Thursday, July 15, 2010

RePHRAME Action Alert

Dear RePHRAME Members and Partners!

Please see the attached flyer and send letters and/or emails to the members of the RRHA Board of Commissioners, and encourage other supporters and members of your organizations to do the same

Please keep track of letters and emails from your organization so we know how many have been sent.  Our goal is 200 letters and emails by August 15, but it would be great to get more!

You can use the attached flyer and the sample letter below for talking points.  Remember it is best to come up with your own language so the letters from us are not all identical.  It’s fine to send the same letter to all six commissioners, however.  

Thanks and keep it up!

OK, and here is the contact information we have for the Board of Commissioners members (NOTE: In addition to these addresses, you can also send copies of your letters to each commissioner at 901 Chamberlayne Parkway, Richmond, VA 23220, but it is important to send them to the addresses and emails below to ensure they are received):

Elliott Harrigan, Chair
-          Virginians for High Speed Rail, 5101 Monument Avenue, RVA 23230,
-          (804) 864-5193 (phone)
-          President, Harrigan & Company, Inc, a real estate investment firm

Marilyn Olds, Vice Chair
-          3308 Nine Mile Road, RVA 23223, (804) 780-0498

James “Turk” Sties 
-          (804) 257-5504 (phone)
-          2703 Grove Ave Richmond, VA 23220-4310 

Orlando Artze         
-          Community Housing Partners, 100 West Franklin Street, Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23220         
-          804 343-7201 ext. 11 (phone)

Guenet M. Beshah 
-          3803 Noble Avenue Richmond, VA 23222

Commissioner J. Russell Parker III
-          Parker & Orleans Homebuilders, Inc. (Chairman and CEO: Jeffrey P. Orleans)
-          711 Moorefield Park Dr., Ste. E, Richmond, VA 23236
-          804-323-3100 (phone) 
-          804-330-7198 (fax)



Dear Member of the RRHA Board of Commissioners:

I am a resident of the City of Richmond, and I am writing to you today as a supporter of RePHRAME and the residents of public housing in general.

My concern is that residents of public housing in Richmond are required to mail their rent payments each month to a SunTrust bank in Baltimore, MD.  It is my understanding that many residents incur late fees each month due to mail or processing irregularities, and that the snowstorm in February caused hundreds of undeserved late fees to be assessed.  As a result of these unfair penalties, residents are forced to pay extra for special mail delivery options as a precautionary measure, squeezing their already limited monthly budgets. 

Unlike some other challenges facing our community, this seems like a very easy problem to solve.  In fact, nearly every other housing authority in Virginia and across the country gives residents a local payment option at either a local bank or the rental office itself.  Why is Richmond different?  RRHA could even hire and train residents to assist with payment processing, thereby streamlining payment for residents while creating self-sufficiency opportunities at the same time.

Please consider changing the rent payment policy to give public housing residents the option to pay their rent locally.  It’s the fair, sensible, and efficient thing to do.

Sincerely Yours,

_________ ______________