Applications underway for new Martinsville-Henry County neighborhood with affordable housing

Southside Virginia News

Graphics: Five Points Renderings

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — A new neighborhood in Martinsville will offer affordable housing with low-interest loans available through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Rural Development.

Applications are underway for the Five Points neighborhood, which will be located at the five-way intersection in Martinsville of Fayette Street, Memorial Boulevard South, and West Church Street. The neighborhood will include new townhomes and cottages that range from $125,000 to $155,000 in cost.

Households earning up to $48,300 may be eligible for a 33-year term direct loan, provided by USDA-Rural Development, to finance a new home in the Five Points neighborhood. Households earning up to $90,300 may be eligible for a guaranteed loan, which is financed through a lender. These homes are required to be owner-occupied.

Individuals may also qualify for additional support from the Virginia Individual Development Accounts (VIDA) program. This program allows participants to earn $8 for every $1 saved toward a new home, up to a maximum match of $4,000.

The project is a partnership of Virginia Housing, City of Martinsville, USDA-Rural Development, Nationwide Homes, Silverpoint Homes, Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp., United Way of Henry County & Martinsville, and The Harvest Foundation.

“Home ownership is a lofty ambition for many families,” he said, “however, with the programs and services now in place, it will be easier now than ever to attain a potentially life changing asset.”

Philip Wenkstern, United Way’s executive director

Virginia Housing provided a $500,000 FY20 Community Impact Innovative Demonstrations grant to complete site work for the planned 27 single-family units.

“Virginia Housing is so excited to partner with the City of Martinsville, the Harvest Foundation and others across the area to bring much-needed affordable homeownership opportunities to the region’s workforce. This new innovation program was created to do just that – to help support the adoption of new construction technologies that ultimately expand the inventory of affordable homes to all Virginians.”

Susan Dewey, Virginia Housing CEO

The Harvest Foundation is providing support in the form of an Affordable Housing Fund that will serve as a stop-gap for the project if homes at Five Points are on the market for an extended time. DeWitt House, senior program officer at Harvest, said this new neighborhood development will support revitalization in Uptown Martinsville and hopefully, spur new residential options in the city.

“For more than a decade, Harvest has worked with many local and regional partners to grow our local workforce and recruit industry providing our community with living-wage jobs. We’ve experienced great strides in our workforce, but with this continued growth, we’ve identified a pressing need to play catch up in all levels of residential housing. This project is a successful testament to the power of collaboration when public, private, and nonprofit partners address local issues.”

DeWitt House, senior program officer at Harvest Foundation

The City of Martinsville will provide direction on property acquisition and site development. Leon Towarnicki, city manager, said they are excited to collaborate with Nationwide, one of the city’s long-standing corporate partners, on an affordable housing project in the city.

“The project meets a need in the community that’s been identified and the result will be a win for everyone – new, modern affordable housing is constructed in the community that adds to the tax base. Nationwide has the opportunity to showcase their product and do a project literally in their backyard, and grant funding helps offset some of the development costs to ensure optimum affordability. This is a great project for Nationwide and the City of Martinsville, and one that can be replicated in other communities.”

Leon Towarnicki, Martinsville city manager

Those interested in the VIDA program or applying for a new home at Five Points are encouraged to contact Lisa Frick at the United Way of Henry and Martinsville by calling (276) 403-5965 or (276) 358-1261 or emailing To find out more about the types of homes and available floor plans, contact Silverpoint Homes at (276) 790-3966 or email

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