Reston Interfaith Housing Corporation (RIHC) has been acquiring, preserving, rehabilitating and managing affordable housing since 1990, and is celebrating the acquisition of its 50th affordable townhouse unit, providing formerly homeless and at risk individuals and families a place of security and the opportunity to rebuild life.
Due to the success of the Affordable Townhouse Acquisition and Rental Program, the housing corporation has received various best practice housing awards from local and national housing organizations. Enterprise / MetLife selected RIHC to receive a national award for the Program for excellence in housing management with supportive services.
Through the years from 1990 until today, RIHC has acquired its portfolio of 50 homes as the result of competitive federal housing acquisition awards including Community Development Block Grant funds, HOME funds and Neighborhood Stabilization funds. These deferred grants allow the housing corporation to purchase units with no mortgage commitment as long as the units remain affordable. In the next 12-18 months RIHC will see the addition of seven (7) more affordable units.
From 1990 through 1997 acquisitions were concentrated in North Reston totaling six beautiful affordable units located near the North Point Shopping Center. Then acquisitions expanded into Herndon from 1999 through 2001 where acquisitions in that time period totaled 11 renovated and safe units located conveniently near schools and shopping areas. From 2001 through 2010 units continued to be acquired throughout Reston and Herndon totaling an additional 24 units – all purchased in convenient neighborhoods. From 2010 to the present acquisitions have expanded into Centreville while purchases have continued in Reston and Herndon as well, bringing an additional nine units into the townhouse portfolio. To date, RIHC has served 131 Households and 483 individuals since the program began in 1990.
The highlight of the townhouse program has been our ability to provide families and individuals with affordable and safe housing with essential service supports. This has allowed the opportunity to establish stability and the movement from homelessness or risk of becoming homeless to a life of rebuilt security. A homeless immigrant family graduated from the program after a number of years – all becoming citizens and all three young adults graduating from college. Another single mother with two children received her nursing degree, gained employment, graduated from the program and no longer needed the Housing Choice Voucher rental subsidy assistance. A single mother with a young child fleeing domestic violence graduated from the program after going to college and obtaining her medical technician certification. A number of households have graduated from the program and have purchased their own homes. There are many other success stories which encourage us and let us know we are making a positive difference in the community!
To learn more about Reston Interfaith Housing Corporation, click here.
A team of volunteers from Great Falls, Herndon, and Reston Rotary Clubs spent a cold and snowy February weekend overhauling the storm water management system of the 70-bed residential shelter for families and single men and women. The Rotary Clubs secured a grant which provided for approximately $3,000 of pipe, fittings, and stone, secured a bobcat and an excavator, to dig and fill the pipe line, while members came with their own shovels and wheel barrows for digging and hauling material from areas requiring hand-digging. The Rotary Clubs also provided grass seed and covering material for the area until further landscaping groundcover can be installed this spring. Small follow up projects planned by Rotary Club members will further improve conditions of the shelter’s back patio area. Charles Luck Stone and Ferguson Enterprises provided discounted materials for the project.
“I was impressed by the Rotary members’ strong work ethic as they labored many long hours on one of the coldest days of the year to complete this project for us. They were unstoppable! These volunteers truly embodied the guiding principles of goodwill, fellowship, enterprise, and service to society for which Rotary members are famous. We look forward to partnering with them in the future,” said Susan Alger, Volunteer Manager at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, a program of Reston Interfaith. She also expressed a special thank you to Parker Teel, the project lead from Teel Construction, whom she labeled, “The Man of Steel”.
The Embry Rucker Community Shelter is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help clients overcome the circumstances that led to their homelessness, and facilitate their transition to stable housing. The storm water management project was part of a larger plan donated to the shelter free of charge by Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. to help improve water drainage issues at the shelter.
After several weeks of rigorous advocacy work, the General Assembly short session has concluded resulting in good prospects for Medicaid extension in Virginia.
Both houses of the General Assembly have adopted a budget that will allow for Medicaid expansion in Virginia, dependent on significant reforms to the program, which will be monitored by a new Medicaid Reform and Innovation Commission. Reston Interfaith and advocacy partners, Nonprofit Virginia and the Virginia Interfaith Center, celebrate this decision, as it could mean the extension of Medicaid benefits to up to 300,000 Virginians.
The General Assembly has also adopted a transportation compromise that will raise about $880 million in additional revenue to fund road and transit improvements across Virginia. Funds will be generated by increasing the general sales tax from 5% to 5.3%, and replacing the 17.5 cent per gallon gasoline tax with a 3.5% tax at the wholesale level. This compromise also allows for an additional 0.7% sales tax increase in both Hampton roads and Northern Virginia, and increases the proportion of general fund money that will be diverted to transportation improvements from 0.5% to 0.675%.
While fully recognizing the transportation issues facing Northern Virginia, Reston Interfaith opposed the sales tax increase and diversion of general fund monies because of the effect that these measures will have on our low-income clients and programs that support them.
We would like to offer our thanks to all those who have aided our efforts in Richmond by communicating with your legislators on these important issues over the last few weeks.
To learn more about Reston Interfaith’s advocacy work, click here.
These committed supporters make it possible to meet the needs of families and individuals every step of the way.
- Thank you to everyone for your support of the North County Hypothermia Prevention Program, and special kudos to our most frequent volunteers – Floris United Methodist Church, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation, United Christian Parish, and Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston.
- To Boofie O’Gorman and Bonnie Haukness and the Capitol Steps Event Committee.
- To Delegate Ken Plum for serving as auctioneer at the Capitol Steps event.
- To Capitol Steps for 30 years of laughter for a good cause.
- To Primatics Financial and Cooley, LLP for their lead sponsorships of the Help the Homeless walks, to the walk committee; the schools—teachers, parents and students; the individuals, congregations and community organizations that sponsored and walked.
- Thank you to Crown Relocations for donation over 8,000 cans of food.
- Thank you to Herndon Animal Medical Center for becoming a food donation location to support Emergency & Self-Sufficiency Services Program.
- To QuinetiQ North America for holding a nonperishable food and toiletries drive to support Emergency & Self-Sufficiency Services Program.
- Thank you to Crossfield Elementary SACC for making tie-dyed gloves and handmade scarfs.
- To Thelma Jefferson and Rena Mazur for their respective Gold Award projects performed at Embry Rucker Community Shelter.
- To Embry Rucker Meal Servers and Volunteers:
- Herndon Ladies Brunch for donations of items and funds to assist the shelter.
- Saint John Neumann Catholic Church for providing extra clothing and supplies as well as food for our clients after the end of their weeks hosting a hypothermia shelter.
- The ERCS Elves—Jean Pacelli, Michael Mintz, Michael Sneed, Barbara Shoemaker and Sunny Ho for their heroic and ongoing efforts during and after the holidays to take in, sort, stash, stow, and distribute all manner of donations and supplies for our clients.
- The Wiltse Family and the Eckert Family for all you have done for our clients and our shelter over the past year. Your direct service and support of special projects have made life so much brighter for our clients and the staff who work with them.
- Embry Rucker Community Shelter clients send special thanks for the meal service and volunteer support provided by:
- Windward IT Solutions
- Matthew Morrison and friends
- Mike Bradley and the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of Herndon Men’s Society
- Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
- Floris United Methodist Church
- The PEARL Foundation
- United Christian Parish
- Saju Varghese and Saint Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church
- Bilal Raja and Qaid Nva