CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – As Richmond city leaders declare a housing crisis in the River City, a Hampton Roads housing crisis leader is applauding their efforts.

“(In) Hampton Roads, we see a lot of people talking about it and really struggling with what do we do about it,” said ForKids CEO Thaler McCormick.

ForKids manages the regional Housing Crisis Hotline.

Monday alone, ForKids took 496 calls. She said Hampton Roads is complicated, and with so many cities, McCormick contends we must act as a region.

“What we have to do is collectively agree that there is a housing crisis and let the cities all make commitments on getting housing out of the ground,” McCormick said.

So how much housing do we need?

This should give you an idea.

From January through March, McCormick told WAVY there were 811 evictions in Norfolk. Today, ForKids Housing specialists found just 60 units available for rent under $1,000 a month in all of the Southside cities.

“I think we need to have a regional task force that’s really empowered to come up with solutions, and it can’t just be political leaders,” McCormick told WAVY.

The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission already has a housing assessment working group. Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck is part of that working group.

“It can’t just be the cities addressing the problem,” Tuck said. “It has to be counties as well
and with a transit system that can get people from the counties to where the jobs are.”

McCormick said business leaders and those impacted by housing needs also need to be included in such a task force.

“For Hampton Roads, the mayors really need to start this,” McCormick said.

10 On Your Side reached out to the mayors of all seven Hampton Roads cities to get their response to the call for action.

Tuck seemed agreeable, but was quick to say this is not just an urban problem. He would want to see areas such as Franklin, York County and James City County included.

We’ll continue to follow up with the other mayors.