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East End News

Almost 90 houses by Better Housing Coalition

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.

Below is a map and near comprehensive photo array of the houses that BHC has built or redeveloped in the area. The photos are also collected as a set on Flickr.

1201 North 23rd Street
1201 North 23rd Street


1209 and 1207 North 23rd Stree
1209 and 1207 North 23rd Stree


1211 North 23rd Street
1211 North 23rd Street


2304 Fairmount Ave
2304 Fairmount Ave


1223 North 24th Street
1223 North 24th Street


1217 North 24th Street
1217 North 24th Street


1213 and 1211 North 24th Street
1213 and 1211 North 24th Street


1205 North 24th Street
1205 North 24th Street


1201 North 24th Street
1201 North 24th Street


1124 North 24th Street
1124 North 24th Street


1119 and 1117 North 24th Street
1119 and 1117 North 24th Street


2009 and 2007 Q Street
2009 and 2007 Q Street


2211 Q Street
2211 Q Street


2215 Q Street
2215 Q Street


1111 and 1109 North 23rd Street
1111 and 1109 North 23rd Street


1110 North 23rd Street
1110 North 23rd Street


1112 North 23rd Street
1112 North 23rd Street


1114 North 23rd Street
1114 North 23rd Street


1113 North 23rd Street
1113 North 23rd Street


2220 Fairmount Ave
2220 Fairmount Ave


2219 Fairmount Ave
2219 Fairmount Ave


2103 and 2101 Fairmount Ave
2103 and 2101 Fairmount Ave


1013 north 21st Street
1013 north 21st Street


1021 and 1017 North 21st Street
1021 and 1017 North 21st Street


1001 North 21st Street
1001 North 21st Street


2209 Carrington Street
2209 Carrington Street


1110 and 1012 North 22nd Street
1110 and 1012 North 22nd Street


1014, 1016, and 1018 North 22nd Street
1014, 1016, and 1018 North 22nd Street


1106 North 22nd Street
1106 North 22nd Street


1107 North 22nd Street
1107 North 22nd Street


1112 and 1114 North 22nd Street
1112 and 1114 North 22nd Street


1118 and 1120 North 22nd Street
1118 and 1120 North 22nd Street


1125 North 22nd Street
1125 North 22nd Street


1200 North 22nd Street
1200 North 22nd Street


918 and 920 North 26th Street
918 and 920 North 26th Street


914 and 916 North 26th Street
914 and 916 North 26th Street


908 and 910 North 26th Street
908 and 910 North 26th Street


904 and 906 North 26th Street
904 and 906 North 26th Street


900 and 902 North 26th Street
900 and 902 North 26th Street


2601, 2603, and 2605 O Street
2601, 2603, and 2605 O Street


920 and 922 North 27th Street
920 and 922 North 27th Street


827 North 27th Street
827 North 27th Street


806 North 25th Street
806 North 25th Street


819 and 817 North 25th Street
819 and 817 North 25th Street


803 North 24th Street
803 North 24th Street


709 North 24th Street
709 North 24th Street


707 and 705 North 24th Street
707 and 705 North 24th Street


522 North 24th Street
522 North 24th Street


510, 512, and 514 North 24th Street
510, 512, and 514 North 24th Street


506 and 508 North 24th Street
506 and 508 North 24th Street


502 and 504 North 24th Street
502 and 504 North 24th Street


518 North 26th Street
518 North 26th Street


2311 and 2309 Jefferson Ave
2311 and 2309 Jefferson Ave


603 and 603 1/2 North 23rd Street
603 and 603 1/2 North 23rd Street


715 and 713 North 22nd Street
715 and 713 North 22nd Street


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23 comments

john_m 08/08/2008 at 11:53 AM Reply
Magneto 08/08/2008 at 12:37 PM

They’ve also begun construction on two more infill houses at the corner of N. 26th and P St!

Reply
ann 08/08/2008 at 3:54 PM

Excellent presentation, John. Thank you.

Reply
stephen 08/11/2008 at 1:26 PM

I agree about the great quality of work they seem to do. Some private developers need to follow the BHC example.

