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2013 Annual Report & State Submission Available

The 2013 A-NPDC annual report is available. The report details the work completed by A-NPDC for fiscal year 2013. A sample of the projects are below. For full details, please read the FY13 Report.

William Hughes Apartments Once Languishing Now Thriving Again

William Hughes Apartments is a 34-unit USDA funded development located on U.S. Route 13 just outside of the Eastville town limits. The apartments were built in 1996 and 1997 to provide housing for both seasonal and year-round farm workers of Northampton County. The facility consists of a good mix of 1, 2 3, and 4 bedroom units along with a rental office, community room, laundromat, playgrounds and several open-space common areas. The original owner/developer of the apartments was an agency from Delaware whose main mission was to provide healthcare and other support assistance to migrant workers.  For a number of years, the agency experienced financial problems which eventually led to them closing and filing for bankruptcy. Prior to the agency shutting their doors, William Hughes Apartments suffered from several years of deferred maintenance and had been issued several notices of non-compliance by USDA auditors.

Once the Accomack-Northampton Regional Housing Authority, staffed by the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission, learned that the facility was in the hands of a federal bankruptcy court, the A-NRHA notified the court and USDA that they would be interested in taking over the ownership and management of the apartments, and submitted a successful application to USDA to acquire the property. Additionally, the A-NRHA was able to convince USDA to convert all of the units to year-round rentals to better serve the current market on the Shore.

With the acquisition complete, the A-NRHA submitted applications to secure the funds needed to complete a comprehensive rehabilitation of the apartments, grounds, and support buildings, including requests to VHDA for Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and to DHCD for HOME funds. Currently all funding is in place, all permits have been acquired, and the contractor is ready to start the rehabilitation work. The work is expected to begin in early September and be complete within 12 months.

Regional Organizations Support Local and State Efforts to Respond and Recover from Hurricane Sandy

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Eastern Shore of Virginia Housing Alliance (ESVHA) and the Accomack-Northampton Regional Housing Authority (A-NRHA), both staffed by the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission, and the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission stepped forward during Hurricane Sandy to assist in the response, relief and mitigation efforts.

The A-NRHA, during the storm, responded to the condemnation of Seabreeze Apartments in the Town of Cape Charles. The USDA funded apartments, owned by another unrelated entity, were undermined by coastal erosion and were condemned in the midst of the storm. Seven families had to be immediately evacuated and were sheltered by Northampton County. A-NPDC staff, working on behalf of A-NRHA, and still surrounded by floodwaters themselves were able to activate property management staff to prepare to receive up to seven families displaced by the storm and also coordinated a waiver from USDA to allow displaced residents to immediately move to William Hughes Apartments where newly vacant units were being held as part of the relocation plan for the new Low Income Housing Tax Credit project at the property. Vacant units were made available over the course of the next few days. Three displaced Seabreeze families made other arrangements but four families were housed, with a full one year lease and rental assistance based on their income.

After the immediacy of the storm event, in the days and weeks following the ESVHA took on the role of coordinating the efforts of Accomack County and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management in connecting those hardest hit in Accomack with the services and funds that they needed in order to stabilize and improve their housing situation.  The ESVHA managed the application process and acted as fiduciary agent for State relief funds and private donations.

Since Hurricane Sandy, seven Accomack families who could not return to their homes received up to 5 months of emergency housing assistance in local motels.  Seventeen families received VDEM funds and volunteer assistance to repair their homes.  Three families received replacement mobile homes which were located on their lots so that they met the flood elevation requirements.  Two more families will receive replacement homes in the near future as the ESVHA works to find solutions for the remaining families affected by the storm. Close to a year after the event, all families appear to be served or are in process and the regional organizations are winding down recovery efforts but we aren’t done yet.

The A-NPDC has written a new application to elevate an additional ten houses above the 100-year flood elevation in Accomack County, continuing a mitigation program that began with the 2003 Hurricane Isabel event. The A-NPDC continues to coordinate regional mitigation efforts to prevent and reduce future disruptions from storm events.

First Annual Eastern Shore GIS Symposium a Success

The Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission in partnership with DEQ’s Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program and the Eastern Shore Resource Conservation & Development Council hosted the first annual Eastern Shore GIS Symposium. Seven proposals, relating to the Eastern Shore or providing training beneficial to Eastern Shore GIS experts, were selected and presented from Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, the Accomack-Northampton Electric Cooperative, Cintos Research and the Department of Environmental Quality. Twenty-six GIS experts came together to discuss the research and training and share experiences and expertise. The largest group attending were local government managers, followed by local university research groups, then local federal managers, state agency managers with local offices and finally others, including state agency managers with offices in Richmond.

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