Tag Archives: Virginia Housing Award

Friendship Court Advisory Committee Recognized with Virginia Housing Award

L-R: Susan Dewey, Executive Director, VHDA; Melissa Yuille, Housing Counseling Manager, PHA; Erica Johnson, Director of Development, PHA;
Crystal Johnson, Friendship Court Advisory Committee and Resident; Angela Brooks, Friendship Court Advisory Committee and Resident; Sunshine Mathon, Executive Director, PHA; Frank Stoner, Board President, PHA; Karen Klick, Deputy Director, PHA; Erik Johnston, Director, DHCD.

Recognized for its leadership in resident-led planning and design, Piedmont Housing Alliance was awarded a 2018 Virginia Housing Inclusive Communities Award for its work at Friendship Court. The nonprofit organization was recognized at the annual Virginia Governors Housing Conference this month.

The Inclusive Community Award is given to projects or practices that exemplify intentional efforts to create affordable and inclusive housing opportunities. Projects and policies that result in the expansion of accessibility, income integration, and inclusiveness in neighborhoods and communities are the focus of this award.

“This recognition reflects the incredible work that the residents of the Advisory Committee have done on behalf of their community. The residents themselves have led the redevelopment efforts for their own community and their own futures,” said Sunshine Mathon, executive director of Piedmont Housing Alliance. “The passion and time invested by the members of the resident-led Advisory Committee is inspirational, and we are honored to be in a position to help make their vision for the future come to life.”

From the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference:

“Since 1983, Piedmont Housing Alliance has been a leader throughout the Charlottesville region in developing and managing affordable housing, as well as providing financial education and assistance to struggling renters and aspiring homebuyers. In 2002, PHA and the National Housing Trust Enterprise purchased and renovated Friendship Court, a large Section 8 apartment community on 11. 75 acres in the heart of downtown Charlottesville. Friendship Court, built in 1978, replaced what had once stood as a proud African American neighborhood until urban renewal. As the opportunity to redevelop the property approached, Piedmont Housing’s board and staff adopted specific goals and strategies for Friendship Court as part of a strategic planning process. The goals called for developing the housing complex to preserve the affordable units and to ensure long-term affordability and greater opportunity for current and future residents. Perhaps most critically, redevelopment goals recognized the importance of direct accountability to the residents as well as the conviction of purpose they would bring to the planning process. Since the beginning, PHA has engaged with fellow residents to gather insights and shared information on the progress of development planning. Equally important, residents have been embraced and vested as co-designers of their new neighborhood in partnership with other members of the design team. The work the Friendship Court Advisory Committee has accomplished to date is extraordinary. Their commitment and vision have been, and will continue to be, vital to the success of redevelopment.”