RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — During an unprecedented pandemic, many families in Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) communities have failed to pay their rent. However, in an effort to assist the families, RRHA contacted partner organizations for help to keep families in their homes.
With the assistance received, RRHA has been able to continue housing more than 1,100 families — equating to more than 3,200 household members.
Partner organizations like Area Congregations Together in Service (ACTS) RVA, Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) and the City of Richmond’s Office of Community Wealth Building all played a role in make sure the families could continue living in their homes.
“Many families did not know what they were going to do. Resources provided by our partners have given RRHA families much-needed assistance to move forward,” said Charles Williams, RRHA Director of Low-Income Public Housing.
Angela Fountain of RRHA said the pandemic has been difficult to adapt to and they are doing their best to work alongside their families at this time.
“Because of COVID, a lot of families have been struggling,” Fountain said. “A lot of families just did not know how they were going to be able to pay their rent. Our property management staff has done a phenomenal job of getting funding from partner organizations.”
She said the amount of families assisted is a big percentage of their total amount of dwellings.
“If you think about it, we have a little over 4,000 public housing units,” Fountain said. “Of that, more than 1,100 we were able to keep in their homes that were behind on their rent. That’s a lot of people.”
RRHA has not performed any lease enforcement for non-payment since Nov. 2019. This moratorium helped make it possible for families behind on rent to catch up, but when the pandemic gained traction in the United States in March 2020, the moratorium at RRHA was extended again.
“We are doing everything in our power to ensure that we help as many families as possible,” said Daniels-Fayson, “And we’re thankful that these resources have been made available to assist our public housing families during this difficult time. We encourage our families to use this respite to plan and position themselves to be able to resume paying their rent as soon as possible. We know these resources are not unlimited.”
RRHA families can qualify for assistance by filling out an application to show their amount owed was affected by the ongoing pandemic. Contact your property manager for more information.