‘It’s not going to be sexy’: RRHA CEO lays out the plan for the city’s six housing courts

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The new CEO of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority gave an inaugural press conference Monday afternoon.

On March 25th, Damon Duncan officially started his new position as RRHA’s new CEO. He previously worked for the Housing Authority of Elgin outside of Chicago.

Duncan outlined the vision for the agency, promising changes for families living in the courts.

Residents said the change can’t come fast enough.

For over a year, 8News has been following the issues plaguing courts including lack of heat, broken boiler systems, and replacing radiators in Creighton Court with electric baseboard units. 

RELATED: RRHA residents worry about lack of heat while temperatures plummet

Duncan laid down a bold and aggressive plan for the city’s six housing courts. 

“It is not going to be very pretty, it’s not going be sexy,” Duncan said. “It’s not going be glamorous.” 

Over the past seven weeks, Duncan has met with staff, toured the courts and visited with residents. Duncan has made one hire, Terese Walton who will work as Executive Vice President. 

“The units have outlived their useful life by at least 10 or 15 years,” Duncan said.

RELATED: RRHA announces new partnership that will rehabilitate 550 units

Duncan told 8News he would like to see Gilpin Court turn into new housing for families and students, adding retail space. 

He also plans to partner with Richmond Police using a $300,000 grant for safety.

“An approach to crime that’s going to provide additional patrols..visible patrols uhh within our sights that are above beyond the baseline services that RPD currently provides,” Duncan said.

As far as heating goes, Duncan reported no issues and said a preventative plan has been put in place to avoid future problems.

Currently, 40 percent of the boilers have been replaced.

By the fall heating season, Duncan said he hopes to have replaced 60 percent of the boilers.

Stay with 8News for coverage on Duncan and his changes to RRHA.

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