Affordable housing in Virginia is in high demand, and like other states, is scarce. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the U.S. has a shortage of homes available to extremely low-income renters whose household incomes are at or below the poverty guideline of 30 percent of the area median income.
In Virginia, more than 235,000 renter households are considered extremely low income, yet there are only 40 affordable units available for every 100 of those households. People Incorporated of Virginia (People Inc.) works to close that gap. Based in Abingdon, the 55-year-old People Incorporated of Virginia is one of the largest rural community action agencies in the nation, serving residents throughout Virginia.
When People Inc. identified several properties across Virginia it could redevelop into affordable housing options, Virginia Community Capital (VCC) helped make the agency’s vision a reality. In December 2018, VCC closed four loans with People Inc. for the purchase and rehabilitation of three properties totaling 96 units.
People Inc. used the loans to fund the projects until it could leverage federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits funds (LIHTCs), an incentive program administered by the Virginia Housing Development Authority to encourage more affordable rental housing.
Since 2006, People Inc. has developed more than 21 communities using more than $50 million in LIHTCs. In just 13 years, People Inc.’s LIHTC efforts have led to the creation of more than 696 low-income housing units throughout Virginia. Additionally, all People Inc. projects have Viridiant certification, designating them as green, sustainable housing. Viridiant has also named People Inc. as Virginia Multi-Family Developer of the Year.