CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Most of the Democrats running for seats on Charlottesville City Council are sharing their plans on affordable housing in the city.

The candidates - former councilor Bob Fenwick, activist Michael Payne, Region Ten board member Sena Magill, and project manager Brian Pinkston - took center stage at the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership for a forum Friday, April 12. Defense attorney Lloyd Snook did not participate.

"We need to finally finish a comprehensive affordable housing strategy so we know how to strategically invest and plan for affordable housing development over the next few years," said City Council candidate Michael Payne.

The university’s Habitat for Humanity campus chapter and the Batten Graduate Council co-hosted Friday’s public event. This is part of Habitat for Humanity's Act! Speak! Build! Week, which presents opportunities to educate students around the issue of affordable housing.

"I think we need to be increasing in our accessory dwelling unit stock which will be making that process easier and also utilizing some other ways of helping homeowners finance that," said candidate Sena Magill.

Each of the candidates also shared how students can contribute to a long-term solution for affordable housing.

"My approach is always do the simple things first," said candidate Bob Fenwick. "We have laws on the books. If a developer wants to have a special use permit, then they should just obey the law."

The race for Charlottesville City Council also includes two independent candidates: engineer John Hall, and businessman Bellamy Brown. Republicans have yet to field a candidate.

"I want to think about this as holistically as possible in terms of the market, in terms of nonprofits, in terms of what the city can do and also in terms of what people in neighborhoods are willing to accept," said candidate Brian Pinkston.

None of the incumbent councilors are seeking re-election.

The Democratic Primary will be held on June 11 and Election Day falls on November 5.