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Henrico County Cuts the Ribbon on New Vision for Federally Subsidized Housing

Henrico County's New Hope Village
Henrico County's Hope Village. (Photo: Charles Fishburne/VPM)

There is a new vision of federally subsidized affordable housing in Henrico County, and it was celebrated at a ribbon-cutting today at Hope Village off Mountain Road.

Charles Fishburne reports. 


The new owners committed to more than just buying the property and collecting the rent.

Bobby Byrd: We put extra investments here.

Bobby Byrd is Vice President of Fairstead Affordable and he said they spent 50 thousand dollars per unit, five million dollars to fix it up.

Byrd: Brand new units, complete new kitchens, new bathrooms, fixtures, new lighting, new flooring, new paint.

Fishburne: New siding, new energy efficient windows, new HVAC units.

Resident 1: Its nice compared to where I was living at.

Resident 2: Give it a 10!

Resident 3: No shooting!

Hope got tax exempt financing by working with Henrico and a memorandum of understanding they would do what they promised.

Eric Leabough: Actually we were able to work with the owner of this particular community.

Eric Leabough, Director of the County Department of Community Revitalization.

Leabough: To come up with a renovation scope that would dramatically enhance the overall property for the benefit of the residents.

John Vithkoulkas: There are 6500 affordable units in the county.

County Manager John Vithoulkas says it is a priority.

Vithoulkas: In the past year and a half the county has been able to undertake four efforts in some fairly large complexes that now result in over 1,000 apartments being renovated.

With Hope Village another part of the dream is in place, for people like Liller Freeman.

Freeman: I was a convicted felon and I was told that I would never be able to get a home, that I would never be able to get a home. I would never be able to get a home in subsidized housing based on my income.

Fishburne: How long have you lived here?

Freeman: Four years. It has been a true blessing a place, where not only for me and my son who has autism. They have been nothing short of wonderful, making sure we were ok.

Frank Thornton: One of the concepts of America is we want everybody to have a decent home.

Fairfield Supervisor Frank Thornton.

Thornton: We need to do all we can to keep this up, keep this up, you know.

This project took the investment partnership of Sun Trust Bank, support from Henrico County officials, Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Development Authority and Virginia Housing and Development Authority.

Charles Fishburne, VPM News.

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