Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission News
COVID-19 Dashboard
Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission staff has prepared a COVID-19 dashboard to track regional cases and also includes demographics and mapping of vulnerable populations.

Included in the dashboard are unemployment claims, nursing home locations, and zip code COVID-19 data. COVID-19 cases and deaths are updated hourly from Johns Hopkins. To access the dashboard, click HERE.
Image captured 7/30/2021 at 10:30 AM
EDA Announces 'Investing in America's Community' Funding Opportunities
On July 22nd, the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the release of the Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) that will guide the administration of the $3 billion in supplemental funding that EDA received through the American Rescue Plan. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced a collection of programs – collectively called Investing in America's Communities – through which EDA will invest the $3 billion to assist communities across the country. This EDA investment is the largest economic development initiative from the Department of Commerce in decades and is intended to help communities across the country to ‘build back better'.

Investing in America's Communities includes:

To learn more about EDA and the American Rescue Plan funding opportunities, register for one of EDA’s upcoming America Rescue Plan overview webinars, which will be held on July 27 and July 29 at 3 p.m. ET. Additional information can be found on EDA's website, and the NOFOs can be found here.
Regional Commission Releases 2020 Trail Count Report
The 2020 Trail Count Report is finally here. Data shows the impacts of the pandemic on our trails and greenways in the region, and includes on-road reports generated over the year of 2020 through our collaboration with VDOT and Virginia Tech. For more information reach out to Rachel Ruhlen, or Matt Miller,

DEQ/DCR Funding Opportunities
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Conservation and Recreation are soliciting applications for water quality and flood mitigation projects. See the list below for details.
2022 Virginia Section 319(h) Nonpoint Source (NPS) Implementation Program (DEQ) – Up to $1 million in grant funding is available through the Section 319(h) NPS Implementation Program for projects that will result in advancement of goals and milestones included in eligible NPS implementation plans (IPs) and watershed-based plans. A list of eligible applicants can be found here. More information about the program is located at the program’s eVA site. Applications are due by 11:59 PM on August 31st, 2021.
2022 Citizen Monitoring Grant (DEQ) – The Citizen Monitoring Grant provides funding for groups and individuals to monitor the quality of Virginia’s waters. The grant can be used in a variety of ways, including purchasing water quality monitoring equipment, training citizen volunteers, lab analysis costs, and promoting stream monitoring efforts. Applicants may choose between three grant options. More information can be found here. Applications are due no later than September 17th, 2021.
Community Flood Preparedness Fund Grants and Loans (DCR) – Funding comes from the auction of carbon allowances through the Regional Greenhouse Gase Initiative (RGGI). $18 million is available for projects that implement flood prevention and project solutions or flood studies. Read more about the opportunity here. Applications are due by 4 PM on September 3rd, 2021
Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission Receives $2 Million in Grant Funding from Virginia Housing
A new source of funding will be helping the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC) provide more affordable housing in the region. Two weeks ago Virginia Housing announced a $2 million grant to RVARC for the creation of new housing initiatives.

The grants will contribute to building 20 units over the next 36 months as well as financing new affordable homeownership opportunities, renovating vacant and blighted properties, supporting the development of a regional housing trust fund, and creating upper-story housing in downtown business districts.

"As a new undertaking for the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, we're excited for the opportunities to be able to provide Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission." says Regional Commission Executive Director Jeremy Holmes. "We know the need for affordable housing is significant, and this grant will give us a head starting on identifying creative solutions to that challenge."

The grant program is a new initiative provided through Virginia Housing’s REACH Virginia program. The program uses Virginia Housing’s own resources to provide support to local housing groups, non-profits, developers and other partner groups working to meet affordable housing needs.

Says Holmes, "We intend for this process to be collaborative and strategic, working with what we learned from the recent Roanoke Valley Housing study to implement projects where they can have the most impact."

The Commission intends to begin its work in the next several weeks, beginning with the formation of a stakeholder group of interested nonprofits, private developers, and others to help develop program guidance and a project selection process and criteria.

RVTPO Policy Board Approves Highway Infrastructure Program Funding
The federal 2021 U.S. Department of Transportation Appropriations Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) provide new funding to be obligated in urbanized areas with populations greater than 200,000 which includes the Roanoke Valley. These funds are distributed in the form of Highway Infrastructure Program (HIP>200k) funds and Highway Infrastructure Program - CRRSAA (HIP-CRRSAA>200k) funds and are being provided to Metropolitan Planning Organizations for programming.
In May, staff was notified that the RVTPO will receive HIP>200k and HIP-CRRSAA>200k funds. The amount allocated to the RVTPO is $1,946,778. A summary of the funding and obligation requirements for both programs are as follows:
The guidance staff received was to recommend locally administered projects which could benefit from HIP funding in FY22 and would facilitate beginning the project ahead of the existing schedule. Additionally, staff looked at projects currently funded in the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Six-Year Financial Plan. Replacing funding in the out years would free up STBG funding for use on other projects in the upcoming funding round (September 2021).
At the July 22 RVTPO Policy Board meeting, a staff funding recommendation was adopted, which follows:
Allocating the HIP funding towards the above projects would free up $1,930,260 in STBG funds for the upcoming new STBG application round. As such, the current STBG Six-Year Financial Plan will need to be adjusted.
No Need To Speed
Did you know that in Roanoke, crashes caused by speeding doubled in 2020? Street safety is more important than ever. The No Need to Speed campaign is running for eight weeks, from June 21 - August 15.
Here’s what you can do:
  • Take the pledge. Join your community in taking the pledge for safer streets at
  • Order a pedestrian safety kit for your organization using this form. The pedestrian safety kit includes posters, postcards, and yard signs for you to distribute, and an option for your organization to be recognized for your support.
  • Share your story as a short video about why you love to walk and enter to win a Grandin Theatre prize pack.
  • Enter your art in the Color Your Corner Contest. Winning submissions will be installed on signal cabinets for the community to see.
  • Follow the City of Roanoke on social media and share our posts about the campaign.

Visit for the latest on the campaign
Ongoing Projects
The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is always working with localities on projects that benefit the region. Some of these projects are listed below.

  • Alleghany Highlands Economic Impact of the Arts
  • Roanoke Valley Transportation Plan
  • Rural Long-Range Transportation Plan
  • City of Covington Downtown Revitalization Planning Grant Assistance
  • City of Roanoke Neighborhood Walk Project
  • City of Roanoke Pedestrian Safety Campaign
  • Promotion and access improvements for the Roanoke River Blueway
  • Botetourt County Community Mobility Design Challenge
  • Regional Study on Transportation Project Prioritization for Economic Development and Growth in the Roanoke Valley

For more information on ongoing projects contact Tim Pohlad-Thomas or visit