RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Mayor Levar Stoney’s administration is pushing for two affordable housing developments in South Richmond.
Stoney’s administration is proposing two grant agreements with 2100 Bainbridge, LLC and Afton Avenue Apartments, LLC to facilitate the construction of the developments – which would, unsurprisingly, be built on Afton Avenue and Bainbridge Street.
Approving the deals will help Stoney’s administration “meet one of its main affordable housing goals,” the city’s staff report on the proposals reads.
Earlier this year, Stoney and Richmond leaders declared an affordable housing crisis and shared a goal of creating “1,000 new affordable rental units each year and 2,000 new homeownership opportunities for low-income residents by 2030.”
The proposed deals call for a development with at least 150 housing units on a parcel of land at 2400 and 2420 Afton Avenue and one with at least 84 units to replace an empty building at 2100 Bainbridge Street.
Stoney introduced both ordinances, but 5th District City Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch is a co-patron of the proposed grant agreement for the Bainbridge project — which would be built in her district.
The projects must cap occupancy and rents to make it affordable for those who make 60% or less than the area median gross income for the Richmond-Petersburg metro region — $44,820 for one and $63,960 for four — for at least 30 years.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the median household income in Richmond, as of 2021, was $54,795, and nearly 20% of people live in poverty.
Per city documents, the recipients will aim to ensure that 30% of construction costs will go to minority businesses and emerging small businesses that will act as third-party subcontractors.
“The Recipient shall include this goal in its contracts with all assignees, contractors, and subcontractors who will be providing any portion of the Project,” the ordinances from Stoney’s administration read.
If approved by the Richmond City Council, grant payments would be limited to “incremental” real estate tax revenues from the projects. Grant requests from the recipients would hinge on the project’s completion and continued maintenance.
The proposed agreements stipulate that each recipient must submit a development plan within nine months and begin construction within 18 months of the deal. The projects must be completed within three years of construction, per city documents.
To ensure upkeep, grant payments after the initial 15-year period will require the Afton Ave. developers to spend at least $1.5 million on capital improvements and the Bainbridge to pay at least $840,000.
If developers fail to meet these deadlines or conditions, the city’s chief administrative officer can give them an extension or a termination notice.
The proposed deals also stipulate recordkeeping by the city’s Economic Development Authority and that recipients report on the project’s progress and comply with the agreement.
The proposed agreements were recommended for approval by the city’s Finance and Economic Development Standing Committee on Oct. 19. Both are set to be before the Richmond City Council on Nov. 13.