VCDC’s second installment in its series on affordable housing spotlights the needs faced by lower income residents in rural areas of Virginia.
Rural Virginia is home to some of the state’s most beautiful vistas and some of its greatest housing challenges. We’ll visit one rural community in Halifax County that’s using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program to ease the burden of the county’s lower-income residents by increasing the availability of affordable housing. In Halifax County 18% of the population lives in poverty – significantly higher than the national average of 14.8%*.
Southside Outreach Group, Inc. (SSOG), headquartered in South Boston, has been making home ownership possible for lower-income residents since 1995. SSOG has coordinated the rehabilitation of dozens of homes throughout Southside Virginia, many of which lacked indoor plumbing.
Miller Homes at Poplar Creek in South Boston is SSOG’s first multi-family rental housing undertaking. To offer lower income residents of South Boston more choices, SSOG acquired the former Fairmont Apartment Community in 2013 and fashioned it into 46 quality affordable rental homes.
We talked to Earl Howerton, Sr., Executive Director of Southside Outreach Group to learn more:
As it relates to lower income families living in rural areas, what affordable housing issue tops your list of challenges? Many families in the county are severely cost burdened by low-income, lack of credit or no credit at all. Miller Homes is a logical extension of SSOG’s commitment to helping those people find housing in our community.
Why is it important to have quality in affordable housing? Quality material equals lasting sustainability, better efficiency, and lower utility bills, which provide more affordability to the residents. SSOG truly believes everyone is entitled to safe, decent, and affordable housing.
*As reported by The US Census Bureau.
What is Southside Outreach Group doing to celebrate Affordable Housing Awareness Week? On April 20th, SSOG will host an open house celebration for the newly revitalized Miller Homes at Poplar Creek in South Boston, VA.