Northam proposes major investment in affordable housing, free community college

Northam proposes major investment in affordable housing, free community college
Northam announces part of 2020 budget proposal. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam announced a potential, major, investment in affordable housing and a push for tuition-free community college. His budget proposal for the upcoming legislative session includes $145 million dollars for the initiative.

Previewing his budget proposal on Friday, Northam says he’s focusing on creating tuition-free college for low and middle-income students, and improving housing affordability and eviction rates.

Northam introduced his "G3″ initiative - “get skilled, get a job, give back” - which he campaigned on. It would provide free college tuition to students who pursue degrees in high-demand fields.

The governor also proposed $92 million in new funding to address housing affordability, including $63 million for the Virginia Housing Trust fund. That fund provides financing for affordable housing construction and supports efforts to reduce homelessness.

“This is a great announcement today for more money, more resources that will go into our housing trust fund. More resources that will go toward our eviction rates, which are unacceptable in Virginia,” Northam said.

The budget will also invest $6.6 million to establish an Eviction Prevention and Diversion Pilot Program.

Northam will address the Joint Money Committees on Tuesday with his full budget plan.

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