Entry for September 10, 2005

Affordable housing

Wish it weren’t in our back yard, said neighbors of the Villages at Garst Creek, the 504 unit conversion to low-income housing in Roanoke County today at a meeting I attended with my buddy Annie Krochalis smart growth chairwomen for the Roanoke Sierra Club and with Barry Butler, Roanoke  organizer for the Virginia Organizing Project.

This was a done deal by Roanoke County who wrote a letter of support in February without consulting neighbors and without stopping to consider that tax credits for 100% low-income occupancy would displace at least 151 residents of affordable housing when their lease expires.  And it involves the despicable practice of private developers improving their chance for federal tax credits by using a non-profit organization as a front.   In this case the Murphy Holloway Foundation of Aiken, South Carolina will only own 0.01 percent of the company.  The new owners of Villages at Garst Creek LLC the former Sans Souci Apartments and The Mews in June for $14.1 million and applied to the VHDA for $20 million tax-exempt loan for tax credits.


I agree with the neighbors that this shouldn’t have been done without their input, but I question their fear mongering about crime, their suggestions for surveillance of the apartments and restrictions on guests.  Would we accept such treatment in our  homes? 

The last time the Roanooke Times put up a message board it had to be taken down, perhaps because of comments by Bill White.  I’ve got a new one up at Villages at Garst Creek / Affordable Housing.  Why not post something progressive?

I’ll post links to resources later.




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