The Town of Blacksburg and the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV), together with several regional partners, have been awarded an $83,750 grant from Partners for Places, a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. Based on data gathered during the Livability Initiative we now realize that we are contending with two inter-related challenges in our region: a rapidly aging population and rising home energy costs. The grant will be used to launch a home modifications program that will improve energy efficiency and mobility within the home for lower-income older adults in Blacksburg and the New River Valley. This project emerged from the collaborative work of the regional Aging in Place Leadership Team, an issue group of the NRV Livability Initiative. In partnership with the NRV HOME Consortium, and Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley, the program will support vulnerable seniors in the New River Valley by extending their independence and improving their energy security. In addition to the HOME Consortium and Habitat for Humanity, who will be heavily involved in identifying and carrying out the home modification projects, several additional organizations will be providing expertise and support including Community Housing Partners, the NRV Area Agency on Aging, the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech, and the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services. The Partners for Places grant award demonstrates the benefits of collaboration across multiple disciplines and service groups. For more information: Shelley Fortier, To check out what we have learned through this project, click here.

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