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Blacksburg Celebrates New Affordable Housing Opportunity

Blacksburg, Virginia—For first time homebuyers Kristin deNeeve, 25, and Eddie Owens, 28, the completion of the Roanoke-Lee Street duplexes is well worth the wait. When the couple, who has been married for 8-years, first began looking to buy their own home, they found there were very few affordable housing options in this area.
 
“We were tired of paying rent, but found that affording a mortgage in Blacksburg would be a real problem,” deNeeve said. “And we also didn’t know much about buying a house and were scared someone would take advantage of us.”
 
Through a partnership between Community Housing Partners Corporation (CHPC) and the Town of Blacksburg, the Roanoke-Lee Street duplexes were the couple’s answer. Owens, a Virginia Tech student on the G.I. Bill pursuing his B.S. in Wildlife Management, and deNeeve, a Senior Graphic Designer for Virginia Tech’s Student Programs Department, are the first residents to successfully purchase one of the 14 duplex units.
 
On Thursday, June 8th at 2:00 pm, Owens and deNeeve will join the Town of Blacksburg and CHPC to host a dedication ceremony to celebrate a new affordable housing option for qualified homebuyers. This event, to be held on the corner of Lee and Prospect Streets, will take place on the first of seven lots to be developed in the town. Four new homes are completed and almost ready for occupancy.
 
Community Housing Partners Corporation and representatives from the Town of Blacksburg, the Virginia Housing Development Authority, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, will join with neighborhood representatives, potential homebuyers, partners and funding agents to kick off the construction of these homes for low-to moderate income buyers.
 
The Blacksburg Duplexes project consists of 14 units distributed in 7 buildings that are being constructed utilizing efficient design, sustainable materials and incorporating energy efficient features throughout. All units were designed by Colin Arnold, AIA, the Director of CHPC’s Community Design Studio and built by the CHPC construction division. There is a choice of floor plans with 2 or 3 bedroom units. The units range in size from 1,001 sq. ft. to 1,317 sq. ft. and are situated in an established neighborhood within walking distance of public transportation, dining, library, shopping, recreational amenities and businesses. Construction financing was provided by the First National Bank.
 
The affordability of these units is enhanced with Community Development Block Grant funding through the Town of Blacksburg and Self Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) funding from the Housing Assistance Council. The SHOP grant requires a contribution of individual and community “sweat equity” towards construction. CHPC will partner with other non-profits, Town of Blacksburg employees and future homeowners to put the finishing touches on their new homes. The volunteers are working at the site on June 5th and 6th in honor of NeighborWorks® Week, nationwide movement to mobilize tens of thousands of business people, residents and government officials in a week of neighborhood change and awareness. Part of the project will involve employees and community volunteers to complete the landscaping, building of sheds and installing porous pavers for the first two units of the Roanoke-Lee Street duplexes.
 
CHPC is currently taking applications from prospective homebuyers who meet income guidelines and agree to participate in financial literacy and homebuyer education classes. CHPC also offers access to down-payment assistance and below-market rate permanent financing for qualified low to moderate income homebuyers.