After a strong year of giving, we are reminded once again of the extraordinary generosity that exists in our region. When combined with the cooperative leadership of our peers in business, government and the nonprofit sector, we have a tremendous opportunity for continued action and progress in 2020. We are moving ahead on an ambitious workplan that we believe honors and reflects both the interests of our donors and community partners, as well as regional priorities where our collective efforts can make the greatest and longest lasting impact.
Here we highlight three key categories of work for which we are most excited, and about which you can expect to hear much more from us in the months to come.
The region is beginning to experience momentum around efforts to address current and projected deficits in affordable housing. Let us share a few timely updates to indicate how far we’ve come by working together.
Maggie Walker Community Land Trust
In a recent report from the organization, we learned that the Community Foundation’s $1 million grant, paid out over two years, has been spent or allocated to support the acquisition and rehabilitation of 40 homes in the City of Richmond and Henrico County.
- 19 homes were sold in 2019, with other half scheduled for sale in 2020
- Average sale price of $155,000, or 30% lower than Richmond median
- Median homeowner income of $41,000, or 50% of Richmond’s Average Median Income
Better Housing Coalition, in partnership with Navy Hill
As part of the proposed Navy Hill development in downtown Richmond, the Community Foundation committed $5 million to support the work of Better Housing Coalition to develop up to 200 additional affordable rental housing units as part of the deal. The intensive planning, negotiation and evaluation of the project has taken time, but the proposal is currently before City Council and is tentatively slated for a vote in late February.
The latest updates to the plan include:
- The potential to reduce the size of the Navy Hill increment finance area (IFA) from 80 to 11 blocks, made possible by proposed legislation that would allow the city to recapture $55 million in state sales and use taxes
- Commitment from CoStar to bring 2,000 new jobs through the development of a new office tower in Navy Hill
Richmond Regional Housing Framework
Following 20 months of work that involved robust community outreach and a dedicated workgroup that included our own VP of Community Engagement Annette Cousins, the Partnership for Housing Affordability released last week a three-year, solutions-oriented action plan for increasing housing affordability throughout the Richmond region. Funded in part by the Community Foundation, the Framework addresses the need for a mix of housing options, common housing challenges that cross jurisdictional lines, and a strong link between housing opportunity and a thriving workforce. Now we are gifted with a roadmap for how to focus our efforts and work together to ensure that every resident of Greater Richmond will have a stable, healthy and affordable place to call home.
- The framework outlines six core goals which can be summarized as increased supply, homeownership, security for seniors, housing quality, stability and choice.
- Visit www.pharva.com/framework for full survey results, interactive data dashboards and dozens of solutions.
There’s no getting around it. Technology is, and will increasingly be, prominent in our daily lives. With greater dependence on technology for daily news, communication and transactions, we know the Community Foundation must rise to the occasion to better serve you going forward.
Over the past few months, we have been conducting a comprehensive assessment of our current tools and strategies, as well as an exploration of systems that will allow us to be more efficient and effective in delivering exactly the experience you desire. Our goal is to become more seamless, more interactive, more mobile-friendly and more personalized. If you have any questions or wish to share feedback, please feel free to reach out.
Our community is rapidly changing – in landscape, demographics, perspective, and offerings. Isn’t that what it means to be alive, relevant and pushing forward? For the countless people and institutions who strive to make the Richmond region a better place, we must stay informed and track progress toward big, lofty goals.
We hope you consider the Community Foundation a resource for learning about issues and initiatives, engaging in discussion, meeting experts, and measuring collective impact. Our staff is plugged in at strategic and cross-sector leadership tables, but also at the community level where plans are put to action. While we maintain a big picture view that allows us to connect people and institutions, we also can take you on a deep dive into singular issues.
In addition to housing, we are deeply invested in workforce development, early childhood interventions and out-of-school time programming. We are convening stakeholders, facilitating planning efforts and advocating for systematic improvements that create efficiencies for providers, as well as expand benefits to the community. As such, we invite you to join us as these plans move forward.
Stay informed by taking advantage of the following Community Foundation resources: