RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A group of Richmond residents gave feedback about an affordable housing project near their neighborhood.
After declaring an affordable housing crisis in the city this summer, Richmond leaders said their goal is building a thousand new affordable rental units — and 2,000 new home ownership opportunities for low-income residents — every year until 2030.
Now that a developer is bringing affordable housing to the Forest Hill area, some residents are concerned about the development possibly impacting traffic and access, as well as taking green space away from their community.
The developer, the Lawson Companies, said the development will have 144 units and 241 parking spaces — and that it will be located on 700 West 44th Street.
According to the design plan, the units will be constructed in six three-story buildings, and it will feature a clubhouse, business center, leasing office and bicycle storage.
Richmond City Council is considering an incentive tax credit if the Lawson Companies meets a certain requirement for affordable housing.
On Tuesday evening, Councilwoman Kristen Nye and representatives of the Lawson Companies held a community meeting to get feedback on the plan.
At the meeting, several residents spoke up about their concerns over traffic, access and green space.
“Are you expecting the families to scale your fences and go through the woods illegally because it’s a private property? You’ve given them no access to Crutchfield at all. I don’t know. That concerns me,” said one of the residents at the meeting.
“Is there any way you can soften the blow?” one woman asked. “So much tree canopy is being clear cut for something like this.”
She suggested picking an area of the city that was already developed and that just needed to be rejuvenated.
Because the project was by-right, the Lawson Companies did not need Richmond City Council’s approval because the area did not need to be re-zoned. The development is expected to be completed in the fall of 2024.