Cool Lane Commons

Virginia Supportive Housing’s latest project in the Richmond region, Cool Lane Commons, is our most innovative permanent supportive housing community to date. 

Located on the border of Henrico County and Richmond’s East End, Cool Lane Commons is the adaptive re-use of a vacant assisted living facility into permanent supportive housing and office space. 

The $24m project redeveloped the former Seven Hills Health Care Center on Cool Lane into a mixed-income apartment building with 80 one-bedroom and 6 studio units. Units are available for both formerly homeless and low-income individuals earning 50% or less of the Area Median Income.  

Each unit is at least 500 square feet and includes a private full bathroom and kitchen with full-size appliances. The building, which is approximately 90,000 square feet, contains a large community room with a kitchen, a resident computer lab, a phone room for resident use, a fitness room, laundry facilities, a front desk, staff offices for on-site support services and property management staff, and off-street parking. The building has an extensive security system and the front desk is staffed sixteen hours a day with a night monitor on call during the evening hours. 

All units have a Project-Based Voucher administered by the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. 13 units are fully accessible for individuals with disabilities and 2 units have features for individuals with sensory impairment. All units meet the Virginia Housing’s Universal Design Standards, which promote the creation of units that serve the needs of all residents, regardless of their ability, mobility, or age.  

The building achieved an EarthCraft Gold Certification for resource and energy efficiency and contains a photovoltaic solar array to reduce the building’s energy load. 

Community collaboration

From the project’s inception, VSH prioritized integration into the neighborhood. This led to partnership with Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC), located across the street from Cool Lane Commons. FCBC’s Pastor and Founding Visionary, Dr. Patricia Gould-Champ, became a key partner and advocate. In addition to the units of permanent supportive housing, Cool Lane Commons includes offices and meeting rooms for FCBC and its partners to deliver programs and services to the immediate surrounding neighborhood.

Dr. Gould-Champ speaking, with Cool Lane in the background.

The commercial space in Cool Lane Commons is also home to VSH’s administrative headquarters, known as the Bren Center, named after one of VSH’s original founders, Karl Bren. The office space was funded independently from the apartments. 

An open floor plan office space


Cool Lane Apartments was awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits in the 2019 and 2021 Accessible Supportive Housing pools. Additional financing included Solar Equity; Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) HOME, Virginia Housing Trust Fund, National Housing Trust Fund, and Housing Innovations in Energy Efficiency (HIEE) funds; City of Richmond CDBG-CV funds and Henrico County CDBG and general funds; Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta AHP and Multifamily Housing Bridge funds; a Virginia Housing REACH loan and grant; Partnership for Housing Affordability Housing Development Program funds; and private foundation and grant funds. Cool Lane Office financing included a loan from Locus and private foundation and grant funds. 

Atlantic Union Bank, in partnership with Locus, served as the construction lender. Construction began in May 2022 and was completed in January 2024. KBS was the general contractor and Arnold Design Studio was the architect. 

Virginia Supportive Housing and project partners held a grand opening and ribbon cutting for Cool Lane Commons in June 2024.

Read more about the project, and our partnership with FCBC, in our 2021 Impact Report.

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