Monthly Archives: September 2011

PHAR Residents Advocate for Safer Neighborhoods

At the recent City Council Neighborhood meeting at Crescent Hall, residents of Crescent Hall and Fifeville advocated for more police officers patrolling their neighborhood during the day and night, especially in Tonsler Park.  

From the C'ville Article:

"Crescent Hall resident Mary Carey, who wasn’t satisfied with Finkel’s responses, told Council members that, years ago, community policing felt inclusive and played a very important role in the neighborhood. Today, however, it has taken on new meaning.

“Community policing is like it says: community policing,” said Carey. “It’s not spot-checking police officers in neighborhoods. It’s bringing the neighborhood and the police together to police the neighborhood.”

For Crescent Hall resident Overy Johnson, creating a safe neighborhood goes beyond strict police work. In fact, Johnson, who grew up in New York City, says the community could police itself if its infrastructure, like parks, were regularly improved.

“It’s not about intimidating these young kids out there,” he tells C-VILLE. “Give the kids something they need.”"

To read the entire article click here

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Crescent Hall Residents Pack the House for a Town Hall Discussion With City Officials

Crescent Hall residents and their neighbors packed the house for a Town Hall discussion with Mayor Dave Norris (pictured), other members of City Council and City Manager Maurice Jones. Residents raised many important issues, including their months-long wait for fully functional elevators, safety and the need for neighborhood policing and faster responses to calls, high fees (excess utility and maintenance charges), the need for more employment opportunities and improvements to customer service for public housing residents.



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PHAR Advocacy Highlighted in Public Housing Tenant Newsletter

From the Summer 2011 Tenant Talk Newsletter of the National Low Income Housing Coalition:

Years of constant prodding by public housing leaders in Charlottesville, Virginia recently paid off when both the City Council and the Housing Authority approved a Section 3 Plan.  The purpose of Section 3 is to ensure that jobs and other economic opportunities created when HUD assists housing and community development projects go to low income people “to the greatest extent feasible.”

Charlottesville’s plan lays out the basic Section 3 requirements that the city, CRHA, and their contractors and subcontractors must follow when HUD dollars are spent.

To help achieve their goals, the city and CRHA will hire a Section 3 Coordinator to connect low income residents with contractors and subcontractors working on HUD-funded projects. The Section 3 Coordinator will help contractors and subcontractors understand their Section 3 obligations. The coordinator will also help them achieve their goals of hiring or training low income residents or subcontracting with Section 3 businesses. An advisory group including PHAR and key city officials will guide the Section 3 Coordinator.

Soon after Tom Perriello was sworn in as the U.S. Congressman representing the Charlottesville area in 2009, Ms. Johnson and Ms. Edwards convinced him of the value of Section 3. In June 2010, Congressman Perriello hosted a day-long Section 3 workshop with HUD Assistant Secretary John Trasviña. This added to a growing awareness that more needed to be done. When she was on the CRHA Board, Ms. Edwards introduced the idea of a Section 3 Plan. Charlottesville's Mayor, Dave Norris, is also on the CRHA Board and continued promoting the plan after Ms. Edward’s term ended. With the constant promotion of the plan, the Section 3 Plan was approved by both the city and CRHA in June 2011.

To read the full article click here.

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Bank On Greater Charlottesville

Three years ago, a group of people came together to start the Coalition for Economic Opportunity (CEO). PHAR was there from the start.

The goal of CEO is to help individuals and families become more independent and financially stable. CEO is now helping to start a program called Bank On Greater Charlottesville. The purpose of the Bank On Greater Charlottesville is to help people who don't have bank accounts and help people avoid expensive loans like payday loans and car title loans.

Through the Bank On program, it will be easier for people who don't have bank accounts to open and keep bank accounts. Studies show that, compared to having a bank account, it is much more expensive to use check cashers and money orders stores. Having a bank account and using it in the right ways can actually save you money.

The Bank On program will also help qualified people get affordable loans. This will help people who might be tempted to go to an expensive payday lender or car title lender and might get caught in the cycle of debt. Staying away from payday lenders and car title lenders can actually save you money. People need better options, and that is what Bank on will provide.

Another part of Bank On Greater Charlottesville is financial education. The program will offer classes throughout the community. These classes will give people important information about saving money and being financially stable. By attending classes, people can also receive financial rewards.

The Bank On program is a partnership with local banks and credit unions and local government. The goal is to help people become more independent and financially stable. The program will be launched in 2012. PHAR will continue to be involved as a coalition member to bring this new program to our community. Stay tuned for more information. 

To learn more about CEO and the Bank On program click here.

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