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Charlottesville Affordable Housing Action Items

Post August 12th, many voices have come forward to express an urgency around affordable housing. The numbers are staggering:

  • 50% of Charlottesville residents are cost burdened by housing
  • 1,000 families are on the waiting list for supported options
  • We have a regional deficit of up to 16,000 units

What follows are a few initiatives related to housing that citizens can weigh in on.

1.      The City has released a draft of its updated Comprehensive Plan with numerous changes proposed to the Housing Section. Click here to view the draft. Please feel free to follow the link, read it and make comments to the Planning Commission and City Council. Habitat believes the language should be stronger in support of creation and preservation of affordable housing.

2.      City-hired consultants have been leading community design charrettes for creating a form based code in the Strategic Investment Area – south of the Downtown Mall. There are five large low or mixed income communities in the SIA. To register your comments, you may email City Council at Council@charlottesville.org or the Planning Commission at PlanningCommission@charlottesville.org. Habitat believes that creation of affordable housing should be prioritized when drafting the new code.

3.      City Council is planning to vote on the shape and form of both a rental assistance and a landlord risk reduction program, perhaps as early as October. Please feel free to email Council if you support the creation of the programs. Council@charlottesville.org

Habitat’s position is as follows:

  1. We support both programs.
  2. We believe the rental assistance program should move forward exactly as recommended by the Housing Advisory Committee given that it would    provide immediate access to safe, decent housing to 120 families.
  3. We believe the Landlord risk reduction program should cover the cost of security deposits for low and ultra low income renters. Security deposits are one of the biggest barriers to housing for people on the economic margins.

4.      In a recent recommendation to Council, the Housing Advisory Committee recommended waiving all fees in conjunction with any applications for proposals with on-site affordable housing. In following up, staff recommended including only site plan and subdivision submission fees. Please consider requesting that Council direct staff to waive all allowable fees related to applications that include on site affordable housing. Council@charlottesville.org

5.      At its September 18th meeting, the Charlottesville City Council voted to restore ½ of Habitat’s funding for its scattered site initiative, allowing us to build affordable homes in upper income census tracts in Charlottesville. Council also directed staff to find funding to support the remainder of the request to facilitate an additional eight homes. Please consider writing to City Council to thank them for voting to restore partial funding and requesting that they remain on top of the issue to make sure that Habitat and its partner, the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program, get funded fully. Council@charlottesville.org.

 

 

 

This page will be updated on a monthly basis with new action items for people looking to advocate for affordable housing solutions in the greater Charlottesville area.

Last update: 9/28/17