8 Investigates

Creighton Court tenants say they're cold again

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -- Some Richmond locals say they’ve been without heat for weeks. The complaints are once again coming from tenants in public housing in Creighton Court. 

It is almost a year to the day that 8News first heard complaints about heat in the Creighton Court. A tenant who has asked not to be identified but reached out to 8News for help showed us the electric baseboard heating in several rooms. However, he says, “It's not working properly."

Last year, RRHA, The Richmond Redevelopment And Housing Authority, installed the baseboard heating after months of ongoing heating problems in the community.

A couple of tenants told 8News they don't warm up and they've been complaining for weeks. "It never been working since I got here,” says the tenant.

He told 8News he’s staying with friends when can and when he can't, he's using the gas stove to stay warm. "It's cold and as I consumer, and you paying, you should be able to live properly,” he says.

Back in October, RRHA's Interim CEO Orlando Artze told 8News the housing authority was being proactive checking the heat and making repairs in its public housing units before winter arrived.

Artze told us then, "This year we want to make sure that residents don't have to use temporary or electric heaters while the work is being done, we want to make sure the work is completed before it gets cold." 

8News was also been told RRHA hired two contractors who were ready to respond to emergency repairs. But the Creighton tenant tells us, "I haven't seen a contractor.”

8News reached back out to Artze Thursday and he immediately sent a crew out to look into the tenant's complaints. 

He confirms in each of the two apartments they found one baseboard heater that wasn't working but the temperatures inside were safe reading between 67 and 71 degrees. Still, Artze says the broken baseboards will be fixed Friday.  

He also tells us they had no record of the complaints for the two homes but there's some concern that tenants are not calling the correct number.

Any RRHA resident who has a heating complaint should call 804-780-8700. 

Artze also tells 8News, while the RRHA has been proactive in preparing for winter, there are 4,000 apartments and the systems are old.  He says they can break at any time.

Meantime, a local group called The Justice and Reformation Coalition says they've been taking calls from folks throughout the City who say they're without heat.

On Thursday, they went door to door in Creighton Court handing out space heaters to those in the cold.

They've already donated about seven space heaters to families in public housing community.  They hope to donate 50 to those in need throughout the City.

We're told Creighton Court is where most of the requests are coming from.

Princess Blanding, the lead of The Justice And Reformation Coalition, spoke with 8News about the response they have been getting.

"We have received an overwhelming response from Creighton Court area just stating that they have no heat at all. Their heating systems are not functioning," Blanding said. 

Those in need can contact the coalition here: https://www.justiceandreformation.org/contact or call 804-624-4273.

Find 8News on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.


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