Affordable Housing

BACKGROUND

We have a CRISIS in our city, when it comes to the lack of truly affordable housing. Our research shows there is a shortage of 25,000 units of affordable housing – the vast majority of which is concentrated among households making under 30% AMI (approximately $27,000 for a family of four).

RISC succeeded in getting the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund (read more about housing trust funds here!) funded, back in 2015. Over $9 million has been invested since then, and 1,200 units of affordable housing have been the result. The problem is that 1,200 is nowhere near enough, and - for the first 5 years of the program - less than 10 of those units were for households making under 30% AMI. The result? An evictions crisis – catapulting Richmond to #2 on a national ranking of cities’ eviction rates (read more about our eviction rate here).

In the Fall of 2018, RISC members voted to begin working on Affordable Housing again.

Click here to view a video capturing the story of this campaign.


   


WHERE WE ARE NOW

At our Nehemiah Action in the Spring of 2021, in front of 2,004 people, Councilpersons Jones and Lynch committed to champion the above 2 asks. In May, Council passed a the FY 2022 budget with $2.9 million in it for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, but with the understanding that at least $7.1 million would be allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act dollars. In June, they passed a resolution indicating their intent to do just that.

On September 13, Mayor Stoney presented his proposals for how to spend the ARPA dollars to City Council. Included in his proposal is $20 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, over 2 years. 

We have nearly won the $10 million annually we first put forward as our goal, in August 2020! The decision around the ARPA dollars will go before Council on October 11. We need as many RISC members as possible to be present that evening. Click here to sign up to attend!


RECORDINGS OF KEY EVENTS IN OUR AFFORDABLE HOUSING CAMPAIGN

Meeting with Mayor Stoney June 18, 2020, at which we secured his commitment to allocate $6 million from the CARES Act money to emergency rental assistance

Our Zoom Mini-Action August 31, 2020, at which we secured commitments from Mayor Stoney, and Councilpersons Lynch, Robertson, and Addison to support our two goals (put forward for the first time that evening)

The Affordable Housing Roundtable we organized on February 17, 2021, aimed at providing information to our local leaders around how Affordable Housing Trust Funds can be used to create housing for households making 30% AMI and less.

Our Nehemiah Action March 23, 2021, attended by 2,004 persons, at which we secured commitments from Councilpersons Jones and Lynch to champion our two goals.

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