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A Cause for Celebration: The Planet, a new Better Housing Coalition apartment complex financed by Atlantic Union Bank.

Located at the corner of Cameo and Jackson streets in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood, now sits The Planet, a 67-unit apartment complex that the Better Housing Coalition (BHC) has committed to – bringing much needed affordable housing to Richmond, Virginia. In their mission to change lives and transform communities through high-quality, affordable housing, the BHC teamed up with a number of partners, including Atlantic Union Bank (AUB), to help fund this project that will improve the lives of many Richmonders seeking a home for themselves and their families.

AUB’s contribution was pivotal in the success of this project that helps to ensure that every citizen in our region, regardless of economic status, has good choices in where they live and how they reach their fullest potential. Rene Shepperson, a Senior Commercial Real Estate Banker with AUB, worked closely on this project and has been proud to be a major contributor and friend to the BHC. “It takes a lot of friends and partners to make a project like this come together and deliver to the market like this,” Shepperson says. She adds, “it’s nice to be able to work with people that have missions and values that are aligned with ours. Atlantic Union’s purpose is to enrich lives of the people and the communities we serve, which sounds very similar to Better Housing Coalition’s mission of changing lives and transforming communities.”

The Planet’s three-story building features 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments with patios and balconies, a rooftop garden deck, community room and on-site management. In close proximity to I-95 and GRTC Pulse bus stops, residents of The Planet apartments can take advantage of all that downtown Richmond and the surrounding areas have to offer.

In naming the building, the Better Housing Coalition pays homage to one of America’s first African-American newspapers, The Richmond Planet. This periodical, that played an important role for African Americans living in the Richmond communities, was established in 1882 by thirteen formerly enslaved men. Under the editorship of John R. Mitchell, Jr. the paper continued to cover local, national and international news for the next 45 years.

The need for affordable housing in the city of Richmond is great. While the city has experienced population growth, economic growth and cultural growth, housing remains an issue for many low-to-moderate-income individuals. At the ribbon cutting ceremony for The Planet apartments, Richmond Mayor, Levar Stoney, voiced his commitment to the city. “The Better Housing Coalition and the city are devoted to two things – improving the economic conditions of our city and improving the human conditions.” He continues, “if we want a city that is always thriving, we need to be committed to what the BHC is committed to – more affordable housing and a better life.” CEO and President of the Better Housing Coalition, Greta Harris, added “most of us know that if you don’t know where you’re going to lay your head at night, it’s really hard to dream. Seeds of hope are planted and dreams are launched when you have a safe place that you call home that belongs to you.”

Greta expressed her immense gratitude for all of the contributor’s partnerships that made this project successful. AUB is honored to be a long-term partner of the BHC in serving our community, and we’re excited to continue to support them in their efforts to fulfill their mission.

Sources: The Better Housing Coalition, Library of Congress

The Planet Ribbon Cutting
Atlantic Union Bank Senior Commercial Real Estate Banker, Rene Shepperson, pictured far right.

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