Dan Rosensweig

Dan Rosensweig


Dan Rosensweig has served as the president and CEO of director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville since 2009. He served as chair of the planning commission from 2013 to 2015, and currently is a member of the housing advisory committee.


How is Habitat changing its model to address the affordable housing crisis here?

Do you find that poverty here is a generational issue?

How does Habitat conduct its community engagement?

How would a one-stop housing hub be created?

What stood out to you in the Housing Needs Assessment report issued last year?

How do we solve our housing crisis? What options need to be on the table?

How do we move towards more racial and economic equity here?

What role will the wealthier, whiter, neighborhoods have to play?

Does intentional mixed-income housing work?

How does mixed-income housing interact with gentrification?

Can you buy a home at auction in the city and then rehab them and keep them affordable?

Do most of the solutions to provide more affordable housing here require a partnership between for-profit developers, non-profit organizations, and the city?

What role does UVa play in all of this?

Are you optimistic that UVa will step up and contribute something towards a solution?

The Reimagining of Friendship Court

By Jordy Yager

The redevelopment of Friendship Court is slated to be the largest new construction of low-income housing undertaken in Charlottesville in more than two decades. The plan alone is groundbreaking, having been directly created by current Section 8 residents in partnership with Piedmont Housing Alliance. City staff calls it the most nuanced and complex plan they’ve ever encountered. It ambitiously attempts to balance promises of zero resident displacement with the city’s broader affordable housing needs, while also calling for hundreds of new, likely higher-income, residents to move in, as residents hope to de-stigmatize the lasting effects of poverty born out of generations of racist government policy and neglect.

This year will be the make-or-break year for Friendship Court’s redevelopment efforts. Millions of dollars in city, federal, and private funding stand between the massive plan and the highly anticipated 2020 groundbreaking. And while the green lights have begun to align and most residents are excited, the plan has its critics — those who call for greater levels of resident autonomy, greater security measures to guard against social and cultural displacement, and greater reparations for past wrongs.

In crafting this project, we’ve tried to tackle all of this and more by separating the longer narratives into five major questions:

Part 1: What is the plan?
Part 2: How did we get here?
Part 3: Does mixed-income housing work?
Part 4: Who does Friendship Court belong to?
Part 5: What’s next?

But we also wanted to give you access to as much of our reporting as possible, so we’ve created a timeline that details the history of this area, dating back 150 years, through the use of more than 130 maps, documents, archived articles, and photographs. Similarly, we wanted you to actually hear each of the two dozen long-form interviews we conducted, and not merely the portions we’ve included in the individual stories. So we’ve included more than 300 audio clips throughout the story: in the articles, the timeline, and on each person’s profile page. Our hope is that with all this, more of the picture will begin to emerge, and that, as we stand ready to make powerful and significant changes in the city, we all can help craft the solutions.