Charlottesville One Step Closer to Increasing Affordable Housing Options

Posted: Updated:
Housing Advisory Committee meeting on April 3 Housing Advisory Committee meeting on April 3

The attempt to get more affordable housing in the city of Charlottesville is closer to becoming a reality, thanks to a proposal called a land bank.

The Housing Advisory Committee met on Tuesday, April 3, to finalize a draft for the proposed land bank ordinance.

A land bank would purchase properties at cheaper prices than the market value, and then make them available as affordable housing options in the city.

During Tuesday’s special meeting, committee members worked with city staff to simplify language in the ordinance before it's presented to City Council on Monday, April 16.

Some of the final concerns the subcommittee is trying to work out are the governance issues of the land bank and how the board will be staffed.

“We're wrestling with, is that a majority of city staff because it's city money that is being dedicated to this effort, or is it majority community members because it is the community need that is trying to be addressed, and who knows better about its needs than the community itself and I think that is really the heart of what we're wrestling with,” says Ridge Schuyler, director of the Charlottesville Works Initiative.

Committee members say City Council will have the final say in how the composition of the governing board for the land bank is decided. They plan to finalize details in the ordinance before the next city council meeting on April 16, when the city will decide whether or not to take action to move things forward.