Reply
Bill#2 08/11/2008 at 4:24 PM

There are other developers and builders who would love to do the same as BHC. I applaud their work. They are beautiful homes (even if Laura Daabs would not allow that type of architecture on her street) and I applaud their efforts and improvements to the neighborhoods. Unfortunately, for profit builders and developers do not have acess to the free lots handed out by RRHA to a select few. Houses can be built all day long with a sales price of $120k to $140k if there is no lot cost. Wonder why SSCD sells them at $160k plus, considering the lot was free?

Reply
Laura Daab 08/11/2008 at 4:42 PM

Bill #2:

First of all, my last name is spelled “Daab”, and secondly, you must be new to this site because I have repeatedly stated on many posts that I am a HUGE fan of BHC, and think that their work is precisely the kind of in-fill that is great in CH.

I wish that the BHC would buy up all the remaining empty lots on my block and build there.

Reply
Bill#2 08/12/2008 at 8:51 PM

Pardon, Ms. Daab.
So, today your position is you would not complain about asphalt shingles on your block?

Reply
Laura Daab 08/13/2008 at 4:12 PM

No I still stand by my position on asphalt shingles that are not 3D high grade tile or slate look.

The BHC does build houses that do not have asphalt showing, although there are many of them that do have asphalt. Most of the roofs are just the porch cover, and it would be easy for them to use a higher grade/metal material without breaking the bank.

I really like the BHC’s choice of home designs and how they compliment their surroundings.

Reply
Alisha 08/13/2008 at 4:35 PM

My husband and I bought our home from BHC last year. The level of craftmanship and thought that went into the design and building materials is apparent every day. Our home is over 80% “green,” with a recycled milk carton porch, low-chemical paints, and non-toxic insulation. Our home was by no means priced at $160k, but we understand that the price we paid made it possible for BHC to build more homes for people in different income brackets. We still feel that we were very fortunate to get such a beautiful, well built home at the price we paid.

I know it is easy to get wrapped up in what we each think the “perfect” plan is for revitalizing Church Hill. I think what we all want at the end of the day is a wonderful, diverse community – with no more weed-filled empty lots and broken down skeletons of homes that used to be. I’m glad that BHC is taking an active role in this growth. As a side note – they are all just a wonderful bunch of people to do business with – which never hurts!

Reply
Bill#2 08/14/2008 at 9:14 AM

“…we were willing to tolerate the design in exchange for the use of historically compatible materials, such as a metal roof…”
“I don’t see how you can possibly think that the asphalt roofing on the house at 512 N. 28th St. is acceptable…”
“As you can see, these new in-fill homes are not compatible in… materials to the rest of the block that they inhabit. Notice the expanse of the roof at 512 and how visible the fake “slate” asphalt is…”
“NOT FAKE “SLATE” ASPHALT ON 512 N 28TH ST.”
“We were assured that a metal roof would be used…”
From Jim:”Jean you as a CAR member allowed the first new house be built in this new O&H be built with an asphalt roof, on a street with historicalyl NO asphalt roofs…”
Back to Laura:”..and the roof is METAL, not asphalt.”

I stand by my statements.

Reply
Laura Daab 08/14/2008 at 1:15 PM

Bill#2:

What part of my quotes above does not fit with my post in #8?

I really don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but the roofing at 512 is NOT the high grade 3D asphalt slate look or tile look that is complimentary to the block. The fake slate asphalt reference is a quote by the CAR staff. It is not the stuff that is really considered 3D slate look roofing.

You can’t take a bunch of quotes out of context and put them in a bundled mess to make a good argument. The last quote you reference is completely out of context and has no basis in your argument accept to bias toward your opinions on my position.

Any thoughtful person can go to the thread that you are referencing and know clearly what my position is.

I am not contradicting myself at all, and I too, stand by my comments.

Reply
Bill#2 08/14/2008 at 9:12 PM

Your quotes I posted here refer to “asphalt” shingles. You never specified what kind of shingles, just asphalt shingles. In post number 8, you amended your position from prior posts to, and now approve of “high grade 3D asphalt slate look” shingles. This is obvious to “any thoughtful person” who has kept up with the thread.
The two quotes about the fake slate roof were made in posts #7 (dated 06/01/2008 on this site), from a letter you wrote to the CAR, and #26 (dated 06/02/2008, on this site).
We were, and are, talking about roofs. Nothing is out of context. The last quote is very material as it expresses your prior predjudice against asphalt roofs.
Out of the pictures you posted, at least 35 of them have asphalt roofs. Most of them do not have the Laura Daab approved shingles.
Stand by your comments all you wish; you remain on shakey ground. Most of the houses you posted above would not meet your expectations, nor those of CAR.
I have proven your contradictions.
Thank you for your continued shining examples of exactly why a citizens review board would be ludicrous. I look forward with glee to your next bout of selective memory.

