RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — After decades of debate on how to redevelop one of the city’s oldest public housing developments, the City Council unanimously opted to approve a plan to reconstruct Creighton Court in the East End.
While the plan to redevelop up to 700 housing units may soon embark, the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority say completion could stretch well into the next decade.
“This project has been a long time coming,” a spokesperson for RRHA Angela Fountain said before council members voted on the plan Monday night.
Billed as a project to create mixed-income units on 38 acres, council did readdress the long-asked question and concern about where current tenants would live as the project unfolds.
Responding to this concern, Council President Cynthia Newbille said officials signed a pact of a ‘tenant’s bill of rights,’ “to ensure that there would be no tenant displaced as a result of the transformation of our public housing in Creighton Court.“
Fountain said Creighton Court, built in 1953, will be replaced in ‘phases.’ Phase ‘A’ is expected to be done in 2024 with 192 units; nearly 90 are currently occupied.
What about the remaining two phases of 504 units?
“We anticipate the entirety of Creighton to be completed by 2038,” Fountain said.
A lengthy timeline, giving residents more time to consider their options—including housing vouchers.
“Our plan will accommodate every single Creighton resident regardless of their choice,” Fountain said.
During an informal meeting prior to the City Council’s formal meeting Monday, Mayor Levar Stoney proposed spending $6.8 million toward the first phase of this project–funding from the city’s $155 million awarded from the federal American Rescue Plan.
After Creighton Court plans begin, Fountain said RRHA will set their eyes on Gilpin Court in the north side for redevelopment, though the scope of plans there are unknown.