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Faith Community Asks City, County Leaders to Tackle Affordable Housing Crisis

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People from congregations met on Tuesday, April 24 People from congregations met on Tuesday, April 24
People are asking city and county officials to offer solutions to the affordable housing crisis People are asking city and county officials to offer solutions to the affordable housing crisis
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The faith community is coming together to tackle the affordable housing crisis in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

On Tuesday, April 24, hundreds gathered as part of the action assembly held by Interfaith Movement Promoting Action by Congregations Together (IMPACT).

At the event Tuesday night, faith leaders from over 20 congregations met at Charlottesville High School and asked city and county officials for their commitments to certain problems.

IMPACT says close to 3,000 seniors in Albemarle County are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. It's asking supervisors to help solve the problem by creating a permanent housing fund.

"Many of my older citizens have worked in an economy which is totally different than today, and what they retired on in the late '70s felt completely adequate but is not adequate anymore,” says Ann Mallek, an Albemarle County supervisor.

Albemarle County supervisors Ann Mallek, Norman Dill, and Ned Gallaway all agreed to do what they can to create more affordable units.

“We hope that we will have economic development, we hope that our revenue pie will grow from other means than taxation, so that we can then be able to provide these services and other services better to our citizens without impoverishing everybody," says Mallek.

Another problem IMPACT mentioned is that almost half of nonstudents in Charlottesville are burdened by the cost of living. IMPACT is asking the city to expedite the process for building affordable homes.

Lastly, IMPACT is asking the Housing Advisory Committee to review the current zoning code to see how it negatively impacts affordable housing development. The Housing Advisory Committee has agreed to do that as part of a larger strategy.

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