New Member Profile: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville

Tell us about your organization’s mission and/or focus area

First and foremost, we build homes in partnership with low-income families, volunteers and members of the community, and sell them to those low-income families with affordable mortgages. In addition, we prepare homebuyers for homeownership with financial and housing counseling and education.

Describe a current challenge in your community and how your organization is addressing this

We have a lack of affordable housing in our community – rentals and homeownership opportunities. We are working in coalition with other organizations to exact change at the local government level as well as working to bring understanding of the impact of this issue to the community in general. 

Habitat International is spearheading “Cost of Home,” which is a national initiative. Over the next five years, we commit to mobilizing our local organizations, partners, volunteers and community members across the country to find solutions and help create policies that will allow 10 million individuals to access affordable homes.

How have you collaborated, or would you like to collaborate with, other organizations to successfully achieve a goal?

We are working with other organizations in our area such as Public Housing Association Residents (PHAR), Charlottesville Low-Income Housing Coalition (CHAAHC) to address displacement and housing for low-income families. Working together we have been able to get $1.5 million to Charlottesville’s affordable housing fund and created an incentive for landlords to rent to Housing Choice Voucher holders by providing $10,000 in energy upgrades.

What prompted you to join NCRC?

In December 2018, we were approved by HUD as a Housing Counseling Agency.  That opened doors to us that had previously not been available as far as grants go.  With five full-time housing counselors on staff, our Advancement Department began looking for grant opportunities to support the work done by those individuals. One of the first grant opportunities we found was from NCRC, and we were thrilled to be approved for funding our first time out. We have found the information provided by NCRC on many topics to be very helpful in our day-to-day operations.

Shelley Cole is the compliance officer at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville.

Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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