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Richmond, Virginia

$400,000

As Richmond’s largest non-profit community development corporation, the Better Housing Coalition (BHC) changes lives and transforms communities through high-quality, affordable housing.

BHC serves the working poor, their families, and low- to extremely low-income senior residents by providing affordable rental housing for those living below the poverty level. To qualify for an affordable BHC rental apartment, annual household incomes must be between 40 – 60% of the area median income, or about $58,300 for a family of four. Even so, the average household income among families living in a BHC rental home is $30,000. As most senior residents have minimal monthly incomes from social security, their incomes range from a high of $15,252 to just under $9,000 annually. Those who qualify to purchase a BHC single-family home typically make between $44,000 and $57,000 a year. These buyers receive substantial down-payment assistance grants to keep their monthly mortgage payments affordable.

BHC serves the working poor, their families, and low- to extremely low-income senior residents by providing affordable rental housing for those living below the poverty level. To qualify for an affordable BHC rental apartment, annual household incomes must be between 40 – 60% of the area median income, or about $58,300 for a family of four. Even so, the average household income among families living in a BHC rental home is $30,000. As most senior residents have minimal monthly incomes from social security, their incomes range from a high of $15,252 to just under $9,000 annually. Those who qualify to purchase a BHC single-family home typically make between $44,000 and $57,000 a year. These buyers receive substantial down-payment assistance grants to keep their monthly mortgage payments affordable.

An important part of BHC’s mission is improving the health and economic mobility of its residents. Once a family achieves housing stability, kids do better in school and their parents are freer to think about realizing their potential. BHC provides an array of support services free of charge, designed to help residents achieve greater economic, academic, or health outcomes. For example, workforce development programs help adult residents attain greater skills and higher wage-paying jobs; the Founders Scholarship program has resulted in several first-in-family college graduates; and senior health and wellness programs help elders age in place longer and with more vitality, in a home of their choice.

Above: Winchester Forest Groundbreaking, with architect’s rendering at top of page. (Taylor Dabney Photography) Inset photo: Shalom Farms, a mobile produce market, brings fresh fruits and vegetables to BHC properties.

Grant funds from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Kenan Trust were allocated towards development costs for Winchester Forest, a new-construction, 160-unit affordable multi-family apartment community in Chesterfield County. When complete, about 500 new residents will move in, and a portion of those funds have been earmarked for expansion of resident support services.