February 4, 2016

Bringing Comfort and Community to People With Disabilities

Today’s post originally appeared in VHDA’s Fall 2015 Community Outreach Report.

Like its mythical namesake, the Phoenix Village Apartments development in Newport News has been extensively renovated and reborn as the New Phoenix Village Apartments. Originally built in 1981, this apartment community began its transformation in 2013 when the Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board applied for a $1.8 million VHDA SPARC rental housing loan.

“We have a great partnership with VHDA,” said Joy Cipriano, Director of Property and Resource Development for the HNNCSB. “Their sense of mission is so in line with ours, that we don’t have to be afraid to take some risks to make big things happen. As a result, what we’re hearing from the residents of New Phoenix Village Apartments is that the results of the renovations are wonderful. ”

Those results feature comfort and convenience, with energy-efficient heating and cooling units and universal design for each of the 45 original apartments. There are 25 one-bedroom and 13 two-bedroom apartments that serve residents within the $19,800 to $34,080 income range. All apartments are ground floor accessible and ADA-compliant. Once complete, the rehab will also have three additional apartments and a community center.

“Until now, the only way those living here have been able to enjoy a sense of community was by sitting on their front porches,” said Cipriano. “Having an actual onsite community center is going to amaze them, and provide a much needed place for residents to gather for celebrations, events and companionship.”

In addition to VHDA, other financing partners included the City of Newport News, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund. The Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority is handling the management of the apartment community.

The rehabilitation of the New Phoenix Village Apartments has been transformational for more than its residents. “Before the renovations, New Phoenix was a sad-looking complex and that did not go unnoticed, since it’s located right outside of Fort Eustis,” Cipriano said. “Now that it’s had a major facelift, inside and out, it’s improved the neighborhood to the point that we’re having more interest from offsite services, like the Food Bank, that feel more comfortable being involved with our residents and the surrounding neighborhood. To echo the folks who call New Phoenix Village home, it’s just wonderful.”

To learn more, contact Director of Community Housing Beth Seward at 804-343-5615 or Elizabeth.Seward@vhda.com.

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