Richmond City Council to Receive Briefing on RRHA’s Historic Homeownership Initiative

Program will lower barriers to mortgage qualification and provide financial assistance

Monday, July 24, 2023 @ 4 p.m. at 900 E. Broad Street, 2nd Floor Council Chambers

RICHMOND, VA— Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) announced last month a unique homeownership initiative. It is the first of its kind in the City of Richmond, Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation! This Homeownership initiative to be presented today, Monday, July 24, 2023 to members of Richmond City Council, takes  RRHA’s current housing choice voucher homeownership program and incorporates it into a larger program for all public housing residents, thus creating the most comprehensive homeownership program ever! The initial public  announcement was made earlier this month at a well-attended event at an RRHA partner homeownership site, Armstrong Renaissance Community.

The initiative is designed to substantially increase homeownership rates for some of Richmond’s low-income families, but with a specific focus on public housing residents.             

“This partnership between a housing authority and various mortgage lending financial institutions, and non-profit partners sets a standard for the public housing industry. Simply put, this initiative will move public housing residents to a place of self-sufficiency and wealth creation, and together with local partners, this initiative can be modeled across the Commonwealth of Virginia and throughout the nation” says RRHA CEO Steven Nesmith.

Julienne Joseph, Chief of Staff to US Department of Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary Marcia Fudge has this to say about the program,

“I hope this is something that is syndicated around the country so people can have access to safe, affordable housing.”         

Public housing and voucher  participants will receive the following unique benefits: 

  • Consistent on-time Rent payment history, rather than credit scores, considered in qualifying for  loans
  • Down payment assistance
  • Closing costs assistance
  • Below-market interest rates
  • Mortgage insurance relief

Since HUD-certified housing counseling agencies (“HCAs”) serve a critical role in assisting potential homeowners, RRHA is also partnering with Southside Community Development and Housing Corporation to help families prepare and qualify for Homeownership — and also receive homeowner education about financial management to help them stay in their home and help avoid delinquencies and foreclosure.

“Homeownership education is key, because it is one thing to qualify for a mortgage loan, but it is entirely different to effectively manage ones’ finances in order to maintain homeownership and build equity and wealth” says CEO Steven Nesmith. 

Current public housing residents interested in pre-qualifying should contact (804) 780-4090 or email