The Board of Commissioners for the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority finally has seven members again. Last night, Charlottesville City Council appointed former City Councilor Wes Bellamy and Airea Garland to the body which oversees operations of an agency that has seen much activity in recent years.
This will be the second time Bellamy will serve on the CRHA Board. He was Council’s representative on the body for his term from 2016 to 2019. During that period, the CRHA began receiving additional funding, including $900,000 a year to distribute additional housing vouchers to help subsidize rents.
The entity that operates the city’s public housing sites has acquired its first new property in many years. The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority has paid $675,000 for two parcels on Coleman Street.
“They’re two duplex, brick duplex units, currently renting for between $650 and $850 a month,” said John Sales, the CRHA’s executive director. “They are two bedroom, one bath units, so they are already affordable units.”
The Charlottesville City Council has reappointed Laura Goldblatt to a term on the Board of Commissioners for the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority. The body was created in 1954 after a referendum narrowly passed that spring, and oversaw the razing of Vinegar Hill and the creation of public housing units across the city as part of an overall urban renewal plan.
Goldblatt is an assistant professor of English at the University of Virginia.
“There are still two vacancies on the CRHA Board which we will take up after as we are required by statute and ordinance after we have interviewed the applicants so that will be taken up in September,” said Charlottesville Mayor Lloyd Snook.
We’re still just days into Virginia’s fiscal year, but the fiscal year of the city’s public housing agency is now entering its second quarter. The finance director of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority
“Overall against budget we are on target,” said Mary Lou Hoffman, CRHA’s finance director.
The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority has appeared to have fallen short in its attempt to get financing for two planned redevelopment projects in a current funding cycle.
Virginia Housing, the entity that authorizes low-income housing tax credits in Virginia, has issued its final rankings for this year pending approval by their Board of Commissioners later this month.
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.