Category Archives: Advisory Committee

Meet Crystal Johnson, Member of the Friendship Court Advisory Committee

Crystal Johnson is one of seven residents of Friendship Court nominated and elected by her fellow residents, in February 2016, to serve on the Friendship Court Advisory Committee. The committee, which has been meeting regularly with the project’s design team, is providing guidance to Piedmont Housing Alliance in two primary areas: physical revitalization and community life.

Crystal is a mother of six children. Her school-aged children attend Charlottesville City Schools, and her family has lived at Friendship Court for a total of ten years. A domestic violence survivor, Crystal says she is interested in being part of the positive changes she sees happening in her Friendship Court community, and has gotten to know other families who feel the same way. She wishes to be a part of a more unified neighborhood and community, and is interested to learn about what her neighbors think and care about through her work on the Advisory Committee.

Crystal is a member of First Baptist Church, where she has volunteered as a Sunday School and Vacation Bible School teaching assistant. She will be graduating from Piedmont Virginia Community College this spring, and plans to continue her studies at Mary Baldwin College.

Meet Kathy Galvin, Member of the Friendship Court Advisory Committee

Kathy Galvin

Kathy Galvin, a member of Charlottesville City Council, is serving on Friendship Court’s Advisory Committee, formed in February 2016. The committee is providing guidance to the Piedmont Housing Alliance in two primary areas: physical revitalization and community life. The active involvement of City officials in the planning process is an essential element of grant support, provided to Piedmont Housing by the City, for the project. 

Kathy owns her own urban design and architectural practice, which is designated a Virginia “Woman-Owned Small Business.” She is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Virginia. Kathy has worked on such projects as the Eastern Planning Initiative, the Crozet Master Plan, the Places29 Master Plan and Transportation Study and the Uptown North Orange Form-Based Code.

Kathy notes that “as an architect, urban designer and planner with about 30 years of experience . . . she has a trained eye when it comes to matters of sustainable, equitable neighborhood design.” She also believes that “it’s important to have people at the table with institutional memory so that expressed community values aren’t forgotten.”

Kathy received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Geography from Boston University, and a master’s in Architecture from the University of Virginia.

Meet Quanelius Tinsley, Member of the Friendship Court Advisory Committee

Quanelius TinsleyQuanelius Tinsley is one of seven residents of Friendship Court nominated and elected by her fellow residents, in February 2016, to serve on the Friendship Court Advisory Committee. The committee, which has been meeting regularly with the project’s design team, is providing guidance to Piedmont Housing Alliance in two primary areas: physical revitalization and community life. Quanelius is a senior at Charlottesville High School and has lived at Friendship Court for ten years. She plans to start her college studies in the Fall.

Myrtle Houchens, another member of the Advisory Committee, knows Quanelius from her summer work providing dinners for Friendship Court’s children and youth at the neighborhood’s community center. Quanelius has been helping with this effort for years and, “at this point, she could probably run the kids’ café herself,” Myrtle says, admiringly.

Quanelius says she loves her community and wants it to be better for the newcomers who will be moving to Friendship Court in the future. It’s this energy that a grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund to The University of Virginia, supporting Piedmont Housing’s redevelopment efforts, seeks to tap into. The grant, of $100,000 over two years, supports community engagement at Friendship Court, in particular the involvement of teens, like Quanelius, in the planning for the future of their community. The program will include lessons about sustainable, equitable land-use and urban planning.

Meet Kevin B.W. White, Member of the Friendship Court Advisory Committee

Kevin White

Kevin White, an assistant vice president at NHT-Enterprise, is a member of the Friendship Court Advisory Committee, which was formed in February 2016. The committee is providing guidance to the Piedmont Housing Alliance in two primary areas: physical revitalization and community life. On the committee, Kevin represents NHT-Enterprise, which will remain part of the ownership group when Friendship Court is redeveloped. NHT-Enterprise is excited to continue its partnership with Piedmont Housing as Friendship Court enters a new chapter of what affordable housing looks and feels like in Charlottesville.

NHT-Enterprise is a joint effort of the National Housing Trust, a not-for-profit affordable housing advocate based in Washington, D.C., and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., a real estate investment services company focused on affordable housing. As a nonprofit affordable housing developer and owner, NHT-Enterprise’s mission is to preserve and improve affordable housing for low-income residents. Since 1999, NHT-Enterprise has preserved over 5,000 homes in ten states and the District of Columbia. In 2002, NHT-Enterprise partnered with Piedmont Housing to acquire Friendship Court (then called Garrett Square) and complete a significant renovation, thereby stabilizing the property and preserving its affordability.

Before joining NHT-Enterprise, Kevin was a real estate development director at the national office of Volunteers of America. He has worked in the affordable housing development field since 1995.  Kevin started his career in community development as an AmeriCorps*VISTA community organizer, assisting Habitat for Humanity homeowners in creating neighborhood-based homeowner’s associations. Kevin holds a master’s degree in Community Planning from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston.  He also serves on the board of St. Mary’s Housing Corporation, which owns five affordable housing properties in Northern Virginia serving low-income seniors.  Kevin and his family live in Washington, D.C.

Meet Myrtle Houchens, Member of the Friendship Court Advisory Committee

Myrtle Houchens, a former resident of Friendship Court, is a member of Friendship Court’s redevelopment advisory committee, which was formed in February 2016. The committee will provide guidance to the Piedmont Housing Alliance in two primary areas: physical revitalization and community life.

