People Inc. wins Virginia Governor’s Housing Award

People Incorporated was recently honored at the 2022 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference with the Outstanding Rural Development award for Luray Meadows apartments. Luray Meadows is the agency’s newest property in Page County and its largest development to date.

People Inc. is the designated Community Action Agency for Page County. “When we expanded into the county in 2008, one of the things we heard consistently from folks was that there is a need for affordable housing,” said People Inc. President and CEO Bryan Phipps.

People Inc. started helping the county develop much-needed affordable housing in 2012 by beginning to raise capital to finance the construction of safe, quality housing for low-to-moderate income families in Luray.

(L-R) Hunter Snellings, People Inc. Director of Affordable Housing Development; John Ayres, board member; DHCD Director Bryan Horn; Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick; Virginia Housing CEO Susan Dewey; People Inc. Vice President Bryan Ailey; David McCracken, board member; Erika Dietz, People Inc. Project Manager; Dennis Morris, board member.

“Nothing that we do, we do by ourselves,” said Bryan. The agency worked with leadership from the Town of Luray and the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission along with other partners to secure financing needed for the project. After several setbacks, full financing for the $13.5 million project was secured.

Luray Meadows is funded by a combination of public and private financing, including Virginia Housing REACH financing, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development HOME funds, Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission HOME funds, a DHCD Community Development Block Grant, and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.

The property is the first new affordable housing development in Page County in 20 years. Construction was completed on the 52-unit, two-and three-bedroom community in summer 2022.

 

A sign with mountains in the background

The apartments are spacious enough to accommodate families and are close to grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. They also help residents save on energy costs as EarthCraft-certified green buildings with EnergyStar-rated appliances and high-efficiency HVAC units.

Luray Meadows has also expanded the availability of living options with half of the property receiving accessibility-focused upgrades according to Universal Design standards. Six of the units are fully accessible.

“We want to make sure that no matter where Virginians live that they have access to safe, decent affordable housing,” said Bryan. “It’s our passion and knowing that that effort is recognized is something that is very important to us.”

For residents, Luray Meadows is not just a place to live, but a place to get involved. People Incorporated supports residents with quarterly homeownership, eviction-prevention, and tenant rights counseling. The agency also supports their eventual move from the property into homeownership.

View this video from the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference for more information about Luray Meadows!

 

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