Comment Wall: Piedmont
What excites or concerns you about this site?
What services are most needed in this neighborhood?
What design features or amenities would you like to see at this site?
Do you support affordable housing development on this site?
** After reviewing comments from current Piedmont residents, the University notified the residents on January 5, 2022 that those who are eligible to renew their housing agreements can do so through May 2023. **
I am glad to hear about UVA's proposed potential affordable housing sites. This is an encouraging news. I am not sure how many units the Piedmont sites has at this time; however, the existing tenants would be displaced. My questions are:
- Would there be a net gain of housing units on this site or no net loss, or a reduction after redevelopment?
- Are the current tenants mostly students, UVA employees, normal residents or a combination of all of them?
- What if some tenants have difficulty in finding alternative housing; will UVA be assisting with relocation support?
- Would this, among other sites, be for UVA employees and students, or would community residents be able to rent some of the units?
- What are the income levels that would be targeted?
- Would this be mostly rental units or a combination of rental and homeownership?
- Is there a timeline for starting these projects and estimated time for completion?
- SOme of these questions apply to other sites.
I understand this project is a sustainable development for UVA, however, the current residents’ rights and life should be taken care of as well at the same time.
I appreciate that if you could make the communication more actively, clearly and efficiently. I appreciate that if you can consider each family’s situation and can support each family's moving plan that need to be made in such a passive way. It would be appreciated if this project can be announced at least 1 year in advance, but not just 5-month before the moving deadline. It would be appreciated that if solicitude can be expressed to current residents.
Especially for those who just moved in this August, to be informed that they have to move in this way it is improper. If people know they can only live here for 10months, they would choose not to move during the pandemic. Moving is time-consuming and costly for families.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
This location appears to be a great location to support affordable housing - particularly for residents working in employment centers at UVA and the UVA Health System. I would like to see plans that prioritize occupant health, energy efficiency, and access to equitable and affordable transit (low-to-no cost public transit, walking and biking infrastructure).
I am a current resident in this area and new to Charlottesville. As part of UVA, I completely support the university’s construction plan. Overall I believe this site is an excellent place for new people in the transition stage. The neighborhood is great too - highly diversified and supportive.
However, I believe there are difficulties/concerns for some people like me to move out next May. First of all, it would be challenging to find another place to stay in a few month in this pandemic situation, especially for those families with kids. Secondly, it is also difficult for kids to frequently change schools. Some kids in the neighborhood are new to Charlottesville. Therefore, I sincerely hope our university could consider the difficulties of the current residents in this area and give a little bit more time for us to move out.
I am sure that this would be a well-planned project that benefits the whole community, though the existing residents will appreciate help and considerations from the stakeholders. As a foreign family, we will have difficulty in finding a safe and affordable place for our next home in such a short time due to the current shortage of affordable housing and the pandemic. We have no intent to hinder the project but do have a request that the President's council would take our current circumstance into consideration and offer us more flexibility. Thank you!
This is a piece of great news that UVa is planning to build more affordable housing options for potential residents. However, based on the email sent by the UVA housing, it was not clear about the plan what UVA is considering for the current occupants. Is UVA asking the current residents to move from these houses?
This Piedmont site has already a number of affordable houses and is a wonderful place for Postdoc/staff families with kids. So, I do not support building any new houses on this site.
We just moved in this summer and our new life is just settled down totally. My kids are just get used to their school. That would be great for kids to stay in same school. Hope we could live at piedmont for full 4 years. Thank you for understanding.
This is always a joyous moment to see such initiatives and projects that are for the development of the community and the welfare of the people living in it. I am no exception and encourage the idea of having such goals that involve the development of affordable housing units in UVa but definitely not by putting the comfort and life of current residents at stake. We have just witnessed the painful era of the pandemic that impacted the lives and health of people worldwide and are still on verge of unpredictable circumstances in near future.
-I would like the concerned authorities to understand that 5 months is really a short period to make such announcements. I hope authorities would understand that to make this process effective, efficient for UVa, and doable for tenants the notice should have been provided at least a year in advance.
-This neighborhood is full of school-going kids and moving to new places in the mid-term would affect the flow of their academic year.
-We are blessed to survive the pandemic but still, the emergence of new variants is alarming and a constant threat to us; With all this going moving from one place to another is nothing less than a scary phase to go through.
