Charlottesville prepares for redevelopments to public housing residences

Charlottesville prepares for redevelopments to public housing residences

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The long-awaited groundbreaking for the city’s first public housing redevelopment project is just weeks away. Charlottesville’s Redevelopment and Housing Authority (CRHA) Board of Commissioners is excited and sharing some details.

“Unfortunately for COVID we can’t bring a large group of people together, but we can mark this is very exciting - first groundbreaking for CRHA well, in many years,” said Betsy Roettger, the board chair.

A groundbreaking is set for March 7 now that funding is in line for the redevelopment of South First Street’s public housing community. Coming soon: 62 new apartments and a community center in three buildings.

“By the time we get into later April or May we’ll start to see vertical construction happening,” said Jay Kessler, a project manager, during a redevelopment briefing at CRHA’s virtual meeting.

The other project is a complete renovation of Crescent Halls’s 108 apartments. Kessler says he hopes that will get going in a few months, and completed by late 2022.

Part of the challenge will be doing the work while the building is occupied.

“Our ability to relocate from floor-to-floor in the period of time allowed, which is 2 weeks, to get residents [moved],” said Kessler. “So when they finish the eighth-floor renovation and it’s brand new, residents from the sixth-floor will have to move up to eight to clear six.”

Safety in public housing communities was also discussed, including the potential use of security cameras.

“It’s just making sure that whatever is presented and ultimately voted on is fair and that we get as much input from as many families as possible,” said Mayor Nikuyah Walker.

Laura Goldblatt, a member of the CRHA Board of Commissioners, said: “We do want to hear really widely from residents because I don’t think that anyone who has attended those meetings wants to feel like they live in a police state, but I think they’ve also seen the ways that that’s not an effective way to be healthy and safe.”

CRHA’s Zoom Safety meetings are held every other Tuesday and are an opportunity for residents to opine on the security camera proposal. Information on how to join the Zoom is below.

Safety Meeting (Every other Tuesday): March 2, 2021 & March 16, 2021 at 6:00 pm for all these dates.

*Please note that participants need to enter the passcode (181698) to get into the meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://virginia.zoom.us/j/94162482463?pwd=cURYc2VQUnFVK0VCaFB1blNkakN0QT09

One tap mobile: +16465189805,,94162482463# U

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