Cm Robinson Staff
May 26, 2023
Nystrom Village, one of the last remaining properties under the Richmond Housing Authority, needs a transformation. Councilmember Doria Robinson, a dedicated member of the Richmond City Council, is championing a project to replace dilapidated public housing with a vibrant, inclusive community. She understands the challenges faced during the pandemic. She believes in the importance of securing pre-construction funds to jumpstart the development and improve living conditions for current and future residents.
The ambitious plan involves demolishing the rundown public housing units, with the exception of three units to preserve their historical significance. The goal is to construct a new Nystrom Village, comprising 450 units of low-income and moderate-income housing. Crucially, a portion of these new units will be reserved for existing residents, allowing them to transition from substandard housing to comfortable and safe homes. The residents, who have endured years of inadequate living conditions, are eager for the project to commence.
Unfortunately, the progress of the Nystrom Village redevelopment project was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many other development initiatives, it faced delays due to the challenging circumstances. However, with the pandemic receding, Robinson is determined to revive the project's momentum. She is working alongside the city council and staff to secure $2 million in pre-construction funds to achieve this. These funds will serve as seed money, enabling the project to attract additional grants and investments.
The next crucial step is identifying potential sources for the much-needed pre-construction funding. Robinson will collaborate closely with the city council and staff to explore various options. By securing the $2 million in pre-construction funds, they aim to reignite the pre-construction process, paving the way for the acquisition of further grants and resources necessary for the successful completion of the project.
The project will take place in phases, initially focusing on replacing the existing public housing units with approximately 100 units and ensuring current residents have priority access to these new homes. Subsequently, additional units will become available for other individuals and families who qualify for public housing.
Robinson also advocates for including fully furnished units within the development to assist unhoused individuals in transitioning from temporary housing to permanent homes. These units would be allocated with project-specific vouchers, providing individuals with the necessary resources to secure permanent housing.
In later phases of the development, mixed-income units and ground-floor retail spaces, such as laundromats and coffee shops, will be incorporated. These additions are intended to enhance the neighborhood, fostering a sense of community and providing amenities that benefit residents and visitors alike.
As the Nystrom Village redevelopment project gains traction, Richmond's housing landscape stands on the brink of a remarkable transformation. With Doria Robinson joining the charge, the vision of revitalizing this community is slowly becoming a reality. By securing the necessary pre-construction funds, the project can overcome its current obstacles and create a future where safe, affordable housing is within reach for all residents of Nystrom Village.