 You could say that Myrtle wrote the book on community life at Friendship Court, as the driving force behind establishing the neighborhood’s community center. “It wasn’t just housing,” she says of her 22 years living at Friendship Court (then called Garrett Square), “it was home.” Although she hasn’t lived there for almost a decade, and both of her own children have grown up and graduated from college, Myrtle faithfully returns to “her” Friendship Court community center for several weeks each summer to run a kids’ cafe, providing nightly dinners for the neighborhood’s children.

 As a single mother, Myrtle originally moved to the neighborhood from Louisa County in the 1970s to be closer to UVA Medical Center, because her son required regular visits to the hospital. For the past 29 years, Myrtle has worked for Charlottesville schools and parks and recreation, as an instructional assistant (first at Clark Elementary School and now at Venable), and in neighborhood community centers. For her unwavering commitment to others, Myrtle was named one of the Daily Progress’s “distinguished dozen” in 2009.  In the paper’s profile, it was noted that “[s]aying ‘no’ just doesn’t seem to be part of Myrtle Houchens’ vocabulary.” The advisory committee is so fortunate that this dynamic and inspiring community advocate has said “yes” to providing leadership in the neighborhood’s redevelopment efforts.

 

Meet Bill Edgerton, FAIA, Member of the Friendship Court Advisory Committee

IMGS1338Bill Edgerton is a member of the Friendship Court Advisory Committee, formed in February 2016. The committee will provide guidance to Piedmont Housing Alliance in two primary areas: physical revitalization and community life. As a member of the committee, Bill hopes to integrate his knowledge of energy efficiency and minimizing the negative impacts of indoor air quality.

In 2002, Bill was privileged to provide pro bono architectural services to Friendship Court (then called Garrett Square) when the Piedmont Housing Alliance and the National Housing Trust assumed the responsibility of renovating and managing the complex.

Bill has practiced as an architect in Charlottesville for nearly thirty years. His professional focus has always been on energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable affordable design. Bill is a former member of the Albemarle County Planning Commission.

 

Meet Betty Lowry, Member of the Friendship Court Advisory Committee

Betty Lowry is one of seven residents of Friendship Court nominated and elected by her fellow residents, in February 2016, to serve on the Friendship Court Advisory Committee.

The committee, which meets regularly with the project’s design team, will be providing guidance to Piedmont Housing Alliance in two primary areas: physical revitalization and community life. From the outset of this ambitious and promising project, “Piedmont Housing is committed to placing residents at the center of the planning for the future of their own community and to translating their hopes and desires into design.”

Betty, who has lived at Friendship Court for twelve years, is retired and has grown children. She is excited to help with the planning process, and to get to know more of her fellow residents through her work on the committee.

Meet Mike Murphy, Member of the Friendship Court Advisory Committee

Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy, the Assistant City Manager for the City of Charlottesville, is a member of Friendship Court’s redevelopment advisory committee, which was formed in February 2016. The committee will provide guidance to the Piedmont Housing Alliance in two primary areas: physical revitalization and community life. The active involvement of City staff in the planning process is an essential element of grant support, provided to Piedmont Housing by the City, for the project.   

Mike has worked as a counselor, program manager, agency director, and department head for local government for over twenty years. He has extensive experience in the areas of residential and community-based programs, workplace readiness, housing, child welfare, and fostering personal and economic growth in low-income communities. 

Mike is excited to have the opportunity to work with residents on the redevelopment of Friendship Court. He believes this project presents a tremendous opportunity to preserve critically important affordable housing resources within the City, while also developing a vibrant local community through engagement.

Mike received both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Counselor Education degrees from the University of Virginia. 

Meet Sheri Hopper, Friendship Court Advisory Committee member

Sheri Hopper

Sheri Hopper is one of seven residents of Friendship Court nominated and elected by her fellow residents, in February 2016, to serve on the neighborhood’s redevelopment advisory committee.

The committee, which meets regularly with the project’s design team, will be providing guidance to Piedmont Housing in two primary areas: physical revitalization and community life. As Piedmont Housing’s CEO, Frank Grosch has said of the project, “If it doesn’t work for the current residents, it doesn’t work for us.”

Sheri, who has lived at Friendship Court for sixteen years, has two children and one grandson. She has been helping Piedmont Housing with community outreach since April 2015. Sheri is excited about all that she will learn, and the opportunity to get to know even more people — those working on the project, and more her neighbors — through her role on the advisory committee.

Nominations Being Accepted for Friendship Court Advisory Committee

WE HAVE EXTENDED THE DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS THROUGH THURSDAY, JANUARY 28th!  

Piedmont Housing Alliance is forming an Advisory Committee to help plan for the future of Friendship Court.  Friendship Court residents will make up one-half (50%) of the total 14 member committee. Residents are encouraged to nominate candidates through Friday, January 22nd for this committee: Friendship Court Advisory Committee Forms packet.

Voting for seven representatives to the Advisory Committee will be held on Thursday, February 4th and Friday, February 5th from 9am to 7pm.  The elected representatives will be announced Friday evening, February 5th, 2016 at the Community Center at Friendship Court.

  • Any Friendship Court resident 16 or older is eligible
  • Residents may nominate themselves or other qualified residents
  • One candidate per household 
  • Stipend will be paid for participating on the committee
  • $10 gift cards to Food Lion given to the first 100 voters