Charlottesville Looking into Creating More Affordable Housing

Posted: Updated:
Affordable housing in Charlottesville (FILE IMAGE) Affordable housing in Charlottesville (FILE IMAGE)
Kathy Galvin Kathy Galvin
Dan Rosensweig Dan Rosensweig
Greg Powe Greg Powe

Charlottesville is looking at creating another means of bringing more affordable housing to the community.

A subcommittee on policy for the Charlottesville Housing Advisory Committee (CHAC) is moving forward with plans for a land bank corporation.

Friday, January 12, the subcommittee decided around half of the Land Bank Corporation's appointed board members would be from the low-income community.

The corporation will look into blighted and tax delinquent properties in the city to see if they could be turned into affordable housing units.

Affordable housing is on the top of Charlottesville City Councilor Kathy Galvin's agenda: “City government, any local city government, cannot build housing. We can buy the land and sell it. We can contract to have municipal buildings, but we can’t build affordable housing. That’s the role of the Housing Authority or a nonprofit," she said.

Galvin said the Land Bank Corporation would not be competing with the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority: "It’s not about competition. It’s about getting every tool in the tool kit possible in our box, so we can start building affordable housing."

"It is a number of different tools that need to be added to the tool box if we're really going to be aggressive about confronting the local affordable housing crisis," said CHAC Subcommittee on Policy Co-Chair Dan Rosensweig.

The Charlottesville Area Development Round Table and the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce also announced this week they plan to set up a committee to address the affordable housing crisis, and they support the land bank corporation.

"It can do some things that the private sector can't do and currently the public sector can’t do, and most importantly the affordable not-for-profit housing community can’t do on its own," said Greg Powe, co-chair of Charlottesville Area Development Round Table.

The subcommittee's next meeting is January 24, and will be open to the public. The group hopes to have an official proposal for Charlottesville City Council at the end of that meeting.