Affordable Housing Finance named Enterprise Community Development’s (ECD) The Rosa and Van de Vyver as the 2021 Editor’s Choice Award winner in its annual Reader’s Choice Awards program. A mixed-income and mixed-use community located in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia, The Rosa and Van de Vyver was selected based on the innovative steps ECD took to preserve existing affordable housing, redevelop aging public housing and adapt endangered historic buildings into needed homes.
“This was an incredibly special project for Enterprise Community Development, and we are honored to receive this recognition,” said Brian McLaughlin, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Development. “It took partnership and innovation to create this inclusive community, part of neighborhood built by freed slaves and Black northern soldiers, and once known as the ‘Harlem of the South.’ We thank all who played a role in bringing The Rosa and Van de Vyver to life and contributing to Jackson Ward’s renaissance.”
“Completed in 2020 or 2021, this year’s finalists are also special because they were built amid the enormous challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. They overcame delays and other obstacles to become safe havens during the health crisis,” the editors of AHF shared when announcing the finalists.
The Rosa and Van de Vyver are a group of new construction buildings and adaptive reuse of an existing church convent featuring 154 new units of housing and 6,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail.
Jackson Ward, a National Historic Landmark District, was a center of Black commerce following the Civil War. Until the mid-20th century, the site housed Virginia’s first Black Catholic Church, a trade school open to all races, and a series of Black-owned businesses. However, with the construction of Interstates 95 and 64 in the late 1950’s, this portion of the neighborhood was mostly abandoned and demolished. The Rosa and Van de Vyver are part of a larger plan to re-knit Jackson Ward with the neighborhoods to the north of it, from which it was separated by the highway construction. ECD sought to create an inclusive community and engaged many community members to partake in the development process.
The Rosa includes 72 homes for low-income public housing seniors who had previously lived in the Fay Towers, an obsolete public housing tower built in the isolated North Jackson Ward/Gilpin Court neighborhood. This was made possible through the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program (RAD), a HUD program, allowing traditional public housing units to move to this neighborhood of opportunity where residents can enjoy better proximity to services and retail and live in a diverse community.
The Van de Vyver features 82 units including 46 unrestricted units and 36 affordable units designated for workforce housing – including eight HUD VASH program participants, all formerly homeless veterans receiving subsidized rents and individualized case management services.
The $34.5 M community features amenities such as indoor bike storage, a dog wash station and an Amazon package locker in addition to typical components like multipurpose rooms, fitness centers, business centers and outdoor patio areas. ECD’s signature suite of on-site resident services are also offered.
The retail component will soon feature a grocery store and restaurant, both selected to address the neighborhood’s needs.
Affordable Housing Finance, a national publication, received more than 120 entries and narrowed the field to 36 finalists located in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Each finalist was profiled in the magazine’s August issue and readers were able to vote online for the winner in each of the 10 categories and the overall winner. Winners will be celebrated at AHF Live: The 2021 Affordable Housing Developers Summit in November in Chicago.
Enterprise Community Partners is a proven and powerful nonprofit that improves communities and people’s lives by making well-designed homes affordable and connected to opportunity. As a social enterprise, we bring together the nationwide know-how, policy leadership, partners, donors and investors to multiply the impact of local affordable housing development. Over more than 35 years, Enterprise has created 662,000 homes, invested nearly $53 billion and touched millions of lives. Join us at www.EnterpriseCommunity.org.
Enterprise Community Development (ECD) specializes in high-impact residential development, property management and resident supportive services. With 60 years of collective experience, ECD was formed in January 2020 through the combination of Enterprise Homes, Inc. and Community Preservation and Development Corporation. Setting high standards for community planning, affordable housing and a curated residential experience, ECD strives to continue leading innovative solutions in the Mid-Atlantic’s housing market. The seventh-largest non-profit affordable housing provider in the country, and the largest regional provider in the Mid-Atlantic, ECD has developed more than 16,000 well-designed homes in over 100 communities across the Mid-Atlantic. ECD has offices in Baltimore, Washington, DC and Richmond and is part of the Enterprise family of companies. For more information, visit https://www.EnterpriseCommunity.org/financing-and-development/community-development.