Ribbon-cutting ceremony for new homes in Blackwell

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Better Housing Coalition is a non-profit organization that provides help to first time homebuyers with low to moderate incomes.

A ribbon cutting ceremony and tour was held today for a house in the Oak Summit neighborhood of the Blackwell community in South Richmond.

This is just one of what will eventually be dozens of new homes in this development.

With mortgages as low as $800 a month, there's lots of opportunity here. We got a chance to speak to the man who bought the house, and he says he can't wait to move in.

With the snip of some scissors, a dream has come true for new homeowner Michael Veneable.

It was love at first sight for this city employee, who says this home met his needs, aesthetically and finanically.

"I liked how the layout was and how everything was set up and the yard space is real nice," said Michael Veneable. "I like the fact that it's not to far from my job, you know it's really convenient, and with gas prices being so high right now, so I could even ride my bike to work if needed."

The better housing coalition says Michael is exactly the type of person they are hoping other homes in Oak Summit will serve.

Oak Summit is a traditional neighborhood that will include 45 new homes which feature cutting-edge green building technologies -- which can cut homeowner's energy costs in half.

"It really gives us a great opportunity to really build some very high quality, eco-friendly affordable housing for working people who work in our city," said TK Somanath, BHC President and CEO.

And this project goes beyond just building houses -- it's building a better community overall.

"We've been able to brand new sewers and utilities and we are going to put in some street lights, so all of that kind of makes a neighborhood, so we are really excited," Somanath said.

As for new homeowner Michael, he's proud to be part of what he knows is a rebirth of the Blackwell community.

"It's history in the making," he said with a laugh.

The rest of the houses in this neighborhood will be built over a 3-5 year period. You can check these homes out for yourself at a block party this Sunday.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.