At their meeting on April 18, City Council agreed with the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s decision to issue $23 million in bonds for a third-party to refurbish the Midway Manor housing complex in downtown Charlottesville.
“It is assistance with the financing for the substantial rehabilitation of Midway Manor Apartments by Standard Communities,” said Michael Graff, a bond counsel with McGuire Woods.
The Board of Commissioners for the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority has taken the first step toward issuing up to $23 million in bonds for a California-based company to renovate Midway Manor in a way that will keep existing affordability requirements in place.
“This is a 98-unit elderly affordable housing development on Ridge Street very close to the Greyhound station and the proposal is to issue some bonds to assist with the financing of a comprehensive renovation of this project,” said Delphine Carnes, the legal counsel for the CRHA.
Since 2007, Charlottesville has had an affordable housing fund to help create and preserve affordable housing units. Today they’ve begun the process of soliciting proposals for how to use $750,000 from the current fiscal year’s capital budget. The notice for funding availability (NOFA) refers to the affordable housing plan adopted by Council last March.
“This Plan recommends that the City make a strong and recurring financial commitment to address housing needs in Charlottesville in order to increase the number of subsidized affordable homes by 1,100 homes, preserve existing 600 existing subdidized affordable homes, and stabilize 1,800 to 2,000 owner and renter households facing housing instability,” reads the application.
At last night’s meeting of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, one Commission noted that there is a great deal of unpaid rent on the agency’s books.
“We have roughly a third of our public housing residents not paying their rent,” said John Sales, the CRHA’s executive director.
The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners will have a work session Thursday night. They last met at a regular meeting on November 22 and got a series of updates. One was on the CRHA budget from Mary Lou Hoffman, the agency’s finance director. CRHA’s fiscal year runs from April to March 30. (financial statements through October 31, 2021) (watch the meeting)
“We’re $517,000 ahead of budgeted at this point but that includes $644,000 worth of for all intent and purposes non-recurring money,” Hoffman said.
For the second time in the past six weeks, an official ceremony has been held to begin major construction at a public housing site in Charlottesville. Crescent Halls was built in 1976 at the intersection of Monticello Avenue and 2nd Street SE. Brandon Collins is with the Public Housing Association of Residents.
“As we all know, urban renewal happened in Charlottesville in the 60’s and we hear a lot about Vinegar Hill but it also happened here on Garrett Street and that was the birth of this building, Crescent Halls,” Collins said.
The fiscal year for the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority began on April 1 and the Board of Commissioners formally adopted a budget at their meeting on March 30. A week before, they had discussed the possibility of ending a $240,000 contract with Sentry Force Security for security patrols of CRHA properties.
Brandon Collins, an employee of the Public Housing Association of Residents, got right to the point in the public comment period on March 30.
“We know that the big question before you is what to do about the security contract and the massive amount of money you’re spending for security contract that from you all’s perspective and from many residents’ perspective is not really accomplishing much, especially for the amount of money being spent,” Collins said.
A groundbreaking date has been announced for the renovation of Crescent Halls. The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority will hold a virtual renovation kickoff celebration at 4 p.m. on April 14 at 4 p.m.
“The ‘skeleton’ of the building will be preserved, but all of the residential units, building systems, underground infrastructure, common areas, exterior spaces, parking areas, etc. will be as-new,” reads a description of the renovations on the CRHA website.
On October 19, 2020, Charlottesville City Council signaled they would approve a performance agreement for direct city investment of $3 million in public housing renovation and development. The funding will be used for the Charlottesville Redevelopment Housing Authority’s nonprofit to renovate Crescent Halls and new units at South First Street.
CRHA currently is authorized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to operate 376 public housing units, and many units were built in the 80’s and have not been well maintained. Brenda Kelley is the director of redevelopment for the city, and she presented Council with an ordinance to grant the CRHA $3 million in city funds to help finance the work.
(read the staff report including the draft ordinance)
“CRHA and its partners have been engaged in robust resident-led redevelopment planning efforts,” Kelley said.