Housing Advocate: What is the IRF?
This past week, I had the opportunity to attend a training down in Richmond, sponsored by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The training focused on several of their grant programs, including the Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF).
The IRF allows local governments (city, county or town) or regional or local economic or industrial development authorities to apply for funding of up to $600,000 to rehabilitate large-scale derelict structures no longer suited for their original purpose. Eligible projects include manufacturing facilities, warehouses, mines, shopping centers, theaters, and even schools.
Plans for the rehabilitated facilities must be mixed use and designed to create jobs, so at least 30% of the use for the rehabilitated facility must be for commercial use, either through the calculation of square footage or of expected revenue.
Previously awarded projects have included the Wayne Henderson School of Appalachian Arts (Town of Marion), the Bolling-Wilson Hotel (Town of Wytheville), the Masonic Theatre (Town of Clifton Forge) and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Accelerator (City of Roanoke).