As Virginia’s largest housing authority, Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) works with citizens, private developers, neighborhood leaders, and local, state, and federal government agencies to stabilize and renew Richmond’s neighborhoods and commercial districts. Their resources and knowledge are powerful allies of families and individuals who want to buy a home. Whether you’re dreaming of a newly-constructed or restored home, you’re ready to step proudly as a first-time home owner or looking to buy a larger home, RRHA will work with you to develop a financing package. You may qualify for grants, incentives, or assistance.
The one-stop start to your dream home, HomeCenter offers first-rate customer service to help clients confidently navigate the home buying process. A savvy and compassionate staff will remove the mystery and worry by educating you about every step. They’ll determine your pre-qualification, and help you create a plan of action that will arrive at your goal.
Through the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HomeCenter offers workshops in a number of subjects including money management, credit, choosing the right home, mortgage readiness, proper and improper loans, spending plans, and more. Call the HomeCenter at 780-4884 or email HomeCenter2@RRHA.state.VA.US
Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance
HOPE VI (Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere) makes home ownership simpler, by assisting qualified families with down payments and closing costs. For first time home owners, HUD enrolls HOPE VI recipients in a comprehensive course on all facets of home ownership, including debt reduction, home maintenance, property taxes, insurance, and more. Call L. Dexter Goode at 780-4108.
On Hull St. and in nearby areas, Historic Blackwell and Swansboro are in the midst of rejuvenation. Blighted public housing units have been demolished to make way for almost 600 new homes and rentals. In addition, HOPE VI is constructing more than 300 three- and four-bedroom family homes in Blackwell and nearby areas. Homes are energy-efficient, and equipped with practical appliances as well as small details of luxury. Prices range from $150,000 to $190,000 and down payment assistance is available. Phase II will start soon, refreshing and rebuilding parts of Decatur and Stockton. Using grants from ALCOA, this phase will see houses equipped with solar hot water heating systems. In Fulton Village, 26 more homes are slated for development as part of HOPE VI.
Did you know? HOPE VI even offers assistance to families who hope to stay in their existing neighborhood. Call Reggie Mebane of Southside Community Development & Housing Corp., 231-4449 ext. 301.
Low-income, first-time home buyer? RRHA can show you many single-family homes in Richmond’s Randolph, Maymont, Highland Park, and Southside neighborhoods. Prices range from $100,000 to upper $100,000s.
Randolph’s handsome TriBeCa Brownstones were developed by Johannas Design. Hardwood floors, designer kitchen, gas fireplaces, and granite countertops are some of the features found in these two to four bedroom examples of sophisticated urban living. Priced at the market-rate.
The Charlotte on Dinwiddie Ave. between E. 16th and 17th Streets in Southside. The Charlotte is a three bedroom, two bath, single-story home with a covered porch and rear deck.
For public housing families who qualify, the Blackwell 1 House is very affordably priced.
Other neighborhoods featuring newly-developed or restored single-family homes are Jackson Ward and Jackson Commons, Randolph, Carver, Southern Barton Heights, and Church Hill.
House of Dreams
Richmond resident Percila Criss, 49, was renting in a public housing development managed by RRHA. “They had meetings telling us about home ownership,” she remembers. “They said there was a five year span [to ownership] and that the application was the first step.” After completing an application, Percila took classes through RRHA that provided information and strategies to rebuild credit, create a budget, understand mortgages, and more. On March 31 of this year – long before the five year mark – Percila closed on a five bedroom, two and a half bath house in the East End. In April, she moved in. “It actually happened sooner than I thought it would,” she admits.
Percila’s home was constructed with a commitment to energy efficiency and features a front porch, large kitchen, expansive living room looking over an open backyard, wall-to-wall carpet and vinyl flooring, and Energy Star-rated windows. Now Percila not only has an inviting and spacious abode, she also has a valuable asset that will enrich her family’s future. “It’s an investment for me and something I can leave my children,” she says. Percila believes that by reaching her dream of home ownership, she’s also a strong model for her daughters, 16 year old Tameisha, and 23 year old Alyssa. “It shows them that if they set their mind to something, they can do it,” she says. Since moving into their own home, Percila says, “I have seen a change in them, especially the younger. She’s walking around and doing things [around the house.] She likes to sit on the porch.”
To readers who might be dreaming of owning a home but think they can’t do it, Percila recommends, “Never say never. Anything’s possible if you set your mind to it. Go with RRHA. They’ll help.”