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Halifax housing project receives $800,000 boost from grant

Pine Height Trail Housing Rehabilitation Project in Halifax County is one of four community improvement projects in the state to receive $3.15 million in Community Development Block Grant funding, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Tuesday.

A total of $840,169 in funding has been awarded to the Pine Height Trail Housing Rehabilitation Project.

According to County Administrator George Nester, the funding will be used to bring 14 homes in that community up to minimum building code requirements.

Included will be installation of indoor plumbing into some houses and reconstructing other units that can be rehabilitated.

“As part of this project, we plan to get rid of the debris that has accumulated in the community,” he added.

“We’re delighted to get this grant,” Nester said noting the county first applied in the spring of 2010 but was denied.

“At that time we were told as other projects were completed and funding was left over, we would be considered in another round,” he said.

That other round of funding was announced Tuesday, when the county was informed it would receive $840,169 for the Pine Height Trail Housing Rehabilitation Project.

The Pine Height Trail community was selected to apply for the grant funding after the need was identified, and residents in the neighborhood showed a willingness to participate.

Public hearings to gauge community participation were held in the fall of 2010 and spring of 2011, Nester said.

Other projects receiving a portion of the $3 million in grant funds announced Tuesday include $949,242 in multi-year funding for Mecklenburg County’s Tiny Road Community Improvement Project; $750,000 for Anglers Way Water Project in Scott County; and $611,579 for Allison Gap Housing Rehabilitation in Smyth County.

The four community improvement projects are in addition to the almost $9 million of funding provided in June 2011 and several other awards, including Urgent Needs grants provided to communities devastated by tornadoes.

“The Community Development Block Grant program is continuing to provide funding for projects to better the lives of thousands of Virginians,” said McDonnell.  “We are committed to utilizing all of the resources we have to continue to better our communities throughout the commonwealth.”

During this year’s competitive cycle, 30 proposals were submitted by 29 localities, and 12 projects received the initial funding.

The Community Development Block Grant Program specifies that funding which has not been obligated or which has been returned from closed projects or cost under-runs by December is to be committed to proposals which did not initially receive funding in that year.

“With the CDBG program, localities across the commonwealth can address numerous issues including housing, economic development, health, safety and more to create great communities in which to live, work and do business,” said DHCD Director Bill Shelton.