WASHINGTON D.C. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Efforts to improve affordable housing in Charlottesville are getting a big boost.

This week, more than $1.3 million has been awarded to the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority. The funding is awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Capital Fund Program.

The effort will help improve affordable housing in 26 communities across the state.

Senator Tim Kaine, who is a former fair housing attorney, has long supported efforts to increase access to affordable housing.

Today, he and Senator Mark Warner announced an additional $98 million in federal funding for affordable housing across the Commonwealth.

"Housing is a real important issue and only getting more important. I would say it's kind of a top-three issue wherever I go in Virginia now. And so, we're hoping this funding will help deal with that problem," he said.

Kaine is also co-sponsoring other legislation to address homelessness. According to a release, an annual report shows that nearly 1,000 more Virginians experienced homelessness compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.