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Housing Programs/Fair Housing

Alleghany County works with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Southeast Rural Community Assistance Program (SE/RCAP), and other community service providers to address housing issues.

Housing Programs Through the County:

Indoor Plumbing and Rehabilitation (IPR) Loan Program – Total Action for Progress (TAP) administers the Indoor Plumbing and Rehabilitation Loan Program for Alleghany County through DHCD. The program is designed to assist low- to moderate-income families who own their home and lack complete or partial indoor plumbing.  The IPR Program is designed to provide services and renovations to homes lacking a bathroom within the footprint of the house, failed septic system, or has a toilet but waste drops directly onto the ground under the home.  If you  need indoor plumbing services, please contact Michael Thompson at (540) 977-8209.

Emergency Home Repair  (EHR) Program – The County administers the Emergency Home Repair Program through DHCD. The program assists low- to moderate-income families with emergency repairs and accessibility improvements such as plumbing repairs, structural repairs, electrical repairs where hazards exist, roof repair/replacement, and heating system repair/replacement.

Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project – The County works with SE/RCAP to assist low- to moderate-income families with public water and sewer tap fees, hook-ups to public water and sewer, wells, septics, and plumbing repairs.

How to Apply for Housing Programs:

Contact the County Administrator’s office at (540) 863-6600 to obtain an application for assistance for the EHR program. A copy of the application in Adobe Acrobat can be downloaded here…..  For a free download of Adobe Acrobat Reader, click here.

Return the completed application to Melissa Munsey, County Administrator’s Office, at 9212 Winterberry Avenue, Covington, VA 24426.


[1.75 inch Equal Housing Opportunity Logo]


Who is Covered by the Law?

Virginia’s Fair Housing Law makes it illegal to discriminate in residential housing on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status, disability, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, or military status. The law prohibits applying one standard to one class of individuals while applying a different standard to another class of individuals.

For example, it would be illegal to ask an applicant with a disability to provide a credit report if applicants without disabilities do not have to provide one.

Virginia’s Fair Housing Law and Regulations apply to rental transactions (trying to rent an apartment or house), to sales transactions (trying to purchase a home), to financing transactions (trying to obtain a mortgage), to insurance transactions (trying to obtain homeowners or rental insurance), and to advertising transactions (how individuals, companies and newspapers advertise about rental vacancies or homes for sale).

Historically, most housing complaints have been based on race. Complaints based on disability, however, continue to increase and may eventually displace race as the most frequent topic of housing discrimination complaints. Complaints based on familial status are generally the third most common type of housing complaint.

Examples of Protected Classes

It would be illegal to deny someone a housing opportunity because they are black or white.

Some people have darker complexions than others. If would be illegal to deny someone a housing opportunity on that basis.

A housing provider could not refuse to sell or rent to someone because they practice Islam or Christianity.

National origin
A housing provider could not refuse to sell or rent to someone because they are Asian or Jewish.

Except for shared living spaces, it would be illegal to rent to one sex (gender) and not the other. For more information on sexual discrimination, visit the Sexual and Non-Sexual Discrimination page.

Elderliness means an individual who has attained his 55th birthday. Under this protected class, a housing provider could not deny a housing opportunity to someone because they are age 55 or older.

Familial status
Familial status means having children who are under age 18. Unless a facility is a senior/retirement facility, it may not refuse to rent to families with children. Senior and retirement facilities for individuals over age 55 or 62 may, however, lawfully refuse to rent to families with children.

In terms of occupancy standards, as they relate to families and children, the general guideline is that housing providers should allow at least two people per bedroom. In some circumstances, landlords should allow more than two people per bedroom, while in other circumstances a bedroom and the total living space would not accommodate two people in every bedroom. Housing providers should also not dictate in which bedrooms younger children of different sexes sleep, as this is a parental matter. Nor should a housing provider dictate what floor families with children should live on.

The law also makes it illegal to deny housing opportunities to individuals with disabilities. For information about housing and disabilities see Housing and People with Disabilities. For information on the design and construction of multi-family housing with accessible features, see the Design and Construction page.

Source of Funds
Any source that lawfully provides funds to or on behalf of a renter or buyer of housing, including any assistance, benefit, or subsidy program. (See Guidance Document.)

Sexual Orientation
A person’s actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality.

Gender Identity
The gender-related identity, appearance, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.

Military Status
A member of the uniformed forces or reserves, a veteran, or a dependent as defined under the law.

Non-Protected Classes

Several groups are not protected under either the state or federal fair housing law. For example, students, smokers, and unmarried couples (marital status) are also not protected, groups. However, these classes may be protected under a local ordinance. Therefore, before drafting a fair housing policy, a housing provider should determine if local ordinances protect certain classes that are not protected by the state or federal law.

Fair Housing Contact

State Fair Housing Office


3600 W Broad Street; 5th Floor, Room 554; Richmond, VA 23230

Phone: (804) 367-8530

Staff Directory

Other Services

The Virginia Fair Housing Office provides additional information regarding:

  • Fair Housing Advertising
  • Fair Housing Consumers
  • Fair Housing Law and Regulations
  • Fair Housing Providers
  • Filing a Complaint
  • Protected Classes
  • Training Seminars Schedule


File a Fair Housing Complaint with the Virginia Fair Housing Office.

Other Information Resources
Virginia Guide to Subsidized and Affordable Housing

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