Council agrees to $5 million in funds to CRHA to purchase 74 units across Charlottesville

Charlottesville has voted to agree to provide $5 million for the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority to use as part of their loan to purchase several dozen apartment units throughout the city. 

“This is a $10 million acquisition of 74 units referred to as the Dogwood Portfolio which is a naturally occurring affordable housing set of properties here in the city,” Sanders said. 

CRHA will have to pay Riverbend Development back their $5 million but that will be interest-free. 

“The arrangement that they’ve established thus far would provide that monthly payments would commence after a three-month grace period so that CRHA could build a reserve account to be able to respond to any maintenance issues that were to arise in the interim of the transition,” Sanders said. 

CRHA will not need to pay the city back as the city will co-own the properties, but they will have to provide the following:

  • An annual report is due every January 31 with ongoing details of ownership of the 74 units 
  • That report would also cover the properties on Montrose Avenue and Coleman Avenue purchased by CRHA in the past year
  • The Dogwood Portfolio is to be included with the sustainability plan CRHA is putting together for its long term operations (Council updated on CRHA’s sustainability plan, March 29, 2023)
  • CRHA will need to keep the finances for these units separate from the rest of their housing stock
  • The city will also have right of first refusal if the properties are sold and Council will also have to approve any physical changes to the properties beyond general maintenance
  • CRHA will assume the $850,000 loan Woodard Properties was given by Council to purchase the portfolio. (Learn more about the loan)

“CRHA will also be provided a ten percent monthly management fee of rents collected which is to cover leasing, financing, finance services, auditing, and administration charges,” Sanders said. “[This] is normal practice within a development project. They will also charge the portfolio  for monthly water, sewer, and trash services versus having those apply to each individual unit.” 

Kathleen Glenn-Matthews is deputy executive director of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority.  She asked Council to support the effort. 

“CRHA is an agency that has undergone considerable transformation and positive growth the last ast three years through strong management, allowing for strategic improvement and working on the agency’s sustainability,” Glenn-Matthews said. “Decent affordable housing is core social determinant of an individual or family’s personal health and well-being.” 

Glenn-Matthews said investing in more housing to be guaranteed to be affordable will help more people.

“I think this is a historic action for the city in terms of the amount of properties,” said City Councilor Michael Payne. “It’s been many years, decades, since we’ve engaged in acquisition like this. This is growing CRHA’s housing portfolio by about 20 percent.”

Council voted unanimously to support the resolution. An acquisition agreement will be signed by interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers. 

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