April 07, 2021
Housing and Urban Development in the Time of Environmental Sustainability
By: Susan Morrison
Timmons Group has a strong history of providing environmental and civil engineering services to redevelopment housing authorities and non-profit organizations throughout the states of Virginia and North Carolina. As housing needs have changed through the decades, Timmons Group has provided a variety of sustainable services to communities in need, including those who would benefit most from affordable housing.
We have worked with a variety of local organizations like Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority, Better Housing Coalition, and others to complete numerous multi-family residential projects as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes under the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.
Timmons Group has built long withstanding relationships with several municipalities with the goal of alleviating affordable housing needs that place focus on a particular environmental angle, some of which include: The City of Norfolk, Virginia; The City of Durham, North Carolina; The City of Richmond, Virginia; and Chesterfield County, Virginia; among others.
The City of Norfolk, Virginia
- In conjunction with The Franklin Johnston Group, Timmons Group completed a HUD environmental assessment for the redevelopment of an existing 9.8-acre industrial site for multi-family housing within city limits. The proposed apartment community will consist of approximately 236 mixed income residential units located within seven 3- and 4-story buildings that will include 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom floor plans. The development plan also includes a pool, recreation center, and clubhouse. The project is located along the Tide Light Rail line, less than a half mile from the Military Highway Station, so it’s easily accessible for residents who opt to use transit. The project will be financed through the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) Resources Enabling Affordable Community Housing (REACH) and low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) programs. Project-based voucher housing subsidies that have already been awarded by the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) will be used for 23 of the 120 units in Phase I.
- Timmons Group is nearing completion on an environmental assessment to evaluate the environmental effects associated with the proposed redevelopment of two buildings for a project known as Fareed Plaza, located within the Park Place Historic District at 611-615 West 35th Street. The City of Norfolk proposes to use HUD Community Development Block Grant funding to rehabilitate the existing commercial units and construct two levels of new multi-family housing above the horizontal commercial units. The proposed apartments will consist of 20 mixed-income one-bedroom units. Timmons Group conducted a site inspection, plan review, desktop resource review and analysis, and coordination with local, state, and federal agencies.
The City of Durham, North Carolina
- Timmons Group completed an environmental assessment for JJ Henderson, which proposes the renovation of an existing 178-unit building and construction of a new adjacent, connected four-story building housing 80 additional units on approximately 3.73 acres. The project will maintain the current number and mix of studio and 1-bedroom units in the existing building and provide 1- and 2-bedroom floorplans in the new four-story building. The project will include the construction of additional parking and site amenities including sidewalks, bike racks, benches, and trees. The project included site inspection, plan review, desktop resource review and analysis, and coordination with local, state, and federal agencies. The proposed project will be financed through the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency’s LIHTC program, and Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Project-Based Vouchers and traditional Housing Choice Voucher units will be utilized for the projects two phases.
The firm worked with the Durham Housing Authority to evaluate the environmental effects associated with demolition of all existing structures on the 519 East Main Street and Liberty Street sites and redevelopment of the two sites as a multi-phased, mixed-use housing and commercial development with rental units affordable to a range of income levels. The mix of housing and commercial space is sensitive to its transitional location between the intense Downtown Core and Residential Zones within the City of Durham. The proposed site plan includes a total of 555 units in five phases: 72 units within two buildings; an 84-unit building; an 88-unit building; 146 units within six buildings; 165 residential workforce units; and 30,000 square feet of commercial area. The project included site inspection, plan review, desktop resource review and analysis, and coordination with local, state, and federal agencies. The project will be financed through the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency’s LIHTC program, and RAD Project-Based Vouchers and traditional Housing Choice Voucher units will be utilized for residences in all phases.
The City of Richmond, Virginia
- Timmons Group evaluated the environmental effects associated with the proposed development of The Heights at Brady Square neighborhood. The project is being undertaken by the City of Richmond, in conjunction with Dakota Partners and includes the first two of four phases for the development of 132 housing units within 22 residential buildings, as well as a community building and all associated roadway and utility infrastructure on the 22.7-acre campus. In addition to site inspection, plan review, desktop resource review and analysis, and coordination with local, state, and federal agencies, the project also underwent an abbreviated HUD 8-step process due to a portion of the site lying within the 100-year floodplain. The project will be financed through the VHDA LIHTC program to complete Phases 1 and 2. Project-based voucher housing subsidies that have already been awarded by the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) will be used for seven of the 66 units in Phase I.
Chesterfield County, Virginia
Timmons Group is preparing an environmental assessment for the development of an apartment community on approximately 16.8 acres in Chesterfield County. The project will consist of approximately 124 units within seven 2- and 3-story buildings that will include 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom floor plans. The conceptual plan for the development also includes a community room, accessible office leasing space, fitness center, two playgrounds, a multi-use trail, and pedestrian walkways and open space throughout the development. Timmons Group conducted plan review, desktop resource review and analysis, and coordination with local, state, and federal agencies, as applicable for the EA. The project will be financed through VHDA REACH and LIHTC programs to complete both phases.
For more information on our HUD environmental review projects, visit our page about HUD Environmental Review and Consulting.