The Better Housing Coalition changes lives and transforms communities through high-quality, affordable housing.
National organizations that have recognized BHC’s leadership in developing sustainable communities include the Fannie Mae Foundation, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and Partners for Livable Communities.
While services are available to all of our BHC residents, the majority of the children and youth we reach are residents of Winchester Greens in Chesterfield County and Lincoln Mews in the City of Richmond, where we have community centers.
We serve nearly 200 children in the two centers year-round in an active youth development program. The program provides homework assistance, character and leadership skill development, mediation education, career exploration opportunities and resume building skills. All age groups are able to learn valuable life skills and receive exposure to a wide range of professions through pre-vocational programs. These programs help youth learn about handling conflict, meeting supervisor expectations, financial literacy, and working toward long-term goals. Each November, a college field trip to nearby colleges and universities is arranged on a weekday when public schools are not in session, but college campuses are alive with students so they have the chance to observe college-student life.
BHC collaborates with Boys to Men Mentoring Partnership, a character-building non-profit organization for young men aged 12 – 17 who live in our rental communities. The program pairs adult male volunteers with the boys to provide guidance and serve as positive role models.
Through team-building exercises, activities and community service projects throughout the year, the boys learn leadership and conflict resolution skills and qualities such as integrity, accountability, respect and compassion. The adult mentors help each teen discover his own potential, and reinforce the concept of personal responsibility to self, family, and community along the way.
Lower income older adults need consistent and committed health and wellness opportunities and services in order to successfully age in place in their own homes in the community with a high quality of life, dignity, and less cost to society. BHC has 700 seniors living in eight communities. Their average age is 75, and 25 percent are between 85 and 103 years old. Their average income is $11,546, and 56 percent have incomes of less than $10,000.
BHC provides a comprehensive health and wellness program to seniors. Our goal is to help our seniors stay healthy and active so that they can successfully age in place. We assist seniors to target and maintain chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes through education, exercise and nutrition. We also offer entitlements assistance as well as programs and activities such as reminiscence groups, painting and writers workshops that stimulate the mind and memory. Our planning services assist residents with end-of-life affairs and hospice support for those who want to remain in their home during life-limiting illness.
BHC provides a myriad of services and supports for our adult residents. Vocational training and support services are an integral part of a total self-sufficiency plan. Targeted services are provided by our on-site social work staff who also leverage a wide array of community partners and resources. These services are available to residents in any of our communities, but our concentration has been at Winchester Greens and Lincoln Mews. The services help eliminate the obstacles that keep residents from successfully gaining and maintaining employment that can move families toward greater security and begin to build family wealth.
The affordable high-quality homes BHC constructs and rehabilitates provide first-time homeowners with low to moderate income access to equity and wealth building. Home ownership helps stabilize neighborhoods and is an important component of healthy communities. By embracing green building practices by building to EarthCraft standards, a certification program which serves as a blueprint for comfortable, energy efficient homes, homeowners have lower maintenance and utility bills. While BHC single-family homes incorporate modern green features, such as solar hot water heating systems, they are designed with classic architectural details which blend seamlessly with the surrounding neighborhood.
To date, BHC has built and rehabilitated more than 180 single-family homes throughout the metro Richmond region in neighborhoods including Church Hill, Carver and Blackwell.
BHC currently serves more than 3,500 residents in 15 affordable multi-family communities, including the eight communities for seniors. BHC operates its own property management company, BHC Management, to oversee leasing, property management and maintenance.
Like BHC's single-family homes, the multi-family communities are equipped with modern energy efficient features which reduce utility costs for residents, enabling them to retain more of their income.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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