Over the past 12 years, Better Housing Coalition has built or renovated close to 90 houses in the area. While the great majority of the activity has been in the
Church Hill Central area of the city’s Neighborhoods in Bloom program, they are also looking at a large-scale redevelopment at the former Beckstoffers on 28th Street for the near future.
Most of the Better Housing Coalition/Richmond Affordable Housing homes are sold to first-time homeowners and those earning 60-80% of median income (around $37,000/yr), though they offer some market-rate housing which helps to fund other projects. In addition to managing the building/renovation, they offer help on down payments in an effort to keep property affordable. Another of BHC’s stated goals is sustainability, to offer homes that are comfortable, affordable, healthy, and energy-efficient.
Rolling around taking these photos, I was struck by 2 contrasting notions. The first is that BHC (and other similar organization) are doing work in many areas that private developers and builders will not touch (look for the edges of vacant houses in the photos from the 1100 and 1200 block of 22nd Street below). Another is that the work that BHC has has done has set the bar for private renovators in the area.