RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, April 4, 2022 —In accordance with the guidelines of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) will close its public housing and project-based voucher waiting lists on April 13, 2022. RRHA joins the ranks of public housing authorities nationwide whose waiting lists have been impacted by factors beyond their control. Although applications will no longer be accepted for any bedroom size on any of RRHA’s 22 waitlists after April 13, 2022, the closure does not affect those who have applied to any waitlist prior to April 13, 2022.
Like other public housing authorities, RRHA is grappling with the lack of availability of affordable housing, the continued fallout from the COVID 19 pandemic and the effects of the federally mandated lease enforcement moratorium, combined with its own self-imposed moratorium. The confluence of these dynamics necessitates RRHA to take this action.
“The Agency’s goal is to minimize the impact on those in need of housing by reopening waitlists when we are able to cut the wait time down to less than six months for housing. In our public housing portfolio, RRHA has not had the number of units available to make a significant dent on that waitlist. This is due, in large part, to the lease enforcement moratorium on collecting rent,” said RRHA Interim CEO Sheila Hill-Christian.
Currently, there are nearly 16,000 persons on RRHA’s public housing waitlist (including seniors), versus the current availability of 55 vacant public housing units across all RRHA public housing communities. This was not the case prior to COVID, but with the inability to collect rent and enforce the lease, RRHA has been unable to turn the number of units that it once did, pre-pandemic.
However, RRHA is making progress on a number of other fronts to counter the lack of affordable housing. The Choice Neighborhood Initiative Planning Grant that RRHA recently received for its Gilpin Court community is among them. Planning activities are moving forward with partners from the City of Richmond and the Richmond Health District in a robust community engagement plan for residents, businesses and community stakeholders in Jackson Ward. Additionally, upon completion of the Armstrong Renaissance development, RRHA’s build first strategy for Creighton Court, many more affordable housing units will be made available in the Church Hill community. RRHA also continues to cultivate relationships with developers to provide long term affordable housing options.
For questions concerning RRHA’s waitlists, contact an Assisted Housing Specialist or RRHA’s Call Center at (804) 780-4200 or toll free at 1-833-750-7742 (RRHA). You may also email the Housing Choice Voucher and Tenant Selection Office at TenantSelection@rrha.com. Emails receive a response within three business days.