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Habitat for Humanity pushing for Southwood support

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 4:15 PM EST
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Nearly 60% of the Southwood community was without power for four days following last Monday’s snowstorm. Freezing temperatures made surviving in the dark a challenge.

“The trailers aren’t insulated particularly well, if at all,” Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville President Dan Rosensweig said. “Folks were pretty vulnerable out here.”

Habitat is currently redeveloping Southwood.

“We’re working, and we have done so for 12 years with the families who live here at Southwood to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to live in a safe, affordable, durable, sustainable home,” Rosensweig said.

Many community partners rallied to raise funds, groceries, and shelter for those facing immediate needs during the power outages, but now Habitat for Humanity is urging people to be proactive for the future.

“It’s also an opportunity for us to look toward the future and think, ‘hey, can we make investments in this community and other low-income communities so that when the next snowstorm happens, when the next ice storm or power outage happens, it doesn’t have a disproportionate impact on low-income communities,’” Rosensweig said.

He says the redevelopment project, with the first set of homes set to be completed this summer, is the way forward. It will allow homeowners to have a safe place for future storms.

“We’re grateful for the community coming together to solve this emergency need and long term we’re really looking forward to creating a much more durable, sustainable Southwood so that people into the future don’t have to worry about the power outages or lack of insulation in their homes or lack of food,” Rosensweig said.

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