Two of the Richmond region’s foremost affordable housing nonprofits are merging.
Better Housing Coalition and Virginia Supportive Housing’s boards voted this month to combine forces. The new organization, with assets totaling more than $135 million, will serve individuals and families with a wide range of housing needs, according to a release announcing the plans.
The merger will enable the new organization to ramp up its production of new affordable homes and new units of permanent supportive housing by 50% by 2025. It has set a goal of doubling the number of single-family homeowners it serves, too.
“Through leveraging the best of our combined resources, we can make a truly transformational impact on the affordable housing crisis here in Virginia,” said Greta J. Harris, president and CEO of the Better Housing Coalition. “And we can do it in a way that not only provides housing but also ensures long-term stability for each individual and family we serve.”
Founded in 1988, Better Housing Coalition is the biggest nonprofit community development corporation in the Richmond region. Its portfolio of 15 multifamily rental communities and 250 single family homes serves more than 2,700 households.
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Also founded in 1988, Virginia Supportive Housing is the longest-running provider of permanent supportive housing in Virginia for families experiencing homelessness. Its 17 rental communities combined with its five scattered-site programs assist more than 1,600 households in Richmond, Hampton Roads and Charlottesville.
“We have an opportunity to expand our service-enriched housing continuum from those with zero income all the way to working families with moderate income, to create inclusive, thriving communities that break down income barriers between neighbors, and to combine our respective expertise to solve the most pressing housing questions facing our communities today,” said Allison Bogdanovic, Virginia Supportive Housing’s executive director.
A two-year process that was prolonged by the COVID-19 pandemic led to this month’s decision, according to the release. The meshing of systems, staffs and operations will take place next year and conclude in early 2023.
Harris will serve as CEO of the newly formed organization. Bogdanovic will serve as its president.