Thoughtful Co-existence

07 07 15 Public housing NYCIn a recent story in the New York Times, writer C.J. Hughes surveys a new phenomenon in New York City–building luxury apartments cheek-by-jowl with public housing complexes.  In a city where new housing can go for $2,500 a square foot, and where view takes precedence over neighborhood, developers are scrambling to fill the empty spaces that often surround isolated public housing projects with high-rise, luxury housing.

Here in Charlottesville, we face a comparable issue. With the success of the downtown mall, as well as the growth in interest in walkable, more urban housing, the city and developers have their eyes on  locations within walking distance of the mall.  In this so-called Strategic Investment Area or “SIA,” low-income housing–including  Friendship Court Apartments owned by Piedmont Housing Alliance and partners–and public housing is situated.

The redevelopment of this area is a subject that Piedmont Housing is giving a lot of thought.  Thoughtful redevelopment is clearly what is called for when housing for low-income families is involved.