HUD and Local Official Kick Off Envision Center Demonstrations in Newport News & Norfolk


Citys of Newport News and Norfolk accept Envision Center designation.


To help low-income residents increase their income and gain self-sufficiency, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Joseph J. DeFelice joined City of Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander and City of Newport News Vice Mayor Tina Vick in announcing two new designated HUD EnVision Center demonstrations in the cities of Norfolk and Newport News today, joining dozens of communities across the country taking this vital step to offer support services for the benefit of its residents.

HUD’s EnVision Center demonstration offers assisted families support to help them achieve self-sufficiency and, thereby, making limited federal resources available to other awaiting assistance. It is premised on the fact that financial support alone is insufficient to solve poverty. Intentional and collective efforts across various organizations are needed to realize a more holistic path to foster lasting self-sufficiency.

“We will not measure success by the number of people who enter these new EnVision Centers,” stated Joe DeFelice, Regional Administrator for HUD’s Mid-Atlantic region. “Success will be measured by the number of individuals who achieve greater self-sufficiency—who no longer require assistance from our programs—who gain the financial independence to be able to rent, or even buy, their own homes.”

The joint announcement was made at the Calvert Square Family Investment Center at 975 Bagnall Road, the site of Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s new center. Located on or near public housing developments, EnVision Centers provide communities with a centralized hub to access support in the following four pillars:  Economic Empowerment, Educational Advancement, Health and Wellness, and Character and Leadership.

“We are very excited about this EnVision Center opportunity to support our families’ ability to succeed in their new housing choices and aspirations,” said John Kownack, Executive Director of the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

“This EnVision Center will serve as a platform to those in the St. Paul’s Area to collaborate with community supportive service providers, other businesses, foundations, nonprofit organizations, educational leaders, job training and workforce development organizations, and will also provide online resources.

We are grateful that HUD continues to recognize our commitment to transforming the lives of those who are working to escape poverty and creating better lives for themselves and better futures for their families,” said Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander, City of Norfolk. 

The Lift & Connect Resource Center at 618 18th Street will serve as the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s (NNRHA) new EnVision Center. 

“I am excited that Newport News has been selected as an EnVision Center demonstration site,” said Newport News Vice Mayor Tina Vick. “As a strong advocate for empowering low-income families to improve their financial situations and achieve self-sufficiency, I believe this center will help to do just that. I appreciate the support from HUD as well as our partner organizations in the nonprofit, faith-based and private sectors, and look forward to seeing more families living in assisted housing on the path to financial independence.”

"The NNRHA is thrilled to be one of a select few agencies to have this designation,” stated Karen Wilds, Executive Director of the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority. “It takes our efforts for resident self-sufficiency to the next level. Thanks to HUD for our ongoing Partnership in providing quality services."

To learn more about HUD Secretary Carson’s EnVision Center demonstration, please visit Centers.

HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. The Department’s Mid-Atlantic region includes Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. The regional office is in Philadelphia. Follow Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice on Twitter.

More information about HUD and its programs is available at and Connect with HUD on social media  or sign up for news alerts via HUD's email list. Follow Secretary Carson on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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