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Affordable Housing Study

Lunenburg County; Towns of Kenbridge and Victoria

The Berkley Group completed a regional housing study for Lunenburg County and the towns of Kenbridge and Victoria. The project included an analysis of affordable housing needs, identification of vacant and blighted properties, and summary of funding sources to address housing issues. Lunenburg County is a rural county located in south-central Virginia. Lunenburg and its towns are confronted with cost-burdened residents, few high-paying job opportunities, and widespread structural blight and dilapidation. County, regional, and town staff seized the opportunity provided by a Virginia Housing grant to analyze the problem and uncover attainable step-by-step solutions to address their needs. The Berkley Group was ready to meet the challenge, using housing knowledge, planning expertise, data collection and visualization, and GIS tracking to develop the housing study.

The project started with community outreach. Berkley Group staff paired the findings from stakeholder interviews and a public survey with U.S. Census Bureau data to develop a market analysis. The online GIS field inventory tool, developed specifically for this project, allowed locality staff to identify and mark vacant and/or dilapidated structures in the community. This novel approach will allow Lunenburg and the towns of Victoria and Kenbridge to monitor these structures to determine progress in improving the locality’s housing assets.

The project included:

  • Existing plans and ordinance review

  • Regular meetings with a work group

  • Public survey

  • Stakeholder interviews

  • Location asset mapping

  • Field inventory of assets

  • Housing market and gap analysis

  • Toolkit of available funding resources

 

The project was completed in 12 months with a final presentation open to the public in February 2021.