Affordable Housing


In 2020, when we began working on this campaign for a second time in our RISC history, our research showed there was a shortage of 25,000 units of affordable housing.

This past January, the Partnership for Affordable Housing put out a report that this shortage had grown to 39,000! 

In short - we have a CRISIS in our city, when it comes to the lack of truly affordable housing.

And things are getting worse, FAST.

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 was invested between 2015 and 2021, and 935 units of affordable housing were the result. The problem is that 935 is nowhere near enough, and - for the first 5 years of the program -only 16 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).

Our Solution

In August 2020, we decided that what we want is twofold - 

1. A dedicated stream of funding for the Trust Fund, of at least $10 million annually

2. At least 1/3 of the funds going toward units for those households earning the least amount of money (30% AMI or less)

Where We Are

In January 2021, we got the city to pass an Ordinance creating a dedicated stream of funding for the Trust Fund. This was a great victory that took much hard work; the Ordinance had been stuck in the city's Finance & Economic Development Committee and woudl not have passed were it not for RISC consistently turning out large numbers of organized people.

The Ordinance was designed such that the allocation grows each year, so that it reaches an allocation of $10 million by 2026, and keeps growing  beyond that. 

We learned this past Fall that unfortunately, the city is not following its own Ordinance, and has not yet transferred the dollars from the dedicated stream, to the Trust (read article covering their non-compliance here). We will be holding them accountable to follow their own law, and also on making sure that a good portion of the dollars we’ve won are used to create housing for the households that need it the most.


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.

Click here to view a video from June 2021 capturing the story of this campaign.