-I believe that authorities would understand that finding a new place within 3-4 months with keeping kids school in concern is not enough time for people living here with family.
I am very positive and hopeful that Authorities would understand all these issues and take them into consideration before making a final decision.
I understand the need to build affordable housing in Charlottesville, but that should not be an excuse to displace dozens of families who currently live in the UVA Piedmont Faculty Housing. Piedmont has been offering affordable housing options for staff, faculty and graduate students, many of them newcomers without a credit score in the country. It is a diverse community that was shocked by the news. It is important to highlight that the announcement came right before the holidays, in late December, surprising the area's current residents with a possible end date of their leases as early as May 2022. This was short notice, and UVA is not giving the residents enough time to find alternative housing.
Additionally, if dozens of families lose their homes simultaneously or within a few months, the Charlottesville housing market cannot absorb all of them. Some families might not be able to find a place that is available, affordable, or that will accept their application (because of income, credit score or legal status). Finally, please let's not forget that we are still in the middle of a pandemic, with another wave of a highly contagious variant putting a lot of extra stress on our families and community members. Many families will face uncertainty, anxiety and be exposed to unnecessary risks if asked to leave on such short notice.
We should talk to the residents, listen to their concerns, assess the plan's impacts, and offer people time and resources to be relocated. Affordable housing is necessary, but not at the cost of displacing dozens of families who currently live at this location. Also, some questions remain unanswered: what are UVA's plans for current and future faculty/staff/graduate housing? What do they mean by affordable (and to whom?)? These are questions whose answers should already have been provided when they notified residents of possible displacement, showing a lack of care with the families living in the area.
Hope we can openly discuss all these issues and concerns soon.
I am a current Piedmont resident. I just moved here in this August. When I signed the lease agreement, I didn't hear about this project. So, I thought I could live here for up to four years when I could renew the contract. I was so surprised to be suddenly informed that I might only be able to live here for a much shorter period than I expected. I would appreciate that if you could guarantee my residence during the period when it should have been renewable.
Even if that is not possible, I would appreciate that if you could consider some kind of support. I would appreciate that if you could guarantee the right to preferentially move into the new housing. Then, repeated moving in such a short time can be very burdensome for my family. So, I would appreciate that if you could support my family's moving plan. And, transferring my children to another school multiple times can be a mental stress for my children. So, I would appreciate that if you could make arrangements so that my children do not need to change schools.
I really appreciate UVA effort toward that project, But the current residents’ rights and life should be taken in consideration at the same time.
I am a current Piedmont resident.
This place has around 24 apartments, around 16 3 bedroom houses and around 6 town houses, and they are fully occupied by families.
All of us received an email that our agreement may not be renewed after May 2022, and this will be confirmed on February 2022 which is very short notice.
I just moved this apartment on June 2021 now I may need to move out on May 2022, Does this make any sense for a family having kids to keep moving every year ? and to find another place for a family near uva for my work and for kids schools it will be more burden.
Can you imagine number of families will need to move out at the same time ?!
This will create a big problem in Charlottesville housing market.
I am an international student and UVa always takes care of foreigners, Please keep us in mind while planning.
Piedmont residents are only allowed to renew agreements for 4 years, Some of us have 2 years remaining some have 3 years some have 1 year.
I would recommend to wait for the work start in piedmont till current residents finishes their eligibility period.
That way moving out will be gradually, so you will avoid creating a problem in the housing market.
If I knew before moving here that I will need to move again after 11 moths I would never do it. I need at least 1-2 years notice before moving again.
Please if you will move us out before the end of the eligibility period at least provide us with other uva on ground housing and help us in the moving out process.
This a really big burden to carry out as a family with 2 kids.
Thanks for your understanding.
I understand UVA would like to develop a sustainable housing project at this site which is encouraging, however the rights and concerns of the current residents should be taken care of.
Most of the residents have families with children going to school and finding affordable good housing option within the school children would require a lot of time and energy. This also impacts the children themselves as change of school in early years has a big impact as children loose there friends and it takes time to rebuild those relationship which are scarce in these testing times. There should be a meeting of residents and all of them should be heard and then a consensus should be built about the future of the residential site.
