After Linda Martini’s heater went bad last winter and filled her house with smoke, she turned to a number of different government entities to help her with funding for a new one to no avail before finding success with the Nelson County Community Development Foundation.

“It was a life saver. I don’t know what I would have done without them. It was an answered prayer,” Martini said.

Martini’s story isn’t unlike many others in the county who utilize NCCDF, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the affordable housing issue in the county. By the end of fiscal year 2018, the nonprofit brought more than $600,000 in total funding to Nelson County because of the programs they offer to low-income individuals and families. $61,307 of that was in tax revenue. The Housing Choice voucher program generated over $300,000 in payments to Nelson Landlords.

NCCDF was established in 1986 to address the affordable housing needs in the county and promote community development that primarily benefits low-income citizens with housing, health, water and waste water, education, and economic development.

In order to combat these issues, the nonprofit offers a number of programs to help low-income families and individuals. The programs include first-time home buyer assistance, a low cost loan program to help families in need of home repair, emergency repair for elderly and disabled, a housing voucher program for rent assistance, and an affordable rental development.

The past fiscal year was a successful one for NCCDF. According to George Krieger, director of NCCDF, in fiscal year 2018 the organization rehabbed 14 different homes in Nelson County in need of an array of different upgrades and additions.

Like Martini, Marion Washington, of Shipman, turned to the nonprofit for a number of repairs.

“I don’t know what I would do without them,” Washington said.

Washington said three years ago the organization helped her with her water pipes and well. A couple months ago, it repaired her roof at an affordable cost.

“I’m so happy with all the work. [Krieger] helped me so much,” Washington said.

In order to rehab the homes, funding comes from a number of different sources including programs through the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District, private grant funds, local nonprofits like the Nelson County Community Fund, the Charlottesville HOME consortium — a program funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development for housing rehabilitation through TJPDC — and housing preservation grant program through TJPDC.

“We have to get up, actually do something, and then we are reimbursed for the money spent. The money doesn’t automatically flow,” Krieger said.

Gayle Taylor, from Shipman, had an entire new septic system installed by NCCDF after her’s failed last year. Taylor, who is on disability and therefore has a limited income, said she wasn’t sure what to do at first.

“When they first told me, I didn’t know where I was going to get the money,” Taylor said.

Taylor said someone suggested she reach out to Krieger as an affordable option to a new septic system.

“It helped me a lot,” Taylor said.

Other rehab projects completed this past fiscal year included heat and well pump repairs, installment of ramps for those in wheelchairs, roof replacements, and septic systems. Most of the projects completed were in the Shipman, Gladstone, Arrington, and Lovingston areas of the county.

“The county is very fortunate to have this program even though the funding is so strict,” Martini said.

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Erin Conway covers Nelson County for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5524.

Erin Conway covers Nelson County. Reach her at (434) 385-5524 or econway@newsadvance.com.

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