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Friday, March 31, 2023

For some people in central Virginia, finding and keeping a place to live is a continuous struggle. Our neighborhoods reporter Erin O’Hare has been telling that story from different perspectives for two years at Charlottesville Tomorrow. (Happy work anniversary, Erin!)

Today’s newsletter begins with an opportunity: Folks who need help paying the rent have a short window to apply for housing vouchers in Charlottesville and Albemarle County beginning next week. Understanding that application process, though, can tell you a lot about how difficult it is to get support.

People who need assistance can only apply online and, in Charlottesville, they have just five days to do it. In Albemarle County, they have seven days. And they are applying to be on a waitlist for vouchers, not for the vouchers themselves.

There is a limited number of total vouchers available, and not everyone who applies will receive a voucher — or even a spot on the waitlist. Further, a spot on the waitlist does not guarantee a voucher, or a place to live.

That is all to say, it is hard to get a housing voucher, let alone use it!

Purple logo with the words "Short & Important"

Charlottesville and Albemarle County residents who need help with rent have short windows to apply in early April

Erin is reporting more on the experiences of those who use — or try to use — housing vouchers. If you have gone through this process yourself, or know someone who has, we’d love to hear from you. She’d also like to hear from landlords who have, or have thought about, working with the program. Reply to this email or leave a message at (434) 218-3649 and we’ll get back to you!

Springtime and housing seem to go hand-in-hand around here, so we also have for you this week a story about a unique community effort in Charlottesville. If you’ve ever tried to fix something in your house but didn’t have the tools to do it, this one’s for you.

Woman in teal sweater stands at work bench with tools in front of her, shelves of organized parts to the side.
Credit: Erin O'Hare/Charlottesville Tomorrow

Charlottesville’s ‘tooligans’ are teaching people to fix up their homes — and lending out the right tools for the job

The Charlottesville Tool Library has more than 500 tools in its catalog, but they’re always adding more, either via donations or purchasing oft-requested items like large floor sanders. For my part, I almost never have the right drill bit for the job. But the most lent-out item? Extension cords.

Thanks for being with us — Jessie will be back with you next week.

Angilee Shah, editor-in-chief

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Hi, I'm Charlottesville Tomorrow's Editor-in-Chief. I’d love to know more about want you want from local news. Let’s find a time to talk. And keep up with our work by subscribing to our free email newsletter!