maintenance repairs to systems or equipment.


Eligibility requirements and conditions apply. Assistance is provided based on the availability of funding. For more information, contact Olin Walden at 385-5760.

Overnight Shelter for Homeless during Winter Available

Winter Shelter Program Starts Oct. 19

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Most of us are lucky enough to escape Old Man Winter and return to a warm home each night. For those who can't, Volunteers of America (VOA), under a contract with Housing & Neighborhood Preservation, provides the homeless a place to sleep at night during the winter. The Winter Shelter Program, which begins on Oct. 19, provides emergency shelter to more than 60 homeless adults each night between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. at various faith organizations throughout the city. Participating organizations rotate weekly until April to provide overnight shelter and meals; some provide additional support and resources, such as toiletries, clothing and medical care.

VOA provides transportation for participants from the Lighthouse Center, located at 825 18th Street, to the faith organizations. For more information, contact VOA at 437-4911 or visit www.voaches.org.

Live or Work in Virginia Beach and Want to Own a Home?

Apply for Our Workforce Housing Program! Workshops Scheduled on Oct. 1 and Nov. 14
houseHousing & Neighborhood Preservation is still accepting applications to determine eligibility for its Workforce Housing Program. Eligible applicants will be placed on a waiting list for the opportunity to purchase a workforce housing unit. The application package for buyers is available at www.vbgov.com/housing.
 
"The Workforce Housing Program allows eligible buyers to purchase a workforce housing unit with special financing that allows for more affordable monthly mortgage payments," said Cheryl Smith, housing programs coordinator. "Even if a household isn't ready to buy at this time, they can still go through the application process and, if they qualify, get placed on the waiting list for future workforce housing developments. It does not commit households to purchasing a workforce housing unit."
 
To be eligible, the applicant or co-applicant must live or work full-time in Virginia Beach, cannot own other real estate, and must meet income and asset restrictions. Households must be able to pre-qualify for a first mortgage in the low $200,000 range.
 
Learn more at a how-to-apply workshop on Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon or Nov. 14, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Each workshop will be held at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd. For more information or to register for a workshop, contact Cheryl Smith at 385-5742.

October is Housing America Month

Housing America LogoHousing America Month is part of a yearlong effort led by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) to inform the public and decision makers about the need to meet the country's affordable housing and community development challenges. 

Housing & Neighborhood Preservation continually strives to expand housing opportunities in the city. Our department has developed a Workforce Housing Program to improve affordable housing opportunities for our local workforce by offering an incentive to developers who build workforce housing units. We also work with our partners to increase the number of affordable housing options and address homelessness in the city. Learn about the city's completed and upcoming affordable housing projects and measure your affordable housing IQ at the links below.

Code Enforcement Assesses Damage after Hurricane Irene

The day after Hurricane Irene came through our region, Housing & Neighborhood Preservation's Code Enforcement staff hit the streets to inspect the city's neighborhoods and assess the damage caused by the storm. Any structures that were deemed unsafe were immediately placarded. Fortunately, the hurricane's strength was less than predicted and many of the city's homes and structures fared well.

Code inspectors simply noted minor violations during the post-storm assessment period. No notices of violation will be issued until Oct. 3. Enforcement efforts were postponed to ensure that residents have a reasonable amount of time and resources to address minor repairs.

As always, Code Enforcement will work with residents in gaining compliance as much as possible.
The division is able to grant extensions in the time allowed for correction of violations when necessary repairs are temporarily delayed due to practical difficulties. For more information, contact Code Enforcement at 385-4421 or HouseNP@vbgov.com.

Community Dialogue Series on Homelessness Held

This summer, Housing & Neighborhood Preservation hosted two public forums as part of a community dialogue series on homelessness in the city. The meetings, held on August 3 and 31, provided an opportunity for citizens and services providers to discuss key concerns, share ideas and collectively develop solutions to resolve those concerns.

During the series, the Department of Human Services shared information on available resources for homeless individuals experiencing mental health or substance abuse issues. Housing & Neighborhood Preservation also presented homeless shelter models and best practices being used in other oceanfront cities. As a result of the forums, city staff, residents, law enforcement personnel and service providers developed action steps to begin resolving neighborhood issues related to homelessness at the Oceanfront.

A third community dialogue will be held in November. The meeting will focus on connecting residents with opportunities to become involved with existing efforts to address homelessness in Virginia Beach. For more information on the community dialogue series, contact Sharon Prescott at 385-5803.
New and Improved Virginia Beach Website
Notice anything different about VBgov.com? Earlier this month, the City of Virginia Beach unveiled a new and improved website, completely redesigned based on direct feedback and requests from users, as well as the city's desire to implement technology improvements for citizens. Check out some of the new features:
  • An interactive calendar of events that can be filtered based on your preferences 
  • A media center containing video and photo galleries
  • Mobile accessibility that is compatible across all major smartphone formats 
  • A visually appealing design that highlights the beauty of Virginia Beach through the use of imagery 
  • An interactive map center with layering capability and an improved graphic interface 
  • An improved search with auto-suggestions as you type
  • A separate services search to narrow your search to online and offline city programs and services 
  • A community connect section with links to the city's social networking sites and real-time Twitter feed

We hope you like the new site! As always, your feedback and suggestions are welcome and may be submitted to WebForms@vbgov.com.

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