Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority unanimously approves purchase of Belmont property

Crescent Halls
Crescent Halls
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 10:36 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2022 at 3:25 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority (CRHA) seems to take one step forward in creating more affordable housing, but two steps backward when it comes to staying on schedule.

The board did vote to unanimously purchase a property in the Belmont neighborhood, 818 Montrose Avenue.

“It’s really close to the downtown area, good location to find jobs and good transportation, a bus stop is about two blocks away. It’s close to some of our properties as well. And it’s on a decent piece of land, that gives us an opportunity to redevelop it in future or do something fairly quick and easy and put an accessory unit in the backyard or something to add an additional rentable unit that’s affordable,” Sales said.

The plan is to turn the two unit home into three units of affordable housing. Currently one unit is vacant and the other has a renter for $1,200 a month.

“There’s other parcels of land around it that could make a decent sized redevelopment in the future, and we would be in a position to do that owning this piece right here. And so this is a key piece to that in the future,” Sales said.

Crescent Halls is a major affordable housing development that has pushed its reopen date back multiple times. It is expected to be at full capacity by the end of January 2023.

“We are losing hope. You have people in Crescent Halls, we’re losing faith, and we’re losing hope and we want to go home,” Commissioner Judy Sandridge said.

Originally tenants were told they did not have to move out, but after a pipe burst that all changed.

“We’ve lost quite a few members of our neighborhood since we’ve moved out. We’re losing more every day and more getting sick every day because this move has taken a lot out of us. Somebody needs to step up to the plate and do something,” Sandridge said.

The delays stem from issues with contractors and capacity.

“If the elevator company can meet its date at Crescent Halls, the date for the elevator, we will be reoccupying in November. And now it’s like ‘well, the first floor has to get completed… and the front driveway needs to get completed… and we don’t think we can meet that’,” Sales said.

Board members say they are still meeting with the contractors and working on ways to hold them accountable.

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