Here’s some exciting news we want to share with our affordable housing stakeholders. Virginia has been chosen as a Stronger Economies Together (SET) Phase V state for 2015! Thanks to this designation, two rural Virginia regions now have the opportunity to receive economic development coaching and technical assistance.
SET, a regional economic improvement program, has the goal of strengthening the capacity of rural communities and counties through the development and implementation of economic advancement blueprints for the multicounty regions. The program was kicked off in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development in collaboration with the nation’s Regional Rural Development Centers and their land-grant university partners. In 2012, Virginia entered SET Phase III and worked with the Northern Neck and the Virginia Growth Alliance regions.
Two multi-county regions in rural Virginia will be selected to participate in the 2015 initiative. A region is eligible to apply for SET Phase V assistance if it meets two conditions: encompasses three or more contiguous counties in Virginia or in conjunction with counties in neighboring states; and has a population and/or geographic area that is 51 percent rural in nature, or 75 percent of the land area must be considered rural based on census data or other sufficient data or documentation.
Completed applications must be submitted electronically by May 7, 2015. The two selected regions will be announced by June 30.