New Mixed Income Community Will Provide Charlottesville an Opportunity to Build Together

At a ceremony on Thursday, August 17th at 9:00 a.m., Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville officially broke ground on its newest development: Harmony Ridge. The groundbreaking ceremony was a chance for Charlottesville to celebrate working towards a common goal of increasing affordable housing and building a more diverse, inclusive community after an immensely difficult week.

“The tragic events of this past week right here in our beloved little town remind us that the flame of hatred still flickers, albeit feebly,” said Dan Rosensweig, President and CEO of Habitat, to a crowd of about 30 friends of the organization.

“That’s why we are here to plant our shovels in the ground. Building Harmony Ridge — right here on this plot – will serve as our sweat equity contribution toward repairing the fractured family of Abraham. We can’t wait to move forward together, with many diverse hands in solidarity. One shovel of dirt, one board, one sheet of drywall at a time. “

The neighborhood is the culmination of a number of partnerships between public, private, and nonprofit institutions.  Habitat has received critical support from the CFA Institute, the City of Charlottesville’s Affordable Housing Fund, the Hunter Smith Family Foundation and the Perry Foundation, Inc., among other supporters. The homes are also being developed in partnership with the nonprofit Piedmont Housing Alliance and with land acquired through a longstanding relationship with the Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries.

The groundbreaking featured a number of notable speakers, including: Kathy Galvin, Charlottesville City Council; Alex Ikefuna, Director of Neighborhood Development Services at the City of Charlottesville; Darin Goodwiler, Chief Compliance, Risk, and Ethics Officer at the CFA Institute; Sunshine Mathon; Chief Executive Officer of Piedmont Housing Alliance; and Anne Brown, Chief Operating Officer of the Abundant Life Ministries. Albert Connette of Olivet Presbyterian Church led the opening prayer, with Carol Sims of Grace Episcopal Church leading a closing prayer.

Located just off of 5th Street in Charlottesville, the mixed-income neighborhood will feature fourteen homes in total—ten Habitat Partner Family homeowner-built homes and four market rate homes—all of which will be constructed to the highest standards of energy-efficiency. Notably, Habitat is partnering with the CFA Institute on a pilot Carbon Offset Project, providing $80,000 to enable Habitat to maximize its use of energy-use reduction techniques and materials in the homes’ construction. The upgrades include improved insulation and wall construction as well as high efficiency windows, heating, and lighting. These enhancements will result in significantly reduced energy costs for the Habitat families and their neighbors, and an overall reduction in environmental impact of the Charlottesville community.

“At the core of the CFA Institute’s mission is our commitment to benefiting society as a whole,” said Darin Goodwiler, Chief Compliance, Risk, and Ethics Officer at the CFA Institute. “We are proud to support the work of Habitat for Humanity through this Carbon Offset project that will make a lasting positive impact in the environment and the lives of families in our community.”