Community Engagement Grant Award

The University of Virginia, in partnership with the Piedmont Housing Alliance (PHA), has secured a grant from the Jesse Ball duPont Fund to support PHA's efforts in the redevelopment of the Friendship Court Apartments in Charlottesville. An excerpt from the PHA press release gives further details about the award:

The University of Virginia applied for the grant, which awards $100,000 over two years, to support community engagement at Friendship Court and to involve teens in the planning for the future of that community. Under the direction of Barbara Brown Wilson, Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the UVA School of Architecture, UVA students will help craft and implement a curriculum to train a team of resident youth in the basics of sustainable, equitable land use. This team will visit the University’s School of Architecture and be exposed to relevant concepts in planning and design needed to participate in master planning and implementation. Teens who complete the training program will be hired as resident experts to help guide the master plan.

Piedmont Housing hopes to make the redevelopment of Friendship Court a model for the redevelopment of affordable housing across the country. “What we do at Friendship Court has to work for the people who live there.  Friendship Court is home to 150 families and more than 250 children,” said Piedmont Housing’s CEO, Frank Grosch. “It’s those young people who are the future of that community, and who must be engaged in the process.”

Piedmont Housing Alliance is an affordable housing non-profit working in the city of Charlottesville and in Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson counties. The mission of Piedmont Housing is to create housing opportunities and build community through education, lending, and development. Piedmont Housing is a HUD-certified housing counseling agency, state-certified Community Housing Development Organization, and U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution. 

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund is a national foundation that makes grants to a defined universe of organizations whose eligibility is determined exclusively by Mrs. duPont’s personal philanthropic decisions. An organization is eligible if it received a gift from Mrs. DuPont between January 1, 1960 and December 31, 1964. The fund organizes its resources around the following focus areas: strengthening the independent sector; building the assets of people, families, and communities; and building the capacity of eligible organizations.