Harrisonburg looking to close on property for affordable housing project

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 7:46 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - In the next few months, the Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority is hoping to close on the sale of a property that would be the site of its most ambitious project to date. It’s aimed at targeting the city’s affordable housing crisis.

The Housing Authority is planning to build a 1,000-unit community on 84-acres off of Garbers Church Road and Erikson Avenue. That is across from Harrisonburg High School.

HRHA is partnering with private real estate firm, Equity Plus LLC, for the project.

When complete, the community will include rentals and homes that can be purchased including more than 100 single-family homes targeted at first-time home buyers.

“We’ll have individuals at less than 30% of the median income living in the rentals and probably up to 60%. So, in real money terms for a family that’d be about $34,000 dollars or less,” said Michael Wong, HRHA executive director.

In addition to the single-family homes, there will be townhouses, apartment complexes, and senior living.

“Being 84-acres, we really want to implement a town center type of concept in which we have green space, walkability, biking, transportation common types of activities, services on the first level, and housing on the second,” said Wong.

The Housing Authority currently has more than 3,000 people on its waiting list and hopes the project will help put a dent in that number.

“This is a project that the community can take pride in, and they will see that it’s going to have a very unique, positive, and productive impact on our community,” said Wong.

HRHA plans to apply for low-income housing tax credits in the spring of 2023 to help fund the development. It also hopes to have services for residents of the community.

“We’re really excited about what this could bring to the community. We see a great opportunity to work with our community partners in regard to bringing different services to this local community including childcare, healthcare, and employment services,” said Wong.

The property is currently under contract. HRHA hopes to have the rezoning process complete and the project approved by City Council in the fall.

Construction of the development would begin in 2023 and be completed in stages. The goal is for the entire community to be complete by 2030.

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