RRHA plan to revitalize public housing in Richmond

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Earlier this month, the RRHA applied for a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help plan out the future of the courts.

“One of our initial focuses will be Gilpin specifically because of Gilpin having the oldest public housing stock,” RRHA CEO Damon Duncan said. “High interest in Mosby south with Mosby south being a gateway into Church Hill.”

During an interview, 8News asked Duncan how he plans to revitalize the court and fix on-going issues.

RELATED: RRHA taking steps to solve rodent problems

When it comes to rodents, Duncan said additional exterminators have been hired. The RRHA said they have been mowing the grass in areas nearby to prevent rodents.

“We’re discovering that there are a number of lots that are either privately owned or city-owned having grass that is growing tall and can be breeding grounds for rats and rodents things like that so we are being proactive,” Duncan said. 

They advise any residents experiencing rodent issues to submit a work order.

The RRHA is planning to have 60 percent of boilers replaced by October. They said the remaining 40 percent can be fixed without major renovations.

“So we don’t foresee any issue,” Duncan said. “There may be on a unit by unit basis a radiator here or some um comprised pipes or something like that which is typical.”

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

Duncan told 8News that water testing will also be taking place to make sure the quality is up to par. They will also address a mildew issue.

Evictions have been a concern for residents. The state of Virginia is a leader in the country for evictions. In an effort to lower eviction rates RRHA is working with the organization H.O.M.E., housing opportunities made equal.

“We have here at RRHA to put residents on work out agreements for payment related issues,” Duncan said. “Non-payment related issues tend to be about quiet peaceful enjoyment and being a good neighbor.”

Damon said residents should be on the lookout for a survey that would help the housing authority place residents in new units, help them move out or transition into houses in Richmond.

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