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Congressman Forbes Dedicates Smithfield Renovation

Congressman J. Randy Forbes spoke of new beginnings for Church Manor, one of Smithfield, Virginia’s oldest affordable housing communities at a dedication held on June 12.

“This community is an example of rebirth and the impact of partnerships between community development and faith-based organizations,” Forbes said. “It is important to continue these efforts so that all of our citizens have a place to call home.”

The $4.5 million renovation of the 50-unit community for very-low income residents began when Main Street Baptist Church secured renovation costs through federal loans and grants. Still needing additional funds, they partnered with Community Housing Partners in 2004. Much of the complex was condemned and unlivable, leaving residents who have lived at this complex for almost 30 years, including elderly and handicapped individuals, living in these poor conditions. Improvements included replacing roofs, plumbing, flooring and windows, as well as removal of asbestos and lead paint. The exterior enhancements complement the historic design of Smithifield’s downtown historic district.

The completion of this project was also made possible through the following local, state, and federal partnerships: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Virginia Community Development Corporation (VCDC), the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Smithfield Police, Town of Smithfield, Isle of Wight County, and funding partners such as Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, BB&T, Fannie Mae, and NeighborWorks® America.