VHDA recently financed a mixed-use building in downtown Richmond for a non-profit organization called "Beating the Odds". Beating the Odds provides rental housing for young adults aging out of the foster care system. The building, located on 2nd Street, houses the organization's offices on the first floor and provides three rental units for youth in the program and one unit for an on-site supervisor on the second floor.
The $340,000 loan was made from our Sponsoring Partnerships and Revitalizing Communities (SPARC) funds, which are generated internally by VHDA to help finance multifamily rental developments that can assist in stabilizing communities.
A.J. and Michael Sanders, the Chesterfield County couple who run the independent living program, learned about VHDA's SPARC program through community outreach by our REACH Virginia team. Beating the Odds requires young adults in the program to work to keep their state benefits, and to put at least 50 percent of their paychecks into savings to keep their spot in the program so they'll have a nest egg when they get out.
“This is a true community service organization,” said Bill Fuller, VHDA Senior Community Housing Officer for disability outreach. “Beating the Odds focuses on correcting community problems where they start—the teenage years. The problem a lot of teens have is, they get to the age where they need to live on their own—because they've aged out of the system—and they're just not prepared. VHDA is happy to be able to help Beating the Odds encourage this group of disadvantaged youth.”