Danville Redevelopment & Housing Authority

DANVILLE, Virginia- The Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority is looking to purchase homes that are habitable or only need minor repair or maintenance after sale. Executive Director and CEO, Larissa Deedrich stated that the purchase of these homes is a direct response to “increased demand for rental units in the Danville and Martinsville regions, which has created a housing crisis for some of the area's most vulnerable citizens.”

There is a decrease in “would be landlords,” who are willing to rent their properties to those using the Section 8 housing voucher. There are various reasons for why we are seeing this decline. Chief among the reasons, are the reluctance on the part of the landlords, who assume that potential tenants might not take care of their property. Secondly, there are those property owners who find the paperwork too cumbersome and lastly, there are some that DRHA cannot consider because they are unwilling to keep their rentals to livable standards.

This among other factors have created a shortage in affordable housing, rather rented or purchased. When speaking with Caleb Milam, the Director of Purchasing for DRHA and who currently heads up the renovations of purchased homes, Milam cited the pandemic as a plausible cause of the housing shortage. He went on to explain that due to the pandemic, hundreds of factories closed, leaving prices for materials and labor to skyrocket. Milam feels that the contributing factor for lack of affordable housing in Danville could be linked to the incoming casino because there are numerous investors buying large amounts of property to be remodeled in preparation for a possible influx of people who might need housing upon the casino’s opening. 

Deedrich, expressed that the need for Section 8 rentals is at an all-time high. However, facing the challenge head on and being proactive, DRHA plans to purchase properties directly from owner/sellers in what Deedrich hopes will help fill the need and create safe, adequate housing, as well as stability to the community. The funding that makes it possible for DRHA to purchase these homes currently comes from Acquire, Renovate, Sell or ARS Funds, and a grant from the Western Piedmont Planning District. DRHA also anticipates applying for other grants in the upcoming future to help with the shortage.

DRHA will continue to be on the forefront in helping to combat the housing shortage, with the understanding that having adequate housing leads to a more robust populace, where people are contributing and thriving.

If there are those who currently have properties for sell and or willing to rent their properties, please contact Caleb Milam at cmilam@drhava.com, to discuss further details.