City Council poised to authorize funding for CRHA to purchase Fry’s Spring property

Charlottesville City Council has agreed once more to redirect funding to help the separate public housing agency purchase property for the purpose of retaining affordable units.  

This is the third time that Council has agreed to use funding budgeted to bolster federal housing voucher programs to pay for the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority to purchase additional property.  

“We were setting aside $900,000 per year for the program and as of FY22, there had been an accumulation of a $1.9 million surplus based on the funds not being utilized for a variety of reasons,” said Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders. “The market really being the driver behind that.”

Sanders said the CRHA asked the city to reallocate the funds to help prevent what’s known as “naturally occurring affordable housing” that would otherwise be in jeopardy. 

In this case, the city would transfer $137,500 to match the CRHA’s equivalent payment for the $275,000 purchase price for 100 Harris Road. 

“That house is currently assessed at $369,000, so this would be purchasing it at $275,000 which is roughly $100,000 under market value,” Sanders said. 

This property would be part of the city’s growing housing portfolio that will be managed in partnership with the CRHA. That also included the 74 units known as Dogwood Properties which Council agreed to spend $5 million to cover the $10 million price tag for CRHA.

The existing rent is $750 and the existing tenant  can remain in place until they are ready to leave. 

“I think purchasing land is the most important, powerful thing we can do for affordable housing being that we are ten and a half square miles, land-locked,” Payne said. 

The last time this property sold was in October 1972 for $34,500. 

Mayor Lloyd Snook voted for the payment but said he was concerned there did not appear to be a written strategy for how CRHA will proceed to acquire property in the future. 

“The fact that we don’t have a plan now is a relatively speaking small concern,” Snook said. “We don’t have a disposition in mind yet but I think we need to have a plan for this kind of purchase if we’re going to do it again.” 

Fellow Councilors agreed a plan and strategy would be needed as CRHA plans to buy more property.  Second readsing

100 Harris Road (Credit: City of Charlottesville)

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