Greater Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity
Providing affordable housing and most importantly helping low-wealth families become homeowners is Greater Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity’s primary mission.
“This is a very high-cost part of the state. We realized that the traditional Habitat model was not going to work here,” said Executive Director Overton McGehee. “So we’re developing mixed-income communities so that the market-rate and mid-range units will help pay for the affordable units for low-wealth families.”
This Habitat is taking it a step further. They are buying trailer parks threatened by new development. The Charlottesville affiliate is the first Habitat in the country to try such a strategy.
Community Capital Bank of Virginia, also known as Virginia Community Capital, provided a line of credit to help Habitate gain site control and buy a 100- acre Southwood Mobile Home Park in Albemarle County.
“Right now traditional banks are not very interested in making loans secured by undeveloped land,” Overton said. “VCC was willing to do something that other banks were not willing to do.”
Without Habitat, the 361 families currently living in Southwood would be displaced. Instead, these families will continue to live there and receive much higher quality affordable housing. With a projected 600 to 800 units available, many new families will also benefit. The partnership of Greater Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity and Virginia Community Capital gives the Southwood community and Charlottesville hope for a brighter future.
“I hope VCC will help us further on this project over the years and on other projects as well,” Overton said. “I highly recommend them to other non-profits.”