‘Homelessness is solvable,’ project backers celebrate opening of 86-unit Cool Lane Commons

The opening of Cool Lane Commons has done more than revive a vacant building and offer stable housing for residents in crisis. It’s also brought the region closer to ending homelessness.

Henrico County officials joined representatives of the nonprofit Virginia Supportive Housing, the City of Richmond and others today to celebrate the opening of the $24 million apartment community at 1900 Cool Lane, off Mechanicsville Turnpike.

Photo taken from the back of rows of white chairs with people sitting looking at a building & a speaker at a podium
Jason Snook, president of the Virginia Supportive Housing Board of Directors, welcomed guests to the 86-unit Cool Lane Commons on Cool Lane in Henrico.

Twenty-eight of the 86 units are reserved for individuals exiting homelessness, and all residents have incomes that are 50% or less of the area median income.

With Cool Lane Commons now open, the region needs only 350 additional units to meet its target for ending homelessness locally. Virginia Supportive Housing is creating an additional 82 units at the Rady Street Apartments, which is expected to begin construction in 2026 in Richmond’s Highland Park.

Photo of Allison Bogdanović, a female wearing a flowered summer dress standing behind a podium with black balloons in the background
Virginia Supportive Housing Executive Director Allison Bogdanović

“Homelessness is solvable,” Virginia Supportive Housing Executive Director Allison Bogdanović said at today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Supportive housing – like Cool Lane Commons, like our future building on Rady Street – is the solution. We know that ending homelessness is possible because we are doing it every day with support from partners like you.”

Henrico supported the development of Cool Lane Commons with $575,000 in county and federal Community Development Block Grant funds. The project renovated the former Seven Hills Health Care Center building, which had been vacant since 2008. Cool Lane Commons opened in January and currently has 76 of its 86 units occupied through project-based vouchers from the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

Photo of Tyrone Nelson looking at the camera with his left hand raised. He's wearing a dark suit & there are black balloons in the background
Board of Supervisors Chairman Tyrone Nelson, of Varina

Henrico’s support is part of its strategy for increasing access to affordable housing, Board of Supervisors Chairman Tyrone E. Nelson said. He also noted the county’s creation of a $60 million affordable housing trust and its program that helps employees of the county’s government and public school system buy their first homes in Henrico.

“The reinvestment that we and so many other partners have made together here is … helping to address what we believe to be our tremendous need for high-quality, safe and affordable housing,” said Nelson, of the Varina District. “And that’s something that every single one of our residents deserves. Housing is essential. It supports family stability and employment, and promotes better health, and it also leads to stronger academic performance for our kids.”

Fairfield District Supervisor Roscoe D. Cooper III noted Cool Lane Commons’ sustainable design, with rooftop solar panels, as well as onsite support services and amenities for residents, including a community room, computer lab, fitness room and laundry facilities.

Photo of Roscoe Cooper looking at the camera with his left hand raised. He's wearing a dark suit & there are black balloons in the background
Fairfield Supervisor Roscoe Cooper III

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is how you revitalize the neighborhood and build a better future for everyone,” he said. “This is how you give to those in our community the support and resources they need to be successful as individuals on a daily basis.” For more information on Cool Lane Commons, visit virginiasupportivehousing.org/. Leasing information is available at rrha.com/

Virginia Supportive Housing and other project supporters held
a ground-breaking ceremony for Cool Lane Commons in 2022.

A brick building with 7 dignitaries sitting in front with 2 easels & podium. Leaning against the building are 10 clean shovels.

The former Seven Hills Health Care Center building
had been vacant since 2008.

2008 photo of a  deteriorated brick building.
2008 photo of a  deteriorated brick building.
2008 photo of a  deteriorated brick building.
2008 photo of  demolition of inside of   building.
2008 photo of  demolition of inside of   building.

Virginia Supportive Housing, other partners celebrate Cool Lane Commons

 
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