Ms. McQueen has been a resident of the Bellemeade community since 1970. She joined RVA Thrives in 2016 as a member of the inaugural Steering Committee.
Louise at a Glance
Years in Neighborhood
RVA Thrives Position
Steering Committee Member
I've seen this neighborhood change from being a diverse neighborhood ... When I first moved here in 1970, this neighborhood was virtually all white, but then we had the real estate dealers to come in, and they would send letters, the same as they're doing today, to us to tell us that they want to buy our homes, but during that time, they were saying that blacks were moving into the neighborhood, and therefore the value of the properties were going to go down. That caused a lot of families to decide that they didn't want to stay, that they were going to move out and move somewhere else. Gradually, the neighborhood became virtually all black.
Now I'm beginning to see that the real estate dealers are beginning to come back, and this time, they are more interested in purchasing our homes and flipping them.
Now I'm beginning to see that the real estate dealers are beginning to come back, and this time, they are more interested in purchasing our homes and flipping them. In other words, they might purchase them for a very low amount, maybe $35,000, $40,000, and then they renovate them, and then the price of the home goes way up, or even for rent. Whereas rent here used to be low, like maybe $500 or $600 a month, now it's over $1,000 to rent a house this size. That's really extravagant.