Quantcast

Community Members Weigh in on Affordable Housing Solutions at Public Workshop

Posted: Updated:
Some people believe this year's comprehensive plan doesn't meet affordable housing needs Some people believe this year's comprehensive plan doesn't meet affordable housing needs
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Some people in Charlottesville are concerned the city’s draft for its 2018 Comprehensive Plan does not fully address the affordable housing crisis.

The city held a public workshop on Thursday, May 10, at CitySpace to discuss the comprehensive plan.

Thursday’s workshop gave people the opportunity to split up into different groups to discuss chapters of the comprehensive plan. By far, the most popular topic was affordable housing.

Many argue the city should not continue working on a draft of the housing chapter of its comprehensive plan until it receives results of the Housing Needs Assessment.

"There should be no comprehensive plan without a housing equity strategy - and a good one," says Megan Bloom, who lives in Albemarle County. “We're talking about putting Band-Aids on something that's sort of structurally problematic."

As it currently stands, the housing chapter draft includes giving developers incentives to build affordable units.

Some people at Thursday's public workshop want the city to ensure that new developments also include affordable units, so that people of all races, backgrounds, and income levels can have the opportunity to live together.

"I think the city has made a mistake for a long time in segregating folk,” says Patricia Edwards, who lives in Charlottesville. “I think people need to be able to have the advantage of seeing people who have differing lifestyles.”

"Where we have high concentrations of very low density, high wealth single-family detached homes, we've got to put affordable housing there," says Charlottesville City Councilor Kathy Galvin.

Galvin agrees with the need for affordable housing to be spread throughout the city, but says the city should not continue putting off the comprehensive plan because it's only part of the solution.

“The longer we put off the comprehensive plan, the longer we put off zoning reform,” says Galvin.

"Part of the problem in 2013, is there were not enough zoning changes based off of that comprehensive plan and so we have to do a better job of that,” says Lisa Green, the chair of the planning commission.

Community members want the city to make sure everyone has an opportunity to attend a workshop like the one on Thursday.

"The time of day is a problem for a lot of people," says Edwards.

"We're going to have to do a better job of taking into account and counting the different people of different diversity categories so that we know we are reaching everybody we can," says Galvin.

City Council has given the planning commission an extension so that the Housing Needs Assessment, which will be released sometime in June, can be taken into consideration.

Another workshop will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.

  • Community Members Weigh in on Affordable Housing Solutions at Public WorkshopMore>>