Stantec assists Richmond Community Foundation in securing funding to support the Richmond Housing Renovation Program
Richmond, CA, NYSE, TSX:STN: Stantec worked with the Richmond Community Foundation (RCF) to secure $300,000 in federal brownfield funding through the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Grant Program. Funding will be used to support the Richmond Housing Renovation (RHR) Program, a collaborative project led by RCF that is converting blighted, abandoned, or foreclosed residential properties in Richmond, California, into affordable homes for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers.
The RHR Program is focused on the Belding Woods, Coronado, Iron Triangle, Pullman, and Santa Fe neighborhoods, and was established in 2015 by the RCF in partnership with the City of Richmond and various community partners. Through the program, RCF acquires abandoned residences and vacant former residential lots, conducts necessary abatement and environmental cleanup, and fully renovates structures that can be salvaged. Most of the properties are dilapidated residences constructed in the 1910s through 1960s that contain asbestos, lead-based paint, and other hazardous building materials that need to be assessed and abated prior to renovation. Other properties are vacant lots previously occupied by houses that were demolished. Because these properties are near Richmond’s historically heavy industrial areas, there are also concerns related to elevated background concentrations of lead and other pollutants within surface and near-surface soils.
For structures that are beyond salvage, the structures will be demolished and replaced with new high-quality, single-family residences with advanced energy features. Once completed, the RCF sells the residences at affordable prices to first-time homebuyers and uses the proceeds from sales to repeat the process on additional abandoned homes. EPA funding will be used to conduct appropriate environmental due diligence on properties prior to their acquisition by RCF and to perform assessment and sampling of hazardous building materials and soil as necessary to plan abatement and environmental cleanup activities.
“This is such a special project and one that we are proud to play a part in helping to deliver,” said Chris Gdak, principal for Stantec’s environment services group. “The Richmond Community Foundation is making a tangible difference in one of California’s most underserved communities, and we’re honored to help secure the funding to make this meaningful initiative a reality.”
“We are excited to work with Stantec on this project to reclaim boarded up, abandoned single family homes,” said Jim Becker, President and CEO of RCF. “Stantec has the expertise to help us evaluate the hazards associated with these properties and develop remediation plans for them.”
RCF’s RHR program has helped 17 families become first-time homebuyers in one of the most challenging real estate markets in the nation. The EPA Brownfield grant will allow the program to serve an additional 15 first-time homebuyers who never thought they had a chance at the dream of owning a home in the Bay Area.
The Richmond Community Foundation project is one of nine projects across California in 2020 that will receive a total of nearly $4 million through the EPA Brownfields Grant Program to assess and clean up contaminated properties. Nationwide, more than 151 communities have been selected to receive EPA Brownfields grants totaling more than $65.6 million. These funds will help underserved and economically disadvantaged communities assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse.
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About Richmond Community Foundation
Our mission is to mobilize the power of connection to build healthy, thriving communities. We strive for healthy, sustainable communities which are safe, diverse, and thriving, where children walk to quality schools, people of all ages enjoy parks and community facilities, residents have the economic resources to thrive and quality housing meets the needs of all individuals and families. Equity is at the core of this vision and it is both a value and a goal.