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September 2013 - In This Issue:
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Stay even more up-to-date with Housing & Neighborhood Preservation news, events, project updates and photos! 

Supportive Services for Homeless & Low-income Veteran Households Available Beginning Oct. 1
Veteran households who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless may be eligible to receive assistance through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program. The SSVF Program assists homeless and low-income veteran households in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. 

Beginning Oct. 1, eligible veterans may receive services related to rental assistance/security deposits, emergency and general housing, utility assistance, moving costs, transportation, child care and emergency supplies. Veteran eligibility is based on honorable or general discharge from military services and other criteria.

The program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs in an effort to prevent and end homelessness among veteran households.

For more information, contact Joye Harrison, Veteran's Housing Program Coordinator at the Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation (VBCDC), at 463-9516.

Region's First Permanent Rental Housing Complex for Disabled or Homeless Veterans Opens in Virginia Beach
 
On Sept. 26, federal, state and local officials celebrated the opening of Cedar Grove in Virginia Beach, the first permanent rental housing complex in Hampton Roads developed specifically for disabled and/or homeless veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. 
 
Cedar Grove provides 32 units of permanent supportive rental housing. All apartments are universally designed and 16 units are fully accessible, including three, which are sensory accessible. Case management services will be facilitated by staff from the Hampton Veterans Administration Medical Facility and on-site counselors. 
 
Cedar Grove was developed by the Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation (VBCDC) and the Southeastern Virginia Housing Corporation. The City of Virginia Beach contributed $450,000 in HUD funding towards the project. Housing & Neighborhood Preservation is also providing housing assistance to the residents using 32 Project-Based Housing Choice Vouchers, which during the span of 30 years, will amount to approximately $8 million in rental assistance.
Code Enforcement: Promoting a Vibrant, Well-Maintained Community
Infographic: Key Results & Activities from Past 5 Years
From 2008-2013, Housing & Neighborhood Preservation's Code Enforcement Division cited more than 156,557 building and property maintenance code violations, ranging from overgrown weeds/grass and inoperable vehicles to unsafe buildings and peeling paint. 
 
Click on the infographic to see a brief summary highlighting the division's efforts from the past five years.
 

October is Housing America Month

Recognizing the Need & Importance of Safe, Decent & Affordable Housing
Housing America Month is part of a campaign led by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) to 
raise awareness about the "critical role safe, decent and affordable housing plays in all aspects of life -- for individuals, families, children and young adults, seniors, persons with disabilities, and our veterans, as well as for our communities and the national economy".

What does "affordable housing" mean? The accepted standard of affordability by HUD and other housing organizations means a household pays no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing; households who pay more are considered cost-burdened. 
According to 2011 data, nearly 42% of all households in Virginia Beach are cost-burdened. For very low-income households living in rental units, with incomes of $20,000 or less, the challenge is even greater -- 94% are cost-burdened. Being able to afford other necessities, such as food, transportation and health care, can add more financial strain for these households.
 
The availability of affordable housing also plays a role in the issue of homelessness. One of the fundamental causes of homelessness is the gap between a household's income and the cost of housing. During the 2013 Point-in-Time Count, a total of 456 persons were reported homeless. Sixty-seven adults were unsheltered, meaning they were literally on the street or in other places not meant for human habitation. An additional 389 persons were counted, but were staying in emergency shelter or transitional housing. This included 63 households with children, comprised of 200 people.
 
When people are able to live in safe, decent and affordable housing, the quality of life for the individual or family improves, as well as the entire community. Housing & Neighborhood Preservation continually strives to expand affordable housing opportunities in the city through our Workforce Housing Program and by providing affordable rental housing assistance through a variety of programs. We also partner with non-profits and neighboring cities to increase the number of affordable housing options in the city for families and individuals experiencing homelessness and those at-risk.
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fair housing logoVIRGINIA BEACH HOUSING AND NEIGHBORHOOD PRESERVATION DOES BUSINESS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL FAIR HOUSING LAW AND SECTION 504 PROGRAM ACCESSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS. THE DEPARTMENT COMPLIES WITH THE FAIR HOUSING ACT AND PROVIDES REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS AND MODIFICATIONS TO PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. VIRGINIA BEACH HOUSING AND NEIGHBORHOOD PRESERVATION DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASES OF RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, DISABILITY, FAMILIAL STATUS, NATIONAL ORIGIN, SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR GENDER IDENTITY IN ADMISSION OR ACCESS TO ITS PROGRAMS.