Saturday, March 13, 2010

UPDATE: Summary of Recent Events

RRHA Resident Commissioner Reappointed with Period Since Expiration of First Time Counting as Time Served

On Monday the 22nd City Council voted unanimously to reappoint the current RRHA resident commissioner, whose first term ended in November 2007 and who continued to serve for 27 months without being reappointed. 
At the urging of RePHRAME, Marilyn Old's reappointment was changed from giving the resident commissioner another 4 years (starting now) to making the reappointment retroactive to the end of her first term (November 2007).  Her second term will now end in November 2011 instead of February 2014 (resolution is attached).  RePHRAME has already begun laying groundwork to nominate a highly qualified replacement in 2011.
This process has been an important step toward accountability and transparency in the operation of public housing by the City and RRHA, and the value of resident participation specifically.  In the process of making this change, RePHRAME received positive commitments from members of City Council to increase resident representation on the RRHA Board of Commissioners, and to work toward greater transparency in RRHA overall.

·       City Council Representation Cynthia Newbille agreed with RePHRAME's suggestions of an increased number of public housing residents serving on RRHA's Board of Commissioners. There are currently 3 open seats. RePHRAME member Ceonna Johnson is submitting her application within the month and we are seeking two more motivated, involved housing assistance residents interested in sitting on the board.

·       RePHRAME member Cora Hayes is drafting formal complaint as a Richmond public housing resident to get HUD to notify RRHA about legally mandated resident participation measures.

·       Two representatives of RePHRAME will attend City Council meetings regularly, to continue to encourage accountability and transparency around public housing issues in Richmond.

·       RePHRAME has endorsed May Day and will running a workshop on public housing issues either April 30th at the William Byrd Community Library or May 1st at Gallery 5

·       RePHRAME member Curtis Evans spoke on behalf of residents at the General Assembly February 3rd. Curtis urged a subcommittee to change Richmond's harsh policies on trespassing in public housing communities including the questionable practice of banning individuals from all Richmond public housing without clear cause.