With a history of being economically depressed and geographically-challenged, rural towns like Exmore on the Eastern Shore have long struggled to provide safe, affordable housing for their residents. Ava Gabrielle-Wise, Executive Director of The New Road Community Group of Exmore, Inc., has made it her life’s work to improve housing conditions in Exmore, particularly for the predominantly African American neighborhood called New Road. Until the 1990s, most homes in the century-old community were without public water or sewer.
Virginia Housing participated in the groundbreaking of a new affordable housing development across from George Mason University in Fairfax. One University is the redevelopment of Robinson Square, an aging public housing community owned by Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) and previously funded by HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.
As it has for the past 50 years, Virginia Housing is investing in the future of affordable housing in the Commonwealth. In 2022, it is celebrating its 50th anniversary by sponsoring a “Power of Home” digital art contest. The contest is open to all Virginians and will award a total of $20,000 to multiple winners across three categories – school-age students, adult amateurs and adult professionals.