The Charlottesville Housing and Redevelopment Authority will be short $400,000 for at least the next six months.
After two years of delays in kicking off a plan to redevelop the city's public housing units, the City Council voted 4 to 1 late Monday to reallocate the funds to the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program and Habitat for Humanity.
The housing improvement program will receive $100,000 for its emergency repair program. Habitat will get $300,000 for infrastructure installation at the Belmont Cottages project.
The emergency repair program pays up to $10,000 to make small repairs for low-income homeowners.
"The emergency home repair program is one of the best things we can do in the city or county. It allows us to go in and be really flexible about doing repairs really quickly," said Jennifer Jacobs, executive director of the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program.
Belmont Cottages is a $3.25 million mixed-income development. Habitat will build eight houses for low-income people, and provide seven pad-ready homesites that will be sold at market value.
"The simple response is we're quite pleased and grateful for the continued support from the city," said Ryan Jacoby, deputy director of Charlottesville Habitat. "... This $300,000 will cover a portion of the infrastructure costs for the entire project. That includes the Habitat homes and the market-rate homes, as well."
The council also repurposed $250,000 originally earmarked for architecture and engineering projects related to the redevelopment. The funds will now be available for any costs associated with starting the project.
Councilor Dede Smith was the lone "no" vote, citing concerns that Charlottesville tax money would go to non-city residents.
"My concern all along has been if we are giving city taxpayer money to Habitat, we should be making sure it is going to city taxpayers," she said. "We have a real problem with housing in the city and with the health of our citizens already, so I just have a problem with taking $300,000 of our housing funds and not putting it toward the much bigger problem that we have in our own city with our own city residents."
City officials said the money taken from the redevelopment authority will be replaced in the coming city budget cycle.
"We are not taking anything away from redevelopment. We would be borrowing it for the next six months," said Jim Tolbert, the city's director of neighborhood development services.