Faith Community Discusses Affordable Housing in Charlottesville, Albemarle
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Members of the faith community are coming together to address a common concern across central Virginia.
On Thursday, April 11, hundreds of people gathered with the goal of pushing elected officials to make commitments on affordable housing
Members of the group Interfaith Movement Promoting Action by Congregations Together (IMPACT) invited city, county, and University of Virginia administrators to discuss their roles in expanding affordable housing, but they say some are falling short on their promises.
“This is an issue that's being talked about on grounds, in the city, in the county, here this evening, and it means a great deal," Jennifer Wagner Davis, who works for UVA, said.
Hundreds of members of the faith community came out for IMPACT’s annual Nehemiah Action on Thursday night.
It’s a night when members of 27 congregations ask for commitments from Albemarle County supervisors, Charlottesville City Council, and, this year, the University of Virginia.
“We're committed to defining objectives to determine demographics and identify sites of property that UVA owns to analyze development considerations on affordable housing," Davis said.
IMPACT leaders commended Charlottesville leaders for their decision to fund over $10 million of affordable housing projects without raising the real estate tax.
“The City Council has chosen to adopt a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that makes affordable housing our top priority," Mike Murphy, Charlottesville’s interim city manager, said.
Group members urged county officials to take steps to create more housing and to establish a permanent affordable housing fund, but they also say Albemarle has fallen short in recent years.
“County officials have been years with us asking and asking and not being able to get concrete real steps out of it,” Sheila Herlihy, a member of IMPACT, said.
IMPACT says it will continue to focus on this issue because of the countless stories it hears about people working tirelessly to find decent affordable housing.
“It is always a joy to see so many people here representing IMPACT and pushing for these changes,” Herlihy said.
Members of IMPACT plan to have meetings with city and county leaders in the future, and UVA President Jim Ryan as well in order to further discuss how to address the need for affordable housing.