February 4, 2014

VHDA and Virginia Supportive Housing: Providing Virginia’s Homeless With Much More Than a Place to Live

This article first appeared in VHDA’s annual Community Outreach Report for 2013. To download the PDF, click here.

It’s no secret homelessness is a complex condition that runs much deeper than simply not having a place to call home. Virginia’s homeless are often challenged with physical, mental and emotional disabilities that need to be addressed along with their housing needs.

That’s why VHDA partners with Virginia Supportive Housing (VSH), a not-for-profit organization that works to end homelessness in Virginia through supportive housing. Permanent supportive housing includes supportive services such as mental health counseling, access to substance abuse treatment programs, assistance with medical care and financial literacy training to help residents overcome the challenges in their lives.

VSH develops, owns and operates more than 460 apartment units across Virginia. Additionally, VSH connects homeless individuals with rental property owners to provide even more subsidized housing to those in need. “Supportive housing is a proven, permanent solution to homelessness,” said VSH Executive Director Alice Tousignant. “VSH would not be able to provide permanent supportive housing without the help from VHDA, with whom we have partnered for more than two decades,” she added.

VHDA supports Virginia Supportive Housing developments through our Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC) and through SPARC rental housing loans. “Most recently, VHDA has allocated tax credits and provided loans to VSH that allowed us to develop 240 units of supportive housing in South Hampton Roads and 21 units in Richmond,” said Tousignant.

While the programs and services VSH offers are varied, the goals are the same: improving people’s economic self-sufficiency and housing stability and promoting mental health and substance abuse recovery. VSH’s approach has achieved impressive results: 98 percent of their residents do not return to homelessness.

For more information, contact VHDA Senior Strategic Lending Officer Chris Hilbert at 804-343-5741 or chris.hilbert@vhda.com.
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