June 30, 2023

Community Housing Partners (CHP) has recently demonstrated its commitment to energy efficiency by using cutting-edge technology to restore a historic home in downtown Blacksburg, Virginia. Despite the challenges of maintaining the exterior of the home, the CHP Homeownership team achieved a nearly 80% reduction in air leakage using a relatively new process that seals the entire house from the inside out. The restored home, listed as the “Ray Albert House” by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (circa 1920), will become part of the New River Home Trust, a program designed to provide permanent affordable housing options in Blacksburg and Montgomery County. CHP’s efforts to increase homeownership opportunities for income-qualified homebuyers align with its mission to create homes and communities that are healthy, sustainable, and affordable.

The house is at 302 Progress Street, at the corner of Progress Street and Harding Avenue and just one block from Blacksburg’s Main Street and Downtown area.

Known as the Ray Albert House, this home was built in the 1920s. By the time CHP bought the property in 2019, it had fallen into disrepair and was no longer safe to live in.

Energy efficiency is a primary focus for any CHP project. To seal the house as tight as possible, CHP used AeroBarrier, a relatively new process. AeroBarrier uses a proprietary aerosolized adhesive to seal the entire house from the inside out. Within a few hours the air leakage level of the house was reduced by nearly 80%, a level that meets current EarthCraft code standards. (Read more about CHP Homeownership using this new air-sealing technology.)

Once the house was sealed, work started to renovate the interior.

Before and after: main entry way/foyer

Before and after: first floor bathroom

Before and after: kitchen

Before and after: bedroom

Before and after: second floor bathroom

This will be one of the first houses in the New River Home Trust, a new program administered by CHP to provide a permanent stock of affordable homes in the Town of Blacksburg and Montgomery County.

In April 2023 CHP’s Board of Directors took a tour of projects and properties in the New River Valley. Board Members got to hear about the 302 Progress Street house from Michael George, Project Manager and Principal Broker for CHP Homeownership. (See more from the CHP Board Tour.)