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New Workforce Housing Community a Welcome Addition to Virginia's Northern Neck

Christiansburg, Va. - Community Housing Partners (CHP) and the Partners for Lancaster County Schools Foundation are proud to announce the completion of an all-new 16-unit affordable housing community in Kilmarnock, Virginia called Mercer Place.

Developed by the Partners for Lancaster County Schools Foundation and constructed by CHP’s general contracting team, Mercer Place is a rental housing complex specifically designed to meet the needs of teachers, nurses and healthcare employees, law-enforcement professionals, county and municipal workers, and community workforce laborers.

In response to the changing economic character of the region and the related housing challenges faced by local workers and employers, Lancaster County residents established the Partners for Lancaster County Schools Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to “build and operate affordable rental housing for public and private school teachers, nurses, healthcare employees, law enforcement, municipal and county employees, and other workforce persons.”  The Partners Foundation subsequently secured a gift of 5.8 acres in the Town of Kilmarnock and proceeded with development of Mercer Place.

The complex, which is conveniently situated near restaurants, shopping, and entertainment venues, includes 16 two-bedroom, two-bath rental units that include energy-efficient dishwashers, washers, and dryers.  Mercer Place also features a large outdoor pavilion, gazebo, and recreational areas.

The development was funded through a mix of public and private funding, including a $1.3 million loan from the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA).

Todd Peacock, vice president of construction at CHP, said that he was pleased to have been a part of Mercer Places' creation because studies have shown that a lack of workforce housing close to jobs and services stifles economic growth, increases traffic problems, creates worker stress, and affects the quality of life in the region. "As long-time developers, designers, and builders of safe, attractive, affordable housing, CHP is deeply committed to community development and to projects such as Mercer's Place that foster economic, social, and environmental vitality."

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund, which was instrumental in development of Mercer Place and in the broader effort to help area residents focus on the need for affordable housing, stated on its website, “Mercer Place fills an important niche in the Lancaster County housing market, providing affordable housing alternatives in a county that quickly is becoming unaffordable to local workers.”