UVA gets over 400 responses on affordable housing location survey

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 4:39 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - In December of 2021, the University of Virginia announced three different locations that would be considered for its affordable housing project, aimed at providing between 1,000 and 1,500 units.

“I think it’s important to note that the university really doesn’t have expertise in affordable housing. Not exactly our core business, so we’ve sought outside help from consultants, as well as a lot of community input,” Senior Vice President for Operations and State Government Relations Colette Sheehy said.

Sheehy says hearing what the community wants is vital to making this project happen.

“We’re trying to address a need in the community, and we want to make sure that we can address that to the best of our ability,” she said.

The three proposed sites are owned by the university or its foundation.

“Those sites were where the current Piedmont housing - which is located on Fontaine Avenue - the corner of Wertland and 10th Street, and then our North Fork Research Park,” Sheehy said.

You can provide feedback on each location through a survey running through January 31. So far, there has been more than 400 responses.

“I think that all three sites are pretty attractive, and we were well aware of the issues the North Fork location has with transportation,” Sheehy said.

But as for how the university defines affordable housing, that’s still unclear: “We don’t really have a rubric for that, because what we really need to know from developers that we’re going to solicit proposals from is to what they would envision a spectrum of income level being in order to financially support a project,” Sheehy said.

Once the survey closes, the next step is to develop a request for qualifications, but that’s still a few months from completion.

As far as groundbreaking on a site, that won’t happen until at least May of 2023.

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