Kaine visits new Southwood homes
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) visited the Southwood community on Friday and he was able to speak with families who will live in the newly-redeveloped homes.
He said, “My mind is kind of blown,” when asked what he thought of the project so far.
Kaine has been a supporter, even securing at least $1 million in federal funding to support the Southwood project.
“But I’d only been reading about it. Like reading in the paper, or reading in my briefing book, this is my first time to come and see it. It’s just really amazing," he said. "The fact that the residents have been the leaders of the design that’s amazing.”
Kaine said more people should come to see how Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville and the residents are doing things and use this idea all over the country.
“You can do a redevelopment without displacing people. A common way to do redevelopment is, boy housing is substandard. Let’s clear it, and bring people back. And you create opportunities when you do that, and you can build affordable housing but it’s almost never the same people who come back who got displaced. And the model here is, in this sizable project to do it in phases where you never have to displace anyone,” said Kaine.
He says the most unique part of this project is how it’s including the people it will impact most.
“But I’d say the most impressive thing is talking to the residents about the way they have tried to design this and work with the county officials to make it happen. Again and again, they were talking about 'Suenos' You have enabled us to achieve our dreams and you can’t help but feel good when you hear somebody say that,” said Kaine.
Kaine is looking to make affordable housing one of his main priorities.
“It’s really important that we do budgets that provide the support that can enable people to afford to house,” he shared.
Overall, he was very pleased with the progress at Southwood.