Revitalizing Hardy Drive

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

September 22, 2005

Hardy Drive was once one of the biggest crime areas in the city but a joint effort between the Charlottesville Police Department, the housing department, and the community is working to change that.

For years residents along Hardy Drive have complained about everything from crime to cold winters with no heat. In the last three months, a new city housing director and maintenance team have fixed a lot of the problems

"It's improving in the right direction. We've got a long ways to go, though," said Jim Ward, a Hardy Drive resident.

Violent crime has also dropped in the neighborhood according to police.

"It's much safer now because we have two beautiful patrol officers here and that's beautiful," said Ward.

Officers Joe Brown and D.E. Williams have patrolled Hardy Drive for three years.

"We've seen the improvement and we don't want to see them stop," said Williams.

As you look around the neighborhood there's less trash on the streets and a fresh coat of paint on some of the apartments.

Along with the cosmetic changes the biggest change has been the stronger relationships with the people that live here.

"We have a new superintendent who is listening," said Joy Johnson, a Hardy Drive resident.

"As we treat our residents with more respect and we give them more reason to believe in us, you end up with a better relationship," said Noah Schwartz, Executive Director Housing Authority.

The city said it's still a work in progress but progress is being made.

"We're slowly chipping away at it. We've still got a long ways to go," said Willy Forrest, Director of Maintenance.

They are committed to working together to ensure a brighter future for the residents and the next generation who will call Hardy Drive home.

The Charlottesville Police plan on keeping officer Williams and Brown stationed at Hardy Drive indefinitely.

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