City Council Candidates Talk Affordable Housing Ahead of Election
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With Election Day less than one week away, those hoping to be on Charlottesville City Council are making their case.
At a forum on Wednesday night, five of the six council candidates met to discuss their ideas for affordable housing in Charlottesville. Candidates got to talk about a number of issues, including how they would handle the redevelopment of public housing in the city if they were elected.
“We redevelop with an idea of trying to see how many units we can put in there and still preserve the community and still preserve an athletic field and things like that," said candidate Lloyd Snook.
"We need to make sure that we are integrating our affordable housing into our neighborhoods,” said candidate Sena Magill. “These are all tools we can do that with; triplexs, small apartments, quadplexs. Having these by-right making these more affordable housing structures will help."
The forum was hosted by two affordable housing advocacy groups at The Jefferson School. Candidates also expressed concerns about rising rent prices across the city.
"I think $950 for one bedroom efficiency is ridiculous and rent control would be one way of trying to solve that," said candidate Paul Long.
"Without exploring these other options like creating jobs for folks and really opening up that the housing supply itself, the rents won't stop rising so we have to focus on those opportunities to dissipate that rising rent," said candidate Bellany Brown.
Others said more people directly affected by the housing shortage need to be included in the conversation to help find solutions.
"One in four residents can't afford basic necessities,” said candidate Michael Payne. “We are ranked in the bottom three percentile nationally for economic and mobility and to address these issues requires real policies and solutions and not platitudes, platitudes aren't going to pay the rent."
While the forum was mostly focused on housing, the candidates were also asked questions regarding support for the Police Civilian Review Board and whether they would support building a new City Hall complex.