Richmond area non-profit works to improve affordable housing options

By Keya Vakil
April 16, 2019

It’s no secret that the Richmond area faces an affordable housing crisis, but at least one nonprofit is trying to work with the community to do something about it.

The Partnership for Housing Affordability, managed by the Richmond Association of Realtors, will hold a series of community meetings in the coming months to solicit any input from citizens as they develop a plan to create more affordable housing and improve neighborhoods.

Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and Richmond will each host two meetings where the goal will be to develop a framework that lays out affordable housing options for both renters and owners. The PHA hopes to create specific plans for each locality so that they can develop affordable housing that residents spend no more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs.

While the PHA does its part to solve the state’s housing issue, Virginia’s representatives are also trying to do their part. U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Democrats, recently secured $43 million for housing and infrastructure across the state, including more than $11 million for Richmond.

At the state level, the General Assembly added $4 million to the state’s affordable housing trust fund. This is less than Democrats wanted, however, as Del. Alfonso H. Lopez (D-49) asked the Republican-controlled General Assembly for $50 million, while Governor Ralph Northam asked for $19 million.

Still, proponents of affordable housing view the increased investments as a shift in the right direction, and will no doubt continue to press for further funding.

As for the PHA, officials from the group said that residents will have the opportunity to share their housing stories at an initial meeting in May, while the June meetings will focus on addressing the issues they face.

The initiative is being funded by a three-year commitment from a dozen donors, including including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, the Virginia Nonprofit Housing Coalition and the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. A list and schedule of housing framework meetings is available here.

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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