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CLIHC releases report debunking ineffective affordable housing proposals

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The Charlottesville Low-Income Housing Coalition has released a report highlighting why Charlottesville faces an affordable housing crisis, who is most affected and the most important tools available to address the growing need.

“Economic arguments that market-rate housing will improve supply enough to decrease prices for all residents are misguided,” said Maddy Green, the primary author of the report.

Green, working toward a master’s in social work at VCU,  recently interned with the Legal Aid Justice Center and began serving as a commissioner of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority this month.

“The solutions must be focused on preventing further displacement of lower-income people and expanding affordable housing for those with the greatest need,” Green said.

“There is a dire need for affordable housing for very low-income people in our community,” stated Shelby Edwards, executive director of the Charlottesville Public Housing Association of Residents. “The Voucher Waiting List was recently opened in Charlottesville, and over 500 applicants signed up in just the first 48 hours.”

“We are at a racial justice crossroads. The culture of Charlottesville is being lost,” said Joy Johnson, chair of PHAR. “Small changes will not be enough to stop the massive displacement in Black neighborhoods and help prevent more homelessness. We need aggressive action.”

“We can’t allow market-rate developments to be approved without strong inclusionary zoning to address the 3,300 people with unmet housing needs as of 2018,” Green said. “The pandemic has only caused increased hardship that we cannot yet fully understand.”

Jordy Yager, Mapping Cville Project Director, added this context: “Charlottesville’s historic racist housing policies have drastically impacted our city’s current zoning and lack of deeply affordable housing options. This report offers impactful and concrete solutions, while de-bunking ‘trickle-down’ theories that do not prioritize the rights and lives of our lowest-income neighbors.”

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