CHP's Design Team Addresses Housing Needs of Individuals Living With DisabilitiesPosted on Dec 19th, 2011
Christiansburg, Va. – When Community Design Studio (CDS), the architectural division of Community Housing Partners (CHP), was approached by Rush Homes to design an energy-efficient rental community accessible to income-qualified adults with disabilities, it was excited by the challenge to create a facility that would allow tenants to live affordably with low rents and energy costs, while also offering them greater independence through high-level accessibility features.
Victoria Ridge, the resulting 24-unit community in Lynchburg, Virginia, is unique in that it is not only attractive and affordable, but energy efficient and fully accessible. The development, which was funded in part with Low Income Housing Tax Credits, goes beyond typical minimum accessibility requirements and incorporates accessibility features seamlessly into the living spaces, making it more livable and comfortable for the disabled residents.
Victoria Ridge features include a fully wheel-chair accessible facility for tenants with mobility impairments; spacious and open floor plans; fire sprinklers; emergency call stations in half of the units; and an attractive design to fit into the neighborhood of Victorian-style homes.
The community was also designed and built to meet EarthCraft standards and features many sustainable elements such as ENERGY STAR® electric hybrid water heaters, low-VOC paints and finishes, bamboo flooring, ENERGY STAR® metal roofs, fiberglass windows, and fiber cement board siding.
Because state-of-the-art green building techniques and materials were used, the residents at Victoria Ridge (the great majority of whom have incomes of 30 percent or less than the area median income) should see their utility expenses reduced by an average of 30 percent. In addition, these energy efficiency measures will help increase the comfort, safety, and health of the tenants – an extremely high priority to Rush Homes in their role as landlord advocates to a population with little to no external support.
Jeff Smith, Assistant Director of Rush Homes, explains that Victoria Ridge is an important addition to the local community because it “provides quality housing for a specific population, which is a relative first step toward relieving the huge need for affordable, accessible homes in our area. Victoria Ridge also fosters independence, supports healthier lifestyles, and improves tenant self esteem – all creating a reduced need for services and health care, which translates into real dollar savings. Further, Victoria Ridge improved the Victoria Avenue neighborhood, replacing a former open lot covered with a very low quality wood with an aesthetically attractive development fitting with the neighborhood.”
About Rush Homes:
Rush Homes is a non-profit, 501(c)3, organization that provides affordable and accessible rental housing opportunities to people with disabilities and low incomes in the greater Lynchburg, Virginia region. Rush Homes saves the state of Virginia money annually by providing community-based housing options for adults with disabilities and helps to improve its community by becoming advocates for those who have little support.