2000 Best Practice Awards
Best of the Best Winners: Virginia
Best Practice: Chesapeake Affordable Homeownership
PUBLIC-PRIVATE TEAM TACKLES HOUSING AND
|Chesapeake, Virginia. When a government-sponsored development of 850 cinderblock
units for shipbuilders in the Campostella Square neighborhood of Chesapeake,
Virginia, was first built in the 1940s, the life expectancy for the homes
was only five years. Decades later, low-income families living in these
homes suffered from health and safety complaints arising from buildings
long past their prime. A public-private- nonprofit collaboration called
the Chesapeake Affordable Homeownership Partnership (CAHP) is helping revitalize
this distressed area while offering homeownership opportunities to
Brenda Willis (c) receiving Best of the Best
award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)
The partnership is composed of lead partner
Chesapeake Redevelopment and Housing Authority (CRHA), South Hampton Roads
Habitat for Humanity and the Tidewater Builders Association (TBA).
CRHA began working with the Tidewater Builders Association in 1990
to build affordable homes on-site in Chesapeake. In 1993, TBA began
constructing three-bedroom, energy-efficient homes off-site at its apprentice
training center. The CRHA arranged to purchase completed off-site homes
and move them to prepared lots in a Chesapeake neighborhood targeted for
At the same time, CRHA donated lots so that
its other partnerHabitat for Humanitycould construct single-family
homes in the revitalization zone. In 1996, CRHA forged the TBA and Habitat
partnerships into a broader program that capitalizes on the strengths of
all. This centerpiece program entailed moving eight of the TBA homes constructed
off-site to Habitat-built foundations on CRHA-prepared lots. Habitat volunteers
built the foundations and put the finishing touches on the homes, which
include front porches and utility connections.
The homes are sold through lease-purchase
arrangement to first-time homebuyers. At least 30 apprentices are required
to build each home. To date, the program has provided employment and educational
benefits to more than 270 economically disadvantaged students.
Partnership development and construction of
new homes proved easier than attracting potential homeowners to the Campostella
Square area once well known for crime and blight. To address safety and
area economic viability issues, the partnership held a series of meetings
with churches, the business community and residents to form a neighborhood
association. Partnership staff also worked with the police to increase area
patrols. Habitat for Humanity promotes the area when they interview candidates
for homeownership. These efforts helped convince residents and new homeowners
of the partnerships commitment to long-term revitalization.
You can tell by the way the new homeowners
keep their yards that they have a sense of pride in their community,
says Brenda Willis, the partnerships executive director.
The partnership has allowed Chesapeake to
leverage CDBG and HOME funds to eliminate blight, bolster homeownership
rates and develop long-term, living-wage employment opportunities for public
and assisted housing residents. Approximately $288,000 in HOME and CDBG
funds was supplemented by more than $104,000 of in-kind donations from Habitat
for Humanity and $200,000 from the Tidewater Builders Association.
The program has built eight new homes to dateone
of the new homeowners is a former Chesapeake public housing residentand
expects to add more homes annually through the three-tiered partnership
effort. Campostella Square, once designated an area most in need of
housing assistance, is experiencing a surge of building activity.
In addition to the homeownership program, more than 300 new rental units
and a community center are planned, with new mixed-income homes and market-rate
homes on the horizon.
Contact: Brenda Willis, Phone: (757) 523-0401
Tracking Number: 699
Winning Category: Geographic
Best Practice: New Road Community Development Group of Exmore
Determination in Struggle for Indoor Plumbing
Results in New Housing and Amenities
Exmore, Virginia. The New Road Community Development Group of Exmorea
community-based non-profit organization located on Virginias Eastern
Shorewas established in 1992 to fight for a new sewer and water
system that would provide services to 90 substandard housing units in the
New Road community. The housing development, owned by two absentee landlords,
is home to approximately 300 low-income African-American residents. The
facility had no indoor plumbing.
Formed to address this concern, today the
New Road development groups
Recipients receiving Best of the Best award
from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)
accomplishments include leveraging $1.75 million
in CDBG funds for the new water and sewer infrastructure, securing a low-interest
loan of $343,000 to purchase a 30-acre property and 54 substandard units
from two absentee landlords, and managing 20 single-unit rental properties.
In addition, the group renovated five elderly and low-income homeowner units,
Identifying housing counseling services and recruiting low-income families
for first time homeownership programs. The group also renovated space for
offices, meeting space for the community, and a youth center.
The development group is designed to foster
a sense of resident involvement, as well as managing rental properties,
sustaining its homeownership ideals and generally overseeing the well-being
of the community at large. None of the members of the development groups
board had prior experience in community organizing; however, they were determined
to create a sustainable and affordable living environment for their families.
The New Road group developed a $10 million comprehensive revitalization
plan with three components: housing, and economic and human development.
The entire community benefits from this revitalization
effort according to Ruth Wise, executive director of the development group.
Economic development is important if communities are to get ahead,
she says, and this project helps communities with economic development
as well as housing.
According to Wise, the essence of the project
is best expressed through the organizations mission statement: Our
mission is to create a community of hope through environmental improvements
and economic uplift where residents are empowered to guide our own social,
economic, political, educational and spiritual destiny.
Contact: Ruth Wise, Phone: (757) 442-3797
Tracking Number: 367
Winning Category: Program (Community Planning and Development)
Best Practice: Uniform Building Codes for Compliance with Fair Housing Accessibility
Review of Model Building Codes Ensures
Consistency and Facilitates Compliance
Richmond, Virginia. HUDs Virginia office coordinated an intra-agency review
of four model building codes to identify areas where the codes were not
consistent with the Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines.
The office has made recommendations on where the codes need to be changed
in order to be consistent with the act.
In response to a request from the model building
code organizations and in response to a congressional request from the House
of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, HUD has reviewed the International
Building Code, the BOCA
Milton Turner (c) receiving Best of the Best
award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)
National Building Code, the Uniform Building
Code and the Standard Building Code. Ultimately, building code organizations,
the building industry and other interested persons would receive technical
assistance on the extent to which accessibility provisions are consistent
with the act and the accessibility guidelines.
The Fair Housing Act, because it is a federal
civil rights law, is not a required component of the building
codes. However, the act enables HUD to encourage state and local jurisdictions
to adopt building codes and review processes that will check for compliance
with the act. An important step in encouraging such local reviews of building
plans for compliance with the Fair Housing Act is through encouraging adoption
of building codes that are consistent with the act. By reviewing the model
building codes and identifying areas where codes are not consistent, code
organizations are able to develop language that insures consistency.
Involved in the process were the International
Code Council, Building Officials & Code Administrators International,
Inc., Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, American Institute of Architects,
the National Multi Housing Council and the National Association of Home
Builders. In addition, HUD received approximately 30 public comments from
outside organizations on its draft report of its building codes review and
considered all comments when writing its final report.
State and local jurisdictions that have codes
consistent with the Fair Housing Act may adopt the model building codes.
This helps HUD because state and local jurisdictions that have codes consistent
with the act will enable review of plans at the design stage to better insure
early compliance with the Fair Housing Act.
Contact: Judy Keeler, Phone: (804) 278-4500
Tracking Number: 553
Winning Category: Program (Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity)
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Practices 2000 Best of the Best Winners
Content Archived: April 20, 2011