Affordable housing focus at two city events

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Affordable housing will be the topic of two events in Charlottesville on Thursday and Friday.

Interfaith Movement Promoting Action by Congregations Together, or IMPACT, will be holding a meeting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center.

This is the organizations annual Nehemiah Action and community leaders will be asking top local officials to commit support to increasing development of more affordable homes in the Charlottesville area.

About 1,000 area residents are expected to attend the meeting, and officials from Charlottesville, Albemarle County and the University of Virginia are also expected.

The officials will be providing updates on efforts regarding affordable housing.

For example, IMPACt members will be talking to Charlottesville's interim City Manager Mike Murphy about commitments he made at the 2018 Nehemiah Action concerning the development approval process, out-of-date zoning codes and the land use map as it directly relates to the lack of affordable housing.

Albemarle County officials will be asked about steps to establish a permanent affordable housing fund, address eligibility guidelines and the types of projects such a fund would support, identifying annual income sources, and making senior housing a funding priority in the upcoming budget cycle.

Regarding UVA, the university is considered a major factor in the affordable housing crisis in the area, and officials will be talking about ways to engage with surrounding localities about developing more affordable housing.

Then on Friday, the UVA Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter and the UVA Batten Council will co-host a City Council Candidate Forum on Affordable Housing at the Batten School's Great Hall beginning at 3:30 p.m.

The forum is part of Act! Speak! Build! Week, which is Habitat for Humanity International's student-initiated advocacy campaign.

The campaign goes beyond the build site to engaging community members and elected officials in order to raise awareness and shape policy regarding housing.

At the forum, candidates for the Charlottesville City Council will be asked about how they would deal with the affordable housing crisis in the area and their strategies to create a long-term solution as well as how UVA students can help with that.

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