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Our History

The Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) was established in July, 1949 with the approval of a resolution by Roanoke City Council legally creating, within the City of Roanoke, an independent political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Under Title 36 of the Code of Virginia, RRHA's powers include, but are not limited to: (1) acquire, lease and improve property; (2) make loans or grants; (3) investigate and determine whether an area is blighted; and (4) carry out a redevelopment plan in cooperation with local government. All of this is to serve the public purpose of providing safe and sanitary housing for low income persons, to remove blight and blighting influences and to make land available for sound and wholesome development in accordance with a redevelopment plan.

In October, 1949 RRHA became organized to transact business and City Council approved RRHA's application for a preliminary loan to develop 900 units of low-rent housing. A year later, RRHA's first Executive Director, Richard Beck, was hired. By 1952, Lincoln Terrace and Lansdowne Park public housing developments were completed.

RRHA currently owns and operates approximately 1,276 units of public housing and administers approximately 2,067 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers throughout the City of Roanoke. Community development activities range from residential to commercial to industrial and include both redevelopment (including clearance and new construction) and conservation (focusing on preservation of existing structures). RRHA has participated as an active partner helping to remove blighted areas and spur economic growth throughout the Roanoke area.

RRHA was involved in the renovation of the $42 million Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center through the leasing of land to Hotel Roanoke for the new 63,000 square foot Conference Center adjacent to the Hotel. Additionally, RRHA converted the historic Norfolk and Southern office building in downtown Roanoke into a unique apartment building listed on the National Historic Register.

RRHA is currently involved with the South Jefferson Redevelopment Area/Riverside Centre for Research and Technology. This project alone proposes to bring 200 initial jobs to Roanoke with the potential for 2,500 while providing significant payroll and tax revenue.