I am one of the current tenants at Piedmont UVA housing. It has been only 9 months since we moved in here. Moving to a new place is not easy, especially if it is unexpected. But more importantly it will be challenging and stressful for my 9 year old son to change his school again within a year. It will be difficult for us to find an affordable house in the same school district. I would appreciate if you could consider to wait to start the project until eligibility period ends.
I don't like the way UVa housing make a decision. This is not an easy decision to be taken by a single side. I am worried about current residents and it's so unfair to evacuate people that simply. All these families currently living there and students and kids have to leave and change schools. These families should be put in consideration. What if they don't have enough money or time to move out soon? What if they emotionally feel bad or sad about this decision? This decision will change current residents and their kids future. I am definitely against this unfair decision.
I am glad UVA is starting to work on a big project. But my concern is about my family n other families who have shifted a year back or few months back with their kids. It would be very hard for us to find a new place and shift that too in this pandemic. My kids are too small and have just started their school. If we have to shift then again I have to change their school and that would b stressful for my kids. I would really appreciate if UVA would consider our problems and let current families complete their eligible time period.
The Piedmont site currently provides affordable housing to UVA scholars, researchers, and graduate students with families and children. I understand that the site can be improved and more houses can be made available to a larger population but I am worried about what the conditions will be when all the families are asked to move out the same time of the year -- all these families will have trouble finding affordable housing since they will all need housing available at the same dates. UVA needs to provide alternative options to these families, or allow these families an extra year to adjust to the situation, or the renovation project may begin after the eligibility periods of these families end. Please take into account the situation of the families living currently on this site.
I am a current resident in this Piedmont and I have moved here a couple of months ago with my family. I work at the UVA health system. As a whole, I believe it building affordable housing is a good initiative for UVA. But I have some concerns. It would be difficult for some people like me to move out next May, and to find a suitable place within such short notice. We are in the middle of a pandemic, which makes moving more difficult and risky. Although a vast majority of the current residents are vaccinated, we have to think about the spread of new COVID varients and unvaccinated children. Moreover, a healthy number of current residents have school-going children; abrupt moving might affect their academic year. So, I am requesting the UVA to give us at least 1-2 year's notice before moving.
My family moved to this area in July this summer, expecting 4 years of eligibility. This site is currently providing affordable housing to UVA scholars, researchers and graduate students. We love the diversified and supportive neighborhood.
We were shocked getting the evacuation so suddenly, only 5 months before the moving deadline. If it's only for 10 months, we wouldn't have chosen to move here, especially during pandemic. Such notification should have been informed at least 1-2 years in advance. Frequently moving can be very burdensome for families with kids like us. Plus it’s difficult to find a safe and affordable place in the same school district in such a short time.
I appreciate that if you can guarantee current residency until the eligibility period ends.
I appreciate that if you have a plan to relocate current residents to other uva on ground housing with the same school district.
If current residents' rights and life not being taken care of, I'll be definitely against this unfair and under-considered program.
Thank you for your time and consideration
We are currently living in the Piedmont area affected for this project. I think there are plenty of areas without any constructions already built in the city to build this affordable apartments. I really don't understand why so many families have to leave their homes .
And, as other residents said, this area is already an area of affordable housing. We had an agreement with UVA to stay in our residence for 4 years, so announcing that we have to move out in 5 months, in the middle of the pandemic and with the housing market crazy as it is, is not welcome at all.
In our personal case, we are going to have a baby on March, so imagine how much stress and anxiety will be for us to move out on May. We have been here during the whole pandemic, and we won't have a house to live on May, specially if we consider how many families will have to look for another residence at the same time.
We would need, at least, more time to settle in another place.
As a current resident of Piedmont, I support the project but strongly urge UVA and the committee to take current residents into consideration when it comes to the project timeline.
I moved in only 4 months ago with the intention to stay until I graduate in 2024. After investing a significant amount of time and money to furnish and finally settle in, I found it beyond disappointing that I will have to move again. As a medical student, I rely on the bus passing through Piedmont to get to the hospital early in the morning everyday, as no other bus runs at 5am. Moving out will be a big challenge because it would be merely impossible to find a place within my budget that is also on this bus line, so I would have to figure out other means of transportation.
