The Prince William County Office of Housing & Community Development (OHCD) was recently notified that they will receive $3.1 million through federal grants to assist area residents who are in need of decent housing, a suitable living environment, and aid in economic opportunities for low and moderate-income persons.

The grants will be funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and will be used for three programs, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) and the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG).

OHCD is expecting to receive $2.24 million from CDBG funds. Funding from CDBG goes to benefit low and moderate-income persons, aid in the prevention or elimination of slum or blight, or to address an urgent community need. CDBG funds can be used for acquisition of real property, improving public facilities, removing architectural barriers and housing rehabilitation.  OHCD has cooperative agreements with both of the City of Manassas and Manassas Park and has allocated the largest distribution of CDBG funding to the Neighborhood Housing Rehabilitation Program. This program assists owner-occupied residents to correct health and safety issues, as well as to increase energy efficiency within their properties, said Joan Duckett, OHCD’s Community Planning and Development division chief.

The agency is also expecting to receive $661,384 in HOME Funds. These funds are designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. “The county’s HOME funds are allocated to our First-Time Homebuyer Program, which provides direct assistance to low and moderate income eligible first-time homebuyers with down payment and closing costs assistance,” Duckett said.  The program allows for between 23 percent and 33 percent of the approved sales price to be used as direct down payment and closing costs assistance for low and moderate-income eligible households living and purchasing within the Prince William area.

Funding from ESG is expected to total $194,075, and a portion will be granted to local homeless shelters and transitional housing providers for general operating costs. Another portion of the funding will be allocated to aid in rapid rehousing, which is fundamental in helping reduce the amount of time a person may be homeless, Duckett said.

For more information about these and other programs offered through the OHCD, visit www.pwcgov.org/housing

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