About Us: Connecting People, Housing & Neighborhoods

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our M​​ission

Housing & Neighborhood Preservation's mission is to create quality solutions that expand housing opportunities and promote vibrant, well-maintained neighborhoods.

​Key ways we fulfill this mission include:​

  • Leveraging federal, state and private resources
  • Implementing proactive and preventive code enforcement activities
  • Developing partnerships with neighborhoods, private and trade organizations
  • Helping citizens to identify and take action to solve housing and neighborhood problems

​​Divisions

 Director's Office

The Director's Office ensures the department is continually striving to achieve our mission of expanding housing opportunities and promoting vibrant, well-maintained neighborhoods. 

Andrew M. Friedman, Director (385-5752)

Mr. Friedman has been the director of the Department of Housing & Neighborhood Preservation since July 1993. Mr. Friedman's responsibilities include ensuring that the department obtains and maintains the funds needed to succeed, hiring the people who can do the best job, ensuring that our systems help us to be effective and efficient, and making sure we comply with the requirements expected of us by all of our stakeholders. As the director, he has helped to expand and consolidate code enforcement, housing rehabilitation programs, rental assistance programs and youth and neighborhood assistance activities. 

Mary Thompson, Executive Assistant (385-5894)​

Mrs. Thompson provides direct assistance to Mr. Friedman, manages payroll/leave functions, and monitors specialty areas in human resources for the department. 

Mary Michl, Accountant (385-5797)​

As manager of the Finance Unit, Mrs. Michl directs accounting, budgeting and financial reporting functions of the department.​

 Code Enforcement

Housing & Neighborhood Preservation's Code Enforcement Division maintains the safety and appearance of the city's existing structures and properties through routine inspections throughout the city. The division addresses code violations through enforcement of the Virginia Maintenance Code and the city's property maintenance codes.​​ The division's activities include inspections of properties for housing violations, junk, overgrown grass, waste management violations, and inoperable vehicles. The division takes action to eliminate violations, such as graffiti, and also operates the Certificate of Compliance rental inspection program. ​Code inspectors respond to complaints about housing and property maintenance code violations. Inspectors patrol their assigned areas for violations, conduct systematic exterior inspections of neighborhoods on an as-needed basis, notify property owners of violations and take appropriate legal action to obtain compliance. 

To report possible code violations or for information about property maintenance codes, please contact Code Enforcement​ at (757) 385-4421.​

Wells Freed, Housing Code Administrator (385-5722)

Mr. Freed started with Virginia Beach Housing & Neighborhood Preservation as a Code Enforcement inspector in 2003 and has been the Housing Code Administrator since 2008. As the Housing Code Administrator, he manages the operations of the Code Enforcement Division, consisting of 30 staff members. Mr. Freed defines and evaluates the division's goals and objectives, interprets codes and ordinances to determine if violations exist, and provides instruction to inspection and supervisory staff. He also identifies code enforcement issues and develops proactive solutions with citizens and staff on neighborhood improvement initiatives. Mr. Freed is a Certified Building Official, Property Maintenance and Housing Code Official, Property Maintenance and Housing Inspector, and Residential Combination Inspector.​

 Rental Housing

The mission of the Housing & Neighborhood Preservation's Rental Housing Division is to provide access to a wider range of neighborhoods and housing to low-income families; help finance quality, affordable rental housing provided by the private sector; and serve families with low-income, including eligible seniors and disabled persons. The division operates the Housing Choice Voucher Program, provides housing counseling services and coordinates other programs and services through local nonprofit organizations that address a variety of housing needs. The division helps more than 2,200 Virginia Beach households to maintain or obtain decent, safe and sanitary housing through various rental housing assistance programs and provides more than $18 million in rental housing assistance.

Contact Rental Housing at (757) 385-5750.​

Marcus Williamson, Housing Programs Administrator (385-5745)

Mr. Williamson joined Housing & Neighborhood Preservation in 2014 from Columbus, Ohio, where he spent 12 years as the admissions and occupancy manager for the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority. As the administrator, Mr. Williamson oversees the operations of the Rental Housing Division and manages a staff consisting of two supervisors, nine housing specialists, and four administrative staff.

 Housing Development

​The Housing Development Division develops or facilitates the preservation and/or development of decent, safe and affordable housing opportunities and works to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring for families and individuals in Virginia Beach. The division coordinates the Continuum of Care grant for Virginia Beach. Each year, more than $1.4 million is granted through the Continuum of Care to Virginia Beach agencies that provide housing and supportive services to the homeless. The Housing Development Division also coordinates the work of the BEACH Community Partnership and oversees the Housing Resource Center project. The division manages the contract with Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation for the city's owner-occupied rehabilitation programs. Additionally, Housing Development is responsible for receiving and reviewing requests for the funding or approval of projects to maintain or expand affordable housing opportunities.​

​Karen Prochilo, Housing Programs Administrator (385-5803) 

​Mrs. Prochilo joined Housing & Neighborhood Preservation in 2013 after more than 13 years with the city's Department of Planning and Community Development. As the administrator, she oversees the operations of the Housing Development Division and serves as the project manager of the Housing Resource Center project. Prior to working for the City of Virginia Beach, she worked for private architectural firms on governmental, institutional and residential design. Mrs. Prochilo has more than 20 years of experience in architecture, land use planning and zoning.
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