2023 VAGHC Housing Award

The County of Floyd and Citizens Telephone Cooperative (Citizens) were recently nominated by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference (VAGHC) Innovation in Housing Award. Floyd County and Citizens were recognized for their collaboration on a Countywide Broadband Expansion project.

Each year, one of the conference's highlights is the VAGHC Housing Awards Luncheon, which recognizes innovative, effective efforts that address housing needs. The VAGHC Innovation in Housing Award recognizes innovation in housing that promotes affordable housing options through unique collaboration, advocacy, new technology, and utilization of innovative materials or deployment of a housing type not commonly utilized across Virginia. This collaboration between Citizens and the County of Floyd utilized federal and state-funded grants as well as LECAP (Line Extension Customer Assistance Program) to help offset construction costs of bringing broadband to rural areas of Floyd, Virginia. Accepting on behalf of the County of Floyd were Community and Economic Director, Lydeana Martin, and Chris Bond, CEO for Citizens, at the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference held in Hampton Roads, VA.

Several weeks prior, a film crew visited the Floyd area to learn more from Lydeana Martin, Floyd County Administrator, Donna Smith, CEO & General Manager of Citizens, and residents in the area regarding the beneficial effects of fiber Internet. You can see the full segment on YouTube below:

“This three-phased project will provide broadband access to 1,570 previously unserved homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions through state-funded areas alone, achieving universal broadband access in Floyd. These efforts were complemented by Floyd County and Citizens Telephone Cooperative utilizing the Line Extension Customer Assistance Program (LECAP) to ensure affordability for low- and moderate-income residents. Because of this work, Floyd County will be the first of a handful of rural counties to achieve universal broadband in the Commonwealth.”

“The award is to all of you that have put in many many hours on our fiber project....it is truly a team effort!” stated Donna Smith as she presented the award to the company for their 6-year project.

Citizens is a member-owned Cooperative providing telephone, Internet, and TV to Floyd County and surrounding communities for over 100 years. Citizens also offers symmetrical Ethernet and hosted phone service for businesses. Citizens is located at 220 Webbs Mill Road in Floyd. Lobby hours are 8 am - 5 pm Monday - Friday;
9 am - 1 pm on Saturday and 24/7 when calling 540.745.2111.