This news also came at the worst possible time as I am already assigned to go on rotation in another city when the lease ends. If I learned about it just a few weeks earlier I would have been able to arrange a swap. I also have an extremely busy and rigid rotation schedule, several out of town, all the way until September, so I have no idea how I will get the time to find a new place, pack and actually move with this short notice.
The biggest challenge is definitely cost. Moving is costly. Off-campus housing is way more costly. Moving to off-campus housing in the summer is extremely costly. A quick search for similar apartments on the market tells me I will need to pay at least x1.5 times more than what I’m paying right now. As a medical student, I am making 0 income with a growing mountain of debt. I’m all for moving out for greater good, but it does not make sense to throw us out and let us take the worst financial hit.
I suggest that UVA allows current tenants to extend the lease for as many months as we need to figure out logistics to move out, for up to 1 year. Considering there’s hardly a solid plan at the moment (which population will this project even serve?), I doubt this would have any timeline impact at this very early stage of the project. It would be a disaster to have us all move out at the worst and most expensive time to find a new place. It’s not like historically there’s an abundance of spare houses during the Cville summer rental market. By allowing us to move out anytime for up to 1 year, we can have more affordable options and that will also take care of rentals that struggle to rent out during the off-season.
While it’s a good thing that UVA is supporting its surrounding community, it should be first responsible to its own students and staff. I urge that UVA and the project committee take a civil approach to accommodating our needs as paying students and contributing staff.
This is a good location to reach work and local buisness including healthcare, food, etc. I ask that access to this housing includes outreach and support for community member for which English is not their first learned language.
I am a resident living here. When I fist moved here, you promised that I could live for 4 years. I just moved here last year and was told I need to move out next year. I'm worried that I cannot find an appropriate place within such a short period. You could construct housing near Airport since no people are living there.
I would like to see the physical structures themselves blend well with the natural environment. No out-of-place too-tall or ugly structures. The Piedmont site not only marks the entrance into Charlottesville from the west (and entrance to UVA for many), but it is situated next to wooded trails (O-Hill) that draw hikers and bikers into nature. It is also very close to UVA 1st-year dorms and the stadium, so safety measures to ensure that both residents and students are not negatively impacted are a must. (I'm also concerned about displacement of the current Piedmont residents, but those issues are well represented in the comments above.)
I hope the university will insist upon sustainable building practices for this initiative. To the extent possible, the university should push developers to follow the latest building codes (even if those codes have not yet been adopted state-wide). The emphasis should be upon energy efficiency and clean energy. This location should incorporate rooftop solar to the maximum extent possible, possibly with battery backup on-site. The houses should attempt to generate electricity equivalent to their full needs on-site, if possible. All houses should be full electric - no gas. Electrical panels should perhaps install smart panels able to handle and manage modern electrical demand - even during outages. The overall construction should consider resilience for quick recovery from storms. Can bidirectional charging infrastructure be built in, to prepare for cars to supply battery backup during outages?
Based on the other comments on this wall, UVA should follow the lead of other local organizations such as Habitat and Piedmont Housing Alliance (interesting naming coincidence?) in making a clearly communicated commitment to current residents that they can stay here if they wish, including throughout redevelopment. The site appears to have enough flexibility and open space that a new multi-unit building could be constructed in an initial phase before demolishing and redeveloping the existing structures. Residents who wish to stay could move into a similarly-sized unit in the new building without having to go elsewhere. Residents may need to compromise on the exact type of housing (e.g., move from a detached house into a townhouse) but should be able to remain within the Piedmont site.
Improving the street grid on the site will be important to provide CAT and UTS with improved routing options so that transit service can be reliable, intuitive, and convenient. As it is, the Mimosa Drive connection is better than nothing, but it has only one narrow sidewalk, and turning left onto Fontaine is challenging. Street improvements should be coordinated with the City's funded project to improve Fontaine Ave.
Will UVA explain who currently lives at Piedmont and Wertland sites, what AMI range is proposed, &whether UVA staff, faculty or students will be eligible or targeted?
I am writing about all projects here -- I hope that the plans will include protection and preservation of the house on Piedmont site and that the L&C Research Park site will have transportation as part of the project so that people can get to jobs. Also, it will be important to have some target for AMI rather than let developers define "affordability" -- of course feasibility is important but UVA should write guidelines in such a way that developers are encouraged to build a good portion of housing for those most in need.