This week, the first 39 families ready to move into their new homes as part of the Southwood mobile home park transformation got an early Christmas present as “Horizon Road” leading back toward their new home sites was paved.
Like all planning decisions at Southwood, the name was a product of a community consensus process. Long-time Southwood resident Richard Beverly was the first to offer the name to his fellow community planners.
“I chose (to suggest) the name ‘Horizon’ because the Southwood Community is looking at a new beginning,” said Beverly, who will be one of the first to move from his aging trailer to a brand new home that he will own. The completion of Horizon will allow for Beverly and scores of others to begin building their homes within the next month or so.
“‘Horizon’ is the perfect name for a road connecting back into the first model village,” said Habitat CEO and President Dan Rosensweig. “Richard and his fellow planners were quite clear that opening up this new village means an almost unlimited new horizon for them.”
Southwood is being redeveloped by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville in multiple phases to allow for all residents of the current mobile home park to remain on site as it is transformed into a roughly 1,000 unit mixed-use and mixed income community with housing options for 100% of the people who live there now.
To prepare for redevelopment, Southwood residents have taken the lead in the planning process. Central to Habitat’s asset-based community engagement approach, resident leaders like Beverly worked for years to design the new neighborhood, making all of the decisions from density provisions to street names.
The completion of Horizon is especially meaningful this time of the year.
“It’s not lost on anyone that, by this time next year, the first Southwood resident homeowners will be able to walk, drive and bike down Horizon Road to enjoy the first Christmas in their forever homes,” said Rosensweig.
About Habitat: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville brings people together to build and rebuild homes and communities while catalyzing new pathways to safe, decent affordable housing. Our work has evolved from building one house at a time to developing vibrant, sustainable, mixed-income communities, where local families can achieve their dreams of homeownership. Since our founding in 1991, we have built over 225 new homes and safely housed 2,000 neighbors, thanks to the commitment and dedication of our thousands of volunteers and supporters.