RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Millions of dollars are headed to Virginia to help keep low income families in their homes.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is awarding a total of $3 million to several housing authorities in the Commonwealth, including, Richmond and Petersburg.
Ralph Harvey is one of many Virginians in the housing choice voucher program also known as section eight. The program allows Harvey to receive a voucher through the housing authority to help pay for rent.
"It helps me a lot because I'm on a fixed income. I don't get but so much monthly and it helps me with rent," said Harvey.
Harvey is pleased to hear millions of dollars are headed to the commonwealth to support the program. The money will help keep nearly 400 families statewide in affordable housing.
Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority will get nearly $1.9 million. Petersburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority will receive some $388,000. The VA Housing Authority will get just under $200,000. The funds are part of a $150 million set-aside from the federal government.
"The set-aside funds are there for public housing authorities that experience a quick increase in utilization of those vouchers," said Robert Jennings, director for the Richmond Branch of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Voucher recipients pay 30 percent of their income towards rent -- the authority covers the difference. Jennings says many in the program have experienced a decrease in household income -- that means a bigger voucher payout.
"This money helps off-set that," said Jennings.
The three million awarded to the state is expected to be paid out within the next 30 to 60 days.