Bristol Redevelopment & Housing Authority

Bristol Redevelopment & Housing Authority


David McGee
 Feb 22, 2023

The Bristol Virginia Housing Authority is one of eight Southwest Virginia agencies that will divide $4.8 million in federal public housing grant money.

The Bristol agency received $1.14 million for its capital fund, part of $54 million in statewide grants recently announced by U.S. Sen’s Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

“We’re very happy about that,” Executive Director Lisa Porter said. “The capital fund is to be used to modernize public housing apartments…We have a physical needs assessment. We’ll look at that assessment and see where we need to target that money.”

The authority is also now classified as a Moving to Work agency, a federal Housing and Urban Development demonstration program for housing authorities. This provides them the opportunity to “design and test innovative, locally designed strategies that use federal dollars more efficiently, help residents find employment and become self-sufficient, and increase housing choices for low-income families,” according to the federal website.

“MTW gives us additional financial flexibilities. Using that program we can put some of this money toward development and replacing public housing,” Porter said. “Our next project is going to be on those vacant lots at Mary Street and Moore Street that we own. We’re targeting a tax credit application and we’re asking for funding for 39 townhomes.”

They hope to learn about the tax credit request later this spring.

“If we get tax credits we might be able to break ground in a year or a year and a half,” Porter said.

Also on the list is a planned redevelopment of Jones Manor and Stant Hall.

“Half of the units in those buildings are efficiencies – zero bedroom units [one open space with a bathroom]. Those are very hard to rent and not very popular plus there is some age on those buildings. Our plan would be to convert all those zero bedrooms into one-bedrooms.”

Capital grants can be used to address maintenance needs, reduce vacancies, relocate residents, fund programs supporting economic self-sufficiency, support resident security, safety and home ownership activities, integrate utility management and energy saving measures and make other improvements, according to the statement.

Other area housing authorities and their grant amounts include $783,482 for the Marion Redevelopment & Housing Authority; $729,287 for the Wytheville Redevelopment & Housing Authority; $672,297 for the Norton Redevelopment & Housing Authority; $598,157 for the Wise County Redevelopment & Housing Authority; $285,899 for the Scott County Redevelopment & Housing Authority; $186,660 for the Lee County Redevelopment & Housing Authority and $92,323 for the Abingdon Redevelopment and Housing Authority. — Twitter: @DMcGeeBHC