Category Archives: Uncategorized

COVID-19 At-Home Test Kits Available

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is offering COVID-19 test kits designed to provide results within 30 mins to homeless service providers. These kits can be given to your clients as needed and can be used when they are feeling sick or if they’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19.  These test kits have everything needed to perform the test and can be performed anywhere.  The sample is self-collected by the client and they would then follow the package insert to perform the test.  Here is some more information about the test:

Lucira CHECK-IT COVID-19 Test is a single-use (all in one) test available over the counter (no prescription needed) for “at home” use. It gives results in 30 minutes or less.  Each kit includes all the supplies required to perform a self-collected test (including batteries). A smart device is not required . If internet access is available, there is a reporting portal called LUCI, where the user can report their result.   This test has a 9 month expiry from the date of manufacture.  

More information on At Home/Point of Care testing is available through the VDH Testing webpage.  If you are interested in ordering Lucira Test Kits for your organization, please use this ordering form (under Type of Organization, select “other”).  If you choose to order the kits, our team can provide you with more information on how to educate your clients regarding follow up once they perform the test, including contact information for your local health department.  For more information or questions regarding these test kits, please contact testinginfo@vdh.virginia.gov or Keri Houser at k.houser@vdh.virginia.gov.

Community Development Block Grant

The Western Virginia Continuum of Care has received Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to support housing in a non-congregate setting in the amount of $648,000. The CDBG funds usage is consistent with CHERP non-congregate programs.

The Western Virginia Continuum of Care is accepting CDBG funding request proposals. Applicants must fill the CDBG funds application form below and return it by July 16, 2021.  The proposal must include program guidelines, description of supportive services, and a plan for moving participants into permanent housing. The CDBG funds can be utilized through March 31, 2022.

For questions, please email Isaiah Mejah isaiahm@harrsonburgrha.com 

Client Engagement Survey

H.B. 854 Statewide Housing Study

During the 2020 Session, House Bill 854 passed. Over the past 9 months, the H.B. 854 Stakeholder Advisory Group has convened to discuss affordable housing across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

VHA, Virginia Housing, and the Department of Housing and Community Development would like to hear from those most impacted in the community. Please share circulate this survey among providers in your community to get input from the persons they serve via state housing programs.

Engagement with those we serve is an important part of this process to make sure any policy recommendations consider the actual experiences of persons in need of housing assistance.

Help us get direct client feedback. Respondents will be entered into a raffle to win a $100 Visa gift card. Ten winners will be chosen at random and notified by June 25th. Here is the survey Link.

HB854 Client Engagement Survey – Enterprise Survey Software | QuestionPro Survey

Potential Provider for High Needs Support Program

The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) recently  received federal approval to offer housing and employment support services for Medicaid members who have significant behavioral and physical health needs through the High Needs Supports (HNS) program.  The approved benefit will create a statewide supportive housing program that builds on the existing programs and partnership with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and Virginia Housing. The employment supports benefit will expand on programs established by the Virginia Workforce Centers, the Virginia Employment Commission, and the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. The HNS program will offer housing and employment services through its managed care program to individuals who meet criteria based on health needs and risk factors, including diagnosis of a developmental disability, serious mental illness or substance use disorder; chronic homelessness; a history of institutional admissions; and/or frequent emergency department visits. 

DMAS is seeking input from existing and potential providers and requests that the interest form below be completed and returned by July 2nd to hnsprogram@dmas.virginia.gov. The information will help DMAS determine provider development needs to establish the HNS provider network. 

If you have any questions, please review the program details at https://www.dmas.virginia.gov/for-providers/high-needs-support/ or contact hnsprogram@dmas.virginia.gov for more information. 

Community Events and Announcements

Tenant Town Hall

Date: June 2, 2021

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Zoom

https://vplc.salsalabs.org/shenandoahtownhall/index.html?fbclid=IwAR1dT_I7BjcQo8HaN8y5_0UXBq4fbSAZriJbZzxagn9rkk007uAGcJsxU7c

Join the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) and Blue Ridge Legal Services (BRLS) for a virtual town hall for tenants and service providers who work with tenants. During the virtual meeting, we will focus on tenant issues in your region of the state and go over new Virginia laws on how to avoid eviction.

Following the overview of Virginia evictions and rental assistance, there will be an opportunity for you to share your concerns about landlord-tenant relationships in Virginia and to discuss how landlords, tenants, and other community members can help make renting in Virginia a better experience.

Understanding the New Landlord Tenant Laws

Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Time: 10:00-11:00am

Location: Zoom

Meeting Registration – Zoom

Description: During the 2021 General Assembly session, Virginia enacted a number of anti-eviction programs and laws protecting tenants. Join us for an opportunity to learn about the new landlord tenant laws scheduled to be enacted July 1, 2021. 

Presenter: Christine Marra, Esq., Director of Housing Advocacy 

VDH link to register for COVID vaccination

People living in homeless shelters are at increased risk because homeless services are often provided in congregate settings, which could facilitate the spread of infection. Because many people who are homeless are older adults or have underlying medical conditions, they may also be at increased risk for severe illness. Those living in homeless shelters and homeless shelter workers will receive the vaccine through the local health departments. Please register here: COVID-19 Vaccine – Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine

Self-care Support for Providers

Please Join Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) on Wednesday, January 20, from 11am-12pm Pacific, as they launch their live monthly webinar and podcast series on provider well-being and self-care featuring Aleks Martin, MSW, LSWAIC, SUDP of A/M Consulting & Clinical Services.

Live sessions will be held on the third Wednesday of the month, January-August, from 11:00am to 12:00pm Pacific, starting Wednesday, January 20. Podcasts will be released the following week.

Learn more here.

