RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced plans to address the city’s housing needs by establishing an Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF).
The goal of his plan is to address “the full spectrum of housing needs and realize the creation of 10,000 new affordable housing units over the next 10 years.”
Stoney said his administration is ready to take this on.
“To make significant and lasting change for the most underserved residents in our city, this must be a budgetary priority,” Stoney said.
The mayor said he plans to pay for his vision by introducing an ordinance to establish a dedicated source of funding for the affordable housing trust fund.
“This establishes a floor for these vital programs, not a ceiling,” Stoney added.
Here’s how it will work.
The future tax revenues from properties leaving the real property partial tax exemption rehabilitation program will go directly to the trust fund to build new affordable housing units.
As properties phase-out, the new revenue will be directed by the city’s finance program and then put into the fund. Each year the accessors will let the administration now what the projected funding amount is.
Stoney’s administration projects the fund will grow by $2 million every year for the next five years. In 2025, Stoney says the amount in the fund should be approximately $10 million.
“This is new revenue. Not taken from any other priority — without creating a new tax,” Stoney said.
Stoney said securing this funding plan will help create the 10,000 new affordable housing units. The mayor said these units would be a diverse array of housing styles.
“We all see it and we all know it. Richmond is a growing city. Roughly 30,000 people have moved to our city over the course of the last decade,” Stoney said.
Stoney said this is a good thing for the city but that racist systems have ensured that there are Richmond residents that will never benefit from this growth if the city doesn’t do something intentional.
“As we grow, it is incumbent that our most underserved communities do not get left behind,” Stoney said.
Stoney said he will introduce his plan to Richmond City Council next Monday, September 28.
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