Reply
Laura Daab 08/14/2008 at 10:47 PM

Bill #2:

First of all, I did not post the BHC pictures above, so I think you’re confused from the get go. john_m posted this thread and the pictures of the BHC houses. You’re credibility is shaky in that you have an inability to get your facts straight and misspelled my name in the beginning. If you are so passionate about discrediting me, you should make should that you come off as credible first.

I do like the houses above, as I have stated before, and yes most of them do have the cheap asphalt roofs, but some of them don’t.

I have said earlier on other threads that the 3D high grade tile and slate shingles are good compromises. That’s a fact.

No contradictions, and you have proven nothing except your ineptitude and contempt.

There already IS a citizen review board in the form of CAR. They are appointed by Council, but citizens, none the less. Get your facts straight there also.

I do feel that the CAR is need of some tweaking, as do many other neighbors. And I feel that there should be some input from the community on how to achieve that. After all, OHD’s are citizen driven efforts and the CAR serves the community. It’s only right that the community have some input on how OHD’s are reviewed.

Let’s just leave it at that. I know and everyone else knows that you don’t like what I have to say. You’ve had your fun, you’ve beaten your chest, and I’m thrilled that something about me gives you “glee.”

LOL

Reply
Laura Daab 08/14/2008 at 10:57 PM

Bill #2:

You said:
“Most of the houses you posted above would not meet your expectations, nor those of CAR.”

I wanted to point out another error in your facts. Again, the designs are wonderful and the CAR has approved designs just like these in OHD’s The CAR unfortunately also approved asphalt shingles on new construction in OHD”s. That’s precisely the point of the thread that you seem to be trolling with a fine tooth comb for your “quotes.” Funny how you sort of missed that part.

Reply
Bill Hartsock 08/14/2008 at 11:06 PM

OK, folks, let’s get back to the real issue, here. The photos posted by John are of houses that are not in an historic district, but are appropriate to the neighborhood in which they stand as far as style and setback. So, there are asphalt shingle roofs on some of them that can be seen from the street. That is correct for the area in which they are located. The issue that we are concerned with, here, is what is appropriate in an historic district. Asphate shingles are not, and that is what the city directives state. So let’s move on to other issues and stop bashing those that want to protect the neighborhood around them.

Reply
Bill#2 08/15/2008 at 7:55 AM

Laura stated that she wished BHC would build on the lots in her block. I state she would fight vehemently against the style of those houses were they proposed. Yet she sings the praises of those houses, exposing her own “not in my backyard” mentality. I call foul. The bashing, as it always does when someone doesn’t agree with her, starts with Laura.

Reply
Bill#2 08/15/2008 at 8:06 AM

By the way, Bill Hartsock, you made a typo:”asphate” instead of “asphalt”. Your credibility might be on shaky ground with Daab. Next she will be calling you “confused”, and that you post with “ineptitude and contempt”.

Reply
Bill Hartsock 08/15/2008 at 10:10 AM

Geez…what did that comment add to the discussion?

Reply
Bill#2 08/15/2008 at 10:25 AM

It was a retort in response to Daab’s bashing of me in comment #12, and your defense of her in the last sentence of your comment in #15.
My response lent as much substance to the topic as yours.

Reply
john_m 08/15/2008 at 10:28 AM

I’m shutting off comments on this one, it has degenerated into a pissing contest.

Reply
Jane Helfrich 10/18/2009 at 1:24 PM

John – don’t know that this will get to you – but what a fabulous post — you gave me a tour of homes I still haven’t seen since I’ve been with BHC — and you have saved me some gas!

Reply
john_m 10/18/2009 at 4:14 PM

Thanks! It was fun to put this together, rolling around on my bike over a few days.

Reply
Greenie 10/19/2009 at 1:33 PM

Also, don’t forget to mention that several BHC homes (like the ones on 26th street) are also EarthCraft certified – which is a huge accomplishment on BHC’s part. EarthCraft is a green building program that serves as a blueprint for healthy, comfortable homes that reduce utility bills and protect the environment.

Reply

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