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The Townes At River South project, funded by both government and private entities, will update 161 historical units in the Blackwell community in Richmond, Va. The goal of the project, which began in mid-April, is to keep homes affordable, preserve the community, and provide much-needed upgrades for historical homes, NBC12 reports.

The renovations come in the wake of an affordable housing crisis that's affecting residents across the Blackwell community. The renovations will give over 100 local households the opportunity to tackle costly upgrades for free.

In March, Mayor Levar Stoney declared an affordable housing crisis.

“86% of extremely low-income renters in the commonwealth and in the city of Richmond are paying more than 30% of their income on housing costs,” he said.

The Richmond redevelopment housing authority, the city, and the developer, Related Affordable, are partnering to implement this.

“Housing, as I’ve said before, is a vaccine for poverty. It is the foundation upon which we build stable lives, healthy families, and educated families and successful families,” Stoney said.

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