Lawson Companies Receives Award for Norfolk’s Market Heights Development

Market Heights is a 164-unit income restricted 100% affordable Low Income Housing Tax Credit community in Norfolk’s St. Paul’s district that serves residents at 40%,  50%, and 60% AMI and includes Section 8 Project Based Vouchers. Seventeen apartments are handicapped accessible 504 Compliant units and 80 units are of Universal Design. All indoor and outdoor common spaces exceed accessibility standards, creating a truly inclusive community.  Market Heights features high-end amenities not often associated with affordable housing including a resident clubhouse and community room, secure building access, elevators, fitness center, accessible playground, on-site laundry, indoor bicycle storage, and enclosed dog park. Apartments boast open floor plans, most with doors that open to the outside, some with balconies and city views. Unit amenities include granite kitchen countertops, in-unit washer/dryer hookups, and modern kitchens with dishwasher.

At Market Heights, Lawson partnered with Hope House Foundation and Volunteers of America Chesapeake and Carolinas to provide permanent supportive housing to residents with disabilities.  Hope House Foundation has dedicated space on-site to provide supportive services to residents with developmental disabilities and mobility impairments and has expanded support to the entire community with readiness skills sessions assisting residents with resume writing, job application submissions, and interview skills.  Hope House Foundation Community Outreach and Legislative Liaison, Grey Persons said, “Like everyone, people with disabilities want to live a life of their own design. The supportive services partnership we have at Market Heights provides a unique opportunityty to do that.” Placing a primary focus on resident health, non-profit partner Hope House obtained a $100,000 grant from LISC Hampton Roads, powered by Sentara Health to fund a mobile food pantry allowing residents to shop for fresh groceries at no cost as well as a private telehealth booth and accessible fitness center. The grant also provides on-site fitness and wellness classes for residents. The program is intended to improve social determinants of health in the community.

Market Heights is the first property approved under the City of Norfolk’s new resiliency code mandating resilient measures that apply to flooding, energy efficiency, and building integrity. The site is raised above the flood plain to eight feet above sea level. Buildings are raised an additional three feet. Permeable parking areas and building downspouts feed an underground stormwater management system that filters and holds stormwater for slow release into the city stormwater system to prevent it from being overwhelmed and flooding street level. Filtering minimizes pollution from runoff into the neighboring Elizabeth River. The site now manages 25% more stormwater due to these improvements and removal of impervious concrete.  The Elizabeth River Project welcomed Market Heights to their River Star Business program in December 2023.


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