You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
- Mahatma Gandhi
Laurie Ramos' Story
Six years ago, Laurie Ramos was seeking American citizenship and a better opportunity for her husband and three children when she left her family in the Philippines to come to the United States. With an American-born son and a baby on the way, the eighteen-year-old found herself struggling to survive on Section 8 vouchers to rent a run-down apartment in a crime-ridden neighborhood in Yorktown, Virginia. In 2001, Community Housing Partners purchased the facility and rehabilitated it into The Woods of Yorktown, a vibrant family-friendly community that is a safe home to more than 200 children. Today, Laurie gives back to her community by cultivating beautiful roses outside of her home.
"When I moved in, I had nothing and was pregnant, but I had a feeling that something good was going to happen."
redefining affordable housing
a group of volunteers organize to make a difference
In 1975, a group of concerned faculty and staff at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia organized to do something about the deplorable housing conditions of low-wealth families in southwest Virginia. Out of this initiative grew Project Home Repair, a largely volunteer operation that provided simple home repairs for these families.
the organization expands to meet housing needs
Seeing the great need for quality, affordable housing in southwest Virginia, the organization changed it's name to Virginia Mountain Housing, Inc. in 1976 and expanded its activities to include weatherization and the construction of new homes. The organization grew its repair and renovation efforts into a Class A General Contracting business, which has been in operation since 1979.
Throughout the 1980's, Virginia Mountain Housing continued to grow, becoming the state's largest provider of weatherization services, launching an indoor plumbing initiative and beginning to explore the development of rental housing for seniors and persons with disabilities. With the changing service area, the organization shortened its name to VMH, Inc., to reflect services in the entire state of Virginia.
In 1984, VMH entered the rental housing preservation market, adding a complementary property management function in 1988.
In the 1990's, VMH expanded its base in multi-family housing with the development of properties in other areas of Virginia and in north Florida. A homeownership program was started in the New River Valley, which expanded to Hampton Roads in 1992. In 1994, VMH created Tekoa, Inc., a residential treatment center and school for at-risk youth. One year later, VMH created a subsidiary community development financial institution (CDFI) to promote economic development. That organization has since grown into Virginia Community Capital, a statewide CDFI focused on underserved geographies and markets that are underserved by traditional capital sources.
doing business as community housing partners
As our history shows, we have changed over time to take advantage of new opportunities. As a result of our broad service area and wide range of activities, we changed our name to Community Housing Partners Corporation (CHP) in 2001.
From our original mission to provide low-wealth families with simple home repairs, CHP's services have grown to include sustainable development, architectural design, construction, energy services, homeownership, housing management, and resident and youth services. These efforts help underserved communities, provide support for local economies, and expand strengths within our organization. Through public and private partnerships, CHP works to enable people and communities to become self-sufficient, successful, and sustainable. Today, CHP owns and/or manages almost 6,000 rental units, employs more than 360 qualified staff, and has served over 240,000 individuals in over three decades of service.
CHP is a chartered member of NeighborWorks® America, and a member of both the Housing Partnership Network and the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises.