Monday, March 19, 2012

Media Release_3.19.12 [Public Housing Group Calls for RRHA to Stop Further Reduction of Affordable Housing]

Contact: Cora Hayes @
and/or 804.303.5459
Additional Contact:
and/or 804.476.0756

Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) plans to request approval from HUD to sell over 100 single-family homes that make up its “Small House Used House” program, pending approval by its Board of Commissioners at a meeting on March 21, 2012. Currently these homes provide decent, stable, affordable housing for some of Richmond’s most economically vulnerable residents. Members and allies of Residents of Public Housing in Richmond Against Mass Eviction (RePHRAME) will attend this RRHA Board of Commissioners meeting at 5:30pm on March 21, 2012 located at 901 Chamberlayne Parkway, 23220 and call for RRHA to change course and halt the further reduction of Richmond’s already insufficient supply of housing for low-income Richmonders.

Since 1999, RRHA has demolished a total of 500 public housing units in Blackwell and Dove Court. To date, not a single unit of public housing has been created to replace this lost housing. RRHA now wants to eliminate the Scattered Site/ Small House Used House homes for those who have limited options. Despite its stated goal of “deconcentrating” poverty, RRHA plans to move residents out of these scattered-site homes and into larger, concentrated public housing communities such as Gilpin Court and Mosby Court. “It simply makes no sense,” says Charlene Harris, a RePHRAME member and Scattered Site/Small House Used House resident. “Why would you move people from scattered housing to concentrated housing if your goal is deconcentration?”

RePHRAME is a coalition of public housing residents and community-based organizations that works to ensure that the housing-related concerns of low-income Richmonders are addressed. In recent years, RRHA has responded to RePHRAME’s concerns regarding resident representation on the Board of Commissioners and the requirement that residents mail their rent to Baltimore, MD, causing inconvenience and unnecessary late fees. Now RePHRAME wants RRHA to stop reducing its much-needed affordable housing resources. “RRHA needs to realize that human beings live in these houses and that we’ve made our lives here,” Ms. Harris added. “They want the green light from HUD to sell off our homes, but what this project needs is a red light.”

Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority is located on GRTC Route 37 Chamberlayne. The bus stop is at the corner of Charity Street & Chamberlayne Parkway, right in front of the housing authority building.