RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Millions in federal funding is going towards affordable housing in Richmond in the midst of what city leaders are calling a housing crisis.
Senator Mark Warner delivered a check for $14 million during a ceremony Monday, March 27, surrounded by Richmond city leaders.
The money is intended for the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHC) to modernize and maintain affordable housing in the city, something Mayor Levar Stoney says is necessary as the city deals with a housing crisis.
“In the Richmond metro area — residents are spending 30% of their income on housing costs and there is a 23,000 unit shortage in the Richmond region,” Stoney said. “The current Black home ownership rate in Richmond is only 32% compared to 60 percent for their white counterparts.”
With this funding, RRHC’s focus is to increase the number of affordable units in Richmond, Mayor Stoney says the goal is to build 1,000 units every year until the end of the decade.
According to Stephen Nesmith, RRHC’s CEO, Richmond has the oldest public housing units on the East Coast. He and other city officials believe this $14 million is a start, but more money will be needed to address the issue.
“We could use three times that much to deal with the backlog of affordable housing,” Nesmith said. “So, I think we need to couple that with existing federal tax incentives programs.”
During the ceremony, city leaders hinted at another $50 million to address the lack of affordable housing.