Kindlewood Receives the Housing Achievement Award for Racial Equity in Action from HAND 

WASHINGTON, DC (May 30, 2024) — Today HAND announced that Kindlewood, an affordable housing community in Charlottesville, Va., has been named as the 2024 Housing Achievement Award recipient in the Racial Equity in Action category. The Racial Equity in Action award recognizes Kindlewood for successfully integrating racial equity in its policies and practices throughout the redevelopment planning process. 

Members of the Kindlewood Advisory Committee, as well as staff and Board members from Piedmont Housing Alliance and National Housing Trust will travel to the Kennedy Center in Washington to accept the award at the 33rd Annual HAND Honors on June 13. 

Sunshine Mathon, executive director of Piedmont Housing Alliance, said, “This award is a meaningful recognition of the incredible work and vision of its residents. And we at Piedmont Housing have been honored to walk beside them on this journey. Kindlewood isn’t just about offering new homes – it’s about forging a path toward a more just and equitable future. It’s about fostering hope, dismantling barriers, and creating a community where everyone is celebrated.” 

Kindlewood (formerly Friendship Court) is a 45-year-old Section 8 community serving 150 families in the heart of Charlottesville. When redevelopment talks for the site started in 2017, Piedmont Housing Alliance and National Housing Trust began working with an elected resident Advisory Committee to redesign and rebuild the neighborhood for more than 400 residents who call Kindlewood home. Authentic resident engagement has infused community-driven design techniques into each stage of the process, led to better decision-making, and given residents the agency and inspiration to build a path toward economic stability and resilience. 

Long-time resident and Advisory Committee member Glenna Stinnie said, “This award is a great honor we all share in. Every step of the way, the Advisory Committee has worked closely with residents to lead the redevelopment of our community.” The group’s efforts encompassed a wide range of responsibilities – from selecting the architect and designing the site layout to defining the unit mix and prioritizing the development of a new Community Center, an Early Learning Center, a public park, a Financial Opportunity Center, and a community garden. The impact of the Kindlewood redevelopment, however, transcends mere physical structures. It stands as a bold declaration against the racial inequities embedded within America’s housing system. 

Priya Jayachandran, CEO of National Housing Trust, said, “Kindlewood is a testament to the power of resident participation, demonstrating that those most impacted by housing disparities must be central to crafting solutions. We are grateful to HAND for recognizing these achievements and honoring those involved. We hope Kindlewood will serve as a model for future housing developments, not just in the greater Capital region, but nationwide.” 

For more information about HAND and the Housing Achievement Awards, visit:

About Piedmont Housing Alliance
Piedmont Housing Alliance is an affordable housing nonprofit working in the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson counties. The mission of Piedmont Housing is to create housing opportunities and build community through education, lending and development. Piedmont Housing is a HUD-certified housing counseling agency, state-certified Community Housing Development Organization and US Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution. 

About National Housing Trust
National Housing Trust (NHT) creates and preserves affordable homes to provide opportunity, advance racial equity, reduce economic disparities and strengthen community resilience through practice and policy. NHT provides expertise nationally and locally in preserving and improving affordable housing through policy innovation and advocacy, real estate development, lending, resident engagement, and energy solutions. NHT created NHT Communities (NHTC) in 1999 as the real estate development arm of NHT, and since its creation, has participated in the preservation and improvement of over 10,000 affordable units in 13 states and the District of Columbia. NHTC maintains an ownership interest in nearly 4,000 units in 34 apartment communities. 

About HAND
HAND (Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers) is a nonprofit membership collective working across the private, public and social sectors to collaborate in the production and preservation of affordable housing in the Capital Region of Baltimore, Washington, and Richmond. Representing the ecosystem of partners who collaborate in bringing equitable communities to fruition, HAND works to disrupt the systems that perpetuate inequity in the communities we serve. We do this by embedding racial equity into our operations, practices, and programming, and activating our membership through policy forums and advocacy designed to drive impact for Black and brown communities residing at the sharpest intersections of inequity. 

Wes Myhre