“I smile every day because I had help;” AHIP working to bring new life to historic Charlottesville home

AHIP Heating Help

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Lawrence Brown has lived on Henry Avenue in Charlottesville since 1939, calling it home for more than 80 years.

The house, which he believes is nearly 100 years old, belonged to his parents and was passed down to him. However, the house that Brown has come to know and love as his own, is in desperate need of fixing.

“We lost heat last winter, and was only one winter. Summer time wasn’t too bad, but when I had to have heat, I used about four space heaters to help out,” Brown said.

Power outages, leaks in the roof, and rotting wood were just some of the things needing to be repaired.

“I knew it was going to be a big project, and I just didn’t have the funds for it," Brown said.

That’s when Albemarle Housing Improvement (AHIP) stepped in. With the support of Beck Cohen and Lennox, the group decided to help Brown get the repairs his home needed, at no cost.

“We put a whole new duct system in, we put in an air conditioning unit, and we put a furnace in," said Robert Bulnomo of Beck Cohen.

Tens of thousands of dollars in other renovations will also be taken care of over a span of several weeks.

“We wanna make these people’s lives easier for them to manage,” Bulnomo said.

Brown is grateful for the work, which will hopefully make his living space safer and easier to take care of.

“Quite frankly, I smile every day because I had help," Brown said.

Now, with the renovations, he’ll be able to pass the house down to his own children with confidence, following his parents footsteps.

“They would be proud to know that I didn’t just try to sell this house off or pass it off, but try to keep it up," said Brown.

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