Better Housing Coalition Breaks Ground on The Goodwyn at Union Hill

(From left) Paul Weech, President & CEO, NeighborWorks America; Michael Schewel, Board Chair, Better Housing Coalition; Cynthia Newbille, 7th District Councilwoman; Mrs. Erline Goodwyn; Mayor Levar Stoney; Greta Harris, President & CEO, Better Housing Coalition; and Carter McDowell, Co-founder, Better Housing Coalition. Photos by Taylor Dabney

The Better Housing Coalition (BHC) broke ground on its newest development in the historic East Richmond, VA neighborhood of Union Hill on Friday, May 12, 2017. In so doing, BHC begins the process of converting the former Citadel of Hope, a Colonial Revival-style building built in 1923 by the Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union, into high-quality, affordable apartments for working families.

Mayor Levar Stoney breaks ground on The Goodwyn at Union Hill with Mrs. Erline Goodwyn.

The renovated historic school building — originally known as the House of Happiness — together with five new buildings of varying height and density will be called The Goodwyn at Union Hill, a 52-unit rental community.

“As the popularity of the Church Hill area has surged in recent years, apartment rents and home prices have risen out of reach for many neighbors,” said Greta J. Harris, President and CEO of the Better Housing Coalition. “BHC is committed to carving out a space for both long-time and new residents of modest means, who, like so many others, are attracted to the neighborhood’s amenities and wish to live here.”

Rents are expected to range between $550 and $900 for one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Estimated completion date for construction is late 2018, with leasing applications open to the public by mid-2018. Total development cost: $9.2 million. The development was named in honor of Hilton W. and Hallie J. Goodwyn, in whose name a $5 million endowment fund was established in 2015 to benefit BHC’s affordable housing development initiatives. Daughter-in-law Erline Goodwyn was on hand to help break ground on her family’s namesake.

Click here to view the event program and learn more about BHC’s investment in the East End, known as the Church Hill Awakening. Many thanks to the Richmond Times Dispatch for this coverage of the groundbreaking.