CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A new initiative is in the works in Charlottesville that would help train people who live in public housing in trade skills.

The idea was presented to the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority by the Public Housing Association of Residents recently.

The concept is that residents would gain valuable skills working hand-in-hand with licensed contractors through Habitat for Humanity.

The CRHA currently has more than 600 people on its waiting list and 20 units offline requiring significant work.

If it happens, the program could help the CRHA fill those vacancies and help people with new trade skills.

“It's just an exciting opportunity to partner with two other organizations to help bring about some good for the community and help address our critical low-income housing need in Charlottesville,” says Grant Duffield, executive director of CRHA. 

The usual timeline for vacant units is usually a week to 10 days, but units needing substantial repairs could take up to 30 days.

The proposed initiative would help the CRHA fix those units in need to address the waiting list.

Duffield says that project partners are planning to meet later this week to firm up the program scope and hopefully announce an initiation date in the future.