Richmond Mayor Levi Stoney proposed a “racially equitable” affordable housing plan on Tuesday.
The mayor will give a majority of the city-owned land parcels to Maggie Walker Community Land Trust. The organization’s mission statement is “to foster racially equitable communities” within their constructed affordable housing.
The organization will receive 32 of the proposed 66 parcels of land. Or, 80 percent of properties.
Stoney also proposed that the remainder of land will be given to non-profits for multi-family rental units and contractors. The mayor stated that competitive contracts from the contractors and future tax revenue from properties phasing out from their taxpayer-exempt status will help back the funds for the affordable housing. He promised that no new taxes would be imposed on citizens.
The mayor also stated that he factored these numbers to benefit “the people who need it the most” in his city.
According to Stoney, the plan is based on a disproportionate relationship of Black homeownership to white homeownership. He stated that Black-owned homes have declined 30 percent and White ownership has increased 150 percent since 2000.
“We should not be sitting on those properties when they could be put to use for people who need them most.”
Over the course of a decade, Stoney stated his plan would build 10,000 new affordable housing units.
“We all see it, we all know it. Richmond is a growing city. Roughly 30,000 people have moved to our city over the course of our decade. And that is an undeniably good thing for our city. But, we have to recognize that racist systems have ensured that there are whole swaths of Richmond residents that will never benefit from the growth if we don’t do something intentional. As we grow it is incumbent upon us that our most underserved communities don’t get left behind.”
Throughout the riots, Stoney continues to propose measures other than improving law and order in his city, including legalizing marijuana and removing Confederate monuments. Stoney has also recently pushed to allocate half a million in surplus city funds to addressing citizens affected by mental illness and drug addiction.
Stoney is currently in a five-way election against Kim Gray, Alexsis Rodgers, Justin Griffin, and Tracey McLean. The latest poll from this summer showed that the incumbent mayor was favored to win re-election. Recent polling of Stoney’s decision to remove the Confederate statues revealed a divide in constituent opinion over the mayor’s policy choices.
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