Housing coalition update

Published 9:48 am Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Affordable Housing Coalition, a project of STEPS Inc. and various stakeholders to address affordable housing needs in the area, is moving forward, Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) Executive Director Melody Foster said during the most recent CRC meeting Wednesday.

Foster said the project “is moving right along.” Foster said a survey has already been developed for the project, and that the coalition is expected to hold focus group meetings in the next few weeks.

Foster said the survey could be out in the first week of April.

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The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), in December, awarded a grant of $20,000 to STEPS Inc. to create a strategic plan that could potentially lead to more affordable housing options for students, families, seniors and young professionals.

“Advisers will assist STEPS and the newly formed Affordable Housing Coalition to seek county-wide input to identify and clearly define housing needs; create a local asset map of existing housing strengths and assets; develop a housing resource guide; conduct a market needs and gap analysis to determine market demand and potential styles for development; as well as developing a Prioritized Plan for execution of affordable housing options,” a news release from STEPS cited.

The coalition is made up of stakeholders from the Town of Farmville, Prince Edward County, Longwood University, Hampden-Sydney College, Prince Edward County Public Schools, Fuqua School, Centra Southside Community Hospital, Habitat for Humanity and STEPS.