Housing Provider Survey H.B. 854 Statewide Housing Study

Virginia Housing Programs and Policies Survey – Online Surveys | QuestionPro Survey

What is HB 854?


House Resolution HB 854 contains language directing Virginia Housing and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to conduct a study of state policies and programs which influence the creation and preservation of affordable housing. HB 854 passed both houses of the General Assembly with unanimous support in the 2020 regular session.

HousingForward Virginia is assisting Virginia Housing and DHCD with this effort, which requires significant engagement with practitioners and advocates across the commonwealth to understand how current housing initiatives may or may not be fully addressing community needs.
 Per the bill’s requirements, a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) of housing experts from across the state was assembled to guide this effort. The SAG is the primary body that will produce the study and make final recommendations to the General Assembly.

What is the purpose of this survey? This survey is your organization’s opportunity to provide detailed and meaningful feedback on any and all state-administered housing funds, policies, and programs you use. We are also interested in learning how the need for racial equity and COVID-19 recovery efforts have affected the affordable housing arena. Once tallied and anonymized, your responses will be used by the SAG to educate policymakers and influence policy changes.

Invitations to this survey will be sent to nonprofit housing organizations, homeless service providers, housing developers, banks and lenders, real estate professionals, public housing authorities, and local governments. Each respondent will answer a series of common questions, along with prompts specific to their industry sector. 


 How long will this survey take to complete? We expect this survey to take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
 How long will this survey be available? This survey will remain online until December 31, 2020.

 
 How else can my organization be involved? We are looking for practitioners to participate in focus groups throughout January and February of next year. These focus groups will take deeper dives into housing issues based on the results of this survey. If you are interested in helping, there is a question at the beginning of the survey where you can agree to participate, and get notified in January when meetings are planned.


When will HB 854 be completed? A full report will be completed in the fall of 2021. Per HB 854’s requirements, it will include a full analysis of existing policies and programs (using knowledge gained from this survey), assessments of potential new housing programs, and a quantitative determination of the quality and quantity of affordable housing in the commonwealth.

Here is the link to the survey

Virginia Housing Programs and Policies Survey – Online Surveys | QuestionPro Survey

Notice of Funding Opportunity

VHDA Capacity Building Grant Tier 3 – Program Enhancement & Evaluation

 Funding Purpose:

REACH Virginia FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: VHDA reinvests a portion of our net revenues into Virginia’s communities through REACH Virginia (Resources Enabling Affordable Community Housing in Virginia). This is a multifaceted resource that VHDA uses to support vital housing initiatives through our Homeownership, Rental and Community Outreach programs.

The intent of the Tier 3 Capacity Building Grant  – Program Enhancement & Evaluation is to fund non-profit organizations seeking to enhance a current program to result in better outcomes.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Organizations must be physically located in Virginia.
  2. The organization cannot be an emerging organization. The organization must have:
  3. At a minimum, five years of operations.
  4. Engaged leadership, staff, and volunteers.
  5. Ability to demonstrate fiscal soundness and measurable program outcomes.
  6. The organization must carry out at least one of the following housing-related mission:
  7. Creating economically integrated and inclusive housing opportunities including affordable housing, workforce housing, mixed-income housing, and/or community-based housing options for people with disabilities and/or
  8. Planning and Community Development to include significant attention to housing planning needs throughout Virginia, and/or
  9. Providing services and/or educational opportunities in order to further affordable housing.
  10. The organization must align with VHDA’s mission of Helping Virginians Attain Quality, Affordable Housing, and VHDA’s Strategic Direction.

 Program Parameters:

Approved agencies must comply with the VHDA Capacity Building Handbook. Click the document below for a detailed explanation of the scope, disbursement, and reporting requirements.

This program is an eighteen (18) month intensive process where organizations will analyze up to three existing programs and take a deep dive evaluating the inefficiencies of and improving one program. Working with a VHDA-approved consultant, organizations will evaluate program outcomes, identify and implement technology solutions; and receive an action plan to address other programs.

Application Process:

Agencies seeking funding should apply to VHDA’s Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) using VHDA’s Grants Management System at https://vhdagrants.com/. For questions concerning this program or assistance with application submission, contact Frank Curbeira, Strategic Housing Officer, at (804) 343-5818.

Application Requirements:

Interested applicants must submit a Pre-Application by February 28.  VHDA will select up to four (4) applicants to work with the Program Enhancement Consultants to complete the full application prior to April 30.

  • Proposed Budget – Maximum request allowed is $172,000.00 (up to $100,000 for eligible agency expenses and $72,000 for the three consultants).  Awards are based on the availability of VHDA funding. 
  • Agency authorized official certification
  • ACH
  • W9
  • Organizational Chart
  • 501(c)3 determination letter
  • Prior year’s audited financial statements, prior year’s reviewed financial statements, or two years of financial statements
  • Travel policy
  • Program Enhancement Engagement Certification
  • VHDA Tier II Post-assessment or completed assessments from 5 parties (two board members, two senior staff, and another person).  Assessments may be completed online at Assessment

Decision Process:

Funds will be awarded based on an assessment of the agency’s application and the availability of VHDA funds.

Selected agencies will receive a Grant Award Notification (GAN) and a Grant Agreement if approved for funds under the award. Agencies must return the signature page of the Grant Agreement to VHDA with signature by an authorized representative.

All applicants have the option to submit a request at vhdagrants@vhda.com for a debriefing within thirty (30) days of approval or denial.

Important Information/Dates

Deadline: Pre-application closes February 28, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.

Webinar Training:   

Date: 12/18/2020

Time: 10:00 AM

Updated WebEx link: https://virginiahousing.webex.com/virginiahousing/j.php?MTID=mf7f427ada2d50adc37b0cbce37e86605

Password: Capacity