Expanded Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) FY23 Funding Now Available

Is there a particular structure in your community that you drive by and instantly have nostalgia as you recall its glory days? Memories from when that building was a bustling factory or warehouse that employed three generations in your family. It’s possible that building is a former school, which the community simply outgrew, or maybe a large department store that has gone out of business as a result of a recent recession. All of these are example of industry shifts, which can leave a community with infrastructure that’s costly to redevelop.

Over the last 10 years, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) has directly contributed to the redevelopment and reuse of vacant and blighted buildings throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, opening the doors of opportunity to new industries in distressed areas. This unique initiative is catalytic in the establishment of new businesses such as breweries, hotels, theaters, museums and office spaces. The IRF program supports creativity by allowing mixed-use development projects, as long as at least 30% of the space is devoted to commercial use.

Expanded IRF funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 will total $45 million over FY2023 and FY2024. To qualify for IRF ARPA funding, the applicant will need to show how the project will support individuals, communities and industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants exceeding $1 million will require a 100% match (1:1). Traditional IRF funding will remain in place alongside the expanded ARPA funding. These funds are to be referred to as IRF General Funds. Each locality is eligible to submit two applications for funding up to $5 million.

A major emphasis of the IRF program is to fund “shovel-ready” projects. These are projects with finalized plans, primary financing and a clear vision of how the building will be used following the constructions phase. Other funding priorities and considerations are further explained in our applications manual.

In preparation, localities should familiarize themselves with the program guidelines and register in the Centralized Application Management System (CAMS) portal. More information can be found on the DHCD website. Also, please feel free to reach out to DHCD staff as we provide year-round technical assistance.

Fast Facts:

  • Program is for the renovation of currently vacant and derelict structures
  • Projects are expected to be completed within 18 months of being awarded
  • Projects seeking less than $1 million in funding are not required to have a 1:1 match
  • Funding is on a reimbursement basis
  • No greenfield sites

Applications are open in CAMS until August 19, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact us at realestate@dhcd.virginia.gov or (804) 371-7171.