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Blacksburg, Roanoke area projects awarded affordable housing loans

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Legacy on Main (copy)

A rendering shows the Legacy on Main project proposed in Blacksburg.

A pair of affordable housing projects in the Roanoke and New River valleys are among the recipients of more than $27 million in state-administered Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office made the funding announcement, saying in a news release that the recommended projects that were awarded the loans will create and preserve nearly 2,000 units for low-income and extremely low-income households.

Among the projects are the Legacy on Main development in Blacksburg and one called the Roanoke Habitat Affordable Housing 2021-2022. The latter, which is under the Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley, involves the construction or “substantial renovation” of 10 scattered-site homes in Roanoke and the town of Buchanan in Botetourt County, according to the 2022 spring Affordable and Special Needs Housing awardees page.

The homes in the Roanoke area project will be available for sale to households earning up to 80% of the area median income, according to the award page.

Legacy on Main, a project under nonprofit Community Housing Partners, will involve the development of a 56-unit apartment building that will use low income housing tax credits. To qualify for housing there, residents will be allowed to earn up to 80% of Blacksburg’s area median income, which CHP said is $63,000 a year for a family of four in town.

Legacy on Main stirred debate earlier this year as the development didn’t exactly garner unanimous support among residents. Many in the neighborhood near the project’s site opposed the development due to stated concerns over its size, among other issues.

Legacy on Main required a rezoning before it could move forward, a request the Blacksburg Town Council eventually approved. The rezoning gave the developer the ability to build a larger project than what would have previously been allowed at the site.

Among the features noted on the loans award page is Legacy on Main’s proximity to amenities such as public transportation, grocery stores and medical facilities.

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development administers the Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans, according to the recent announcement from the governor’s office. Funding, it says, comes from the three main sources: the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the federal National Housing Trust Fund and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund.

Legacy on Main and the Roanoke Habitat Affordable Housing projects were awarded $900,000 and $700,000, respectively, from the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, or VHTF.

The VHTF, the recent announcement said, is provided by the General Assembly and supports financing for housing construction projects that create or preserve affordable housing units, reduce the cost of affordable housing and boost homeownership.

“Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans continue to be a vital resource for increasing the stock and availability of affordable housing and supporting an economy that works for all Virginians,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick, in the release.

Youngkin said the projects will provide critical support to the state’s vulnerable populations, as well as strengthen the economy and boost the quality of life for a great number of Commonwealth residents.

“Stable and affordable housing is foundational to building a thriving economy,” he said in the release. “These projects were carefully selected to ensure they make the most impact on their future residents and the surrounding communities.”

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