Gov. Northam announces more than $1.7 million for projects assisting Virginians on Peninsula impacted by COVID-19

Posted at 5:13 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 17:13:26-04

JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va.- Governor Ralph Northam announced more than $1.7 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for three projects in the Peninsula that will assist families and small business impacted by COVID-19.

Northam announced Monday that the grants will go to James City and York counties and the city of Williamsburg to assist local governments and community partners in meeting the needs.

“The Peninsula is among the areas of our Commonwealth hardest hit by the financial impacts of this pandemic, in part because of the tourism-driven economies that they rely on every year,” said Governor Northam. “By directing CDBG funding towards these projects, we will ensure more Virginians can stay in their homes and help businesses can keep their lights on as we weather this public health crisis.”

Since 1982, the federally funded CDBG program has been administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

Virginia receives funding annually to distribute to small cities, towns, and counties.

Funding is allocated among local government applicants through an open submission application process.

This year, Northam says more than $20.4 million has been distributed to communities across Virginia through the CDBG program.

DHCD reallocated existing CDBG funding to assist with COVID-19 response and recovery activities. Funding can be used for:

  • Construction or rehab of structures for shelters
  • Testing or equipment manufacturing
  • Training programs for healthcare workers or service industry jobs transitioning to food or pharmaceutical delivery systems
  • Acquisition costs for telework or telemedicine services
  • Job creation or business development for manufacturing of COVID-related materials
  • Business assistance for job training or re-tooling business services to reopen and adapt in a new environment
  • Small business recovery funds for rent and mortgage assistance
  • Personal protective equipment, sanitization, dining equipment, and barrier devices to meet social distancing requirements

The following projects will receive CDBG funding:

Housing Assistance Program
James City County
The funding will target housing and financial stabilization through rent and/or utility payments, as well as ongoing housing and financial counseling for 54 households that have been directly impacted by COVID-19.

Emergency Housing and Food Assistance for Homeless and Low- to Moderate-Income Individuals
City of Williamsburg
The city of Williamsburg has partnered with Colonial Williamsburg and a local hotel to provide lodging and isolation space for 50 individuals experiencing homelessness. Additionally, the city will support approximately 75 households with rental assistance and provide approximately 1,200 bags of fresh produce and prepared meals to families.

Lower Peninsula Business Assistance Program
York County
York County and the cities of Poquoson and Williamsburg will utilize CDBG funds to assist more than 200 Lower Peninsula businesses with the costs associated with reopening safely. Businesses can receive up to $5,000 for rent relief and equipment purchases to help businesses re-open safely and in accordance with state procedures.