Act! Speak! Build! Week Educates UVA Students About Affordable Housing
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Act! Speak! Build! Week presents opportunities to educate students at the University of Virginia about the issue of affordable housing.
On Friday, candidates for Charlottesville City Council shared their thoughts on the ever-present issue in the city. It's an issue that can't be ignored.
"The number one reason I decided to jump in the race was affordable housing. We are facing a crisis where families are being displaced and can't afford to live here anymore,” said Michael Payne (D), city council candidate.
UVA's Habitat for Humanity campus chapter and the Batten Council co-hosted Friday’s event, which aimed to strengthen the relationship between the university and the community.
“We want people to learn something, but we want people to have a sense of what's next. What can we do? What can we do to change something to make a difference?” said Taylor Thompson, with UVA's Habitat for Humanity campus chapter.
"The approach has to come from multiple different places. One, I think we need to be increasing our accessory dwelling unit stock, which will be making that process easier and also utilizing some other ways of helping homeowners finance that,” said Sena Magill (D), city council candidate.
Identifying the problem is easy. Coming up with a solution is a little more complex.
"I think what you are seeing from the candidates that were here today. A lot of expertise that's out there in terms of different ideas that range from accessory housing dwelling units to zoning changes, to increasing taxes to have more money for the affordable housing fund,” said Brian Pinkston (D), city council candidate.
Candidates recognize that, that is not a new problem.
"When my wife and I moved here 35 years ago, we could not afford a place in the city. We had to live out in Earlysville, so it’s been around a long time and unfortunately, it’s only getting worse. It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s something we ought to pay attention to,” said Bob Fenwick (D), city council candidate.
The fifth democratic candidate, Lloyd Snook, was not in attendance.
They will face off in the primary on June 11. At this point, two independent candidates have also announced bids.
No Republican has announced yet.