Vibrant RRHA NewsletterVibrant RRHA Newsletter

Summer 2022 Newsletter

Steven Nesmith Has Begun as RRHA’s New CEO!

Professional basketball player. Assistant Secretary for the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. Lawyer, COO, and CEO. RRHA’s new CEO has had an extraordinary career. In his recent interview, though, Steven Nesmith stressed that he’s also “a regular guy who grew up in public housing.” He remembers taking part in his community’s Resident Council, and he feels “a strong desire to give back and help others who are growing up in public housing.”

Steven Nesmith

About his leadership style, he says that he’s very detail-oriented but “also a big believer in empowering the team around me, and having the confidence they will go out and execute at a very high level.” He plans to spend his first 100 days listening to employees, meeting with partners, and assessing the organization. All the insights he gathers will go toward putting together a long-term strategic plan.

Long-term is an important concept for Mr. Nesmith. He is determined to demonstrate his commitment to employees, residents, partners, and all stakeholders. There has been a lot of turnover in the past, and he wants the community to know: “I am here to stay!”

Mr. Nesmith was slated to start Oct. 3, but during the September 21st meeting his official start date was pushed up to Thursday, September 22, 2022.

“I know the Mayor and the City have some aggressive goals related to advancing affordable housing and economic development, and I look forward to RRHA being a part of that solution.”

Steven Nesmith, RRHA CEO

Spotlight on: Cora Hayes

In the first article of the new “Faces of RRHA” series, we meet RAD resident Cora Hayes. A community advocate and champion of public housing families, she tells us about her inspiration, her engagement, and her advice for others. 

Faces of RRHA: Cora Hayes

Creighton Court Update

Creighton Court took another big step toward its new beginning as a revitalized community. With Phase 1 demolition completed in July, the stage is now set for infrastructure construction. Most exciting of all, new housing units will begin construction by the end of the year. Those will be the first 68 units of new, quality affordable housing, with another 72 units to begin construction in the spring. On the current schedule, many residents will be opening their new front doors by the Summer of 2024.

For updates, visit the Creighton Court redevelopment page or call the Information line at (804) 780-4343.

Questions? Email

Creighton Court demolition phases

Gilpin Court Update

The Jackson Ward Community Plan brings people together to reach an informed, shared vision for the future of the neighborhood. Residents and community members made important contributions at June’s listening workshops, where they discussed Jackson Ward’s present and future and voted on Early Action Activities. A working group then met at the end of July to discuss the results of those workshops, plus other input from community surveys and assessments. August events included meetings for Gilpin Residents and another session for the wider Jackson Ward community. 

Opportunities to participate in the Jackson Ward Community Plan continue! It’s a living plan, with each meeting and planning phase building on the conversations that came before. Your next opportunity to get involved is the Alternatives Workshop in November when plan alternatives (such as different design options for the site) will be presented and discussed. Come to see how the vision for the project is progressing, and share your ideas!

For updates, view the Gilpin Court Redevelopment page.

Questions? Email

Jackson Ward Community Planning Event on August 18 - Lego activity

June was National Homeownership Month

RRHA celebrated June National Homeownership month by hosting a homeownership event on June 25 in Richmond’s Churchill Community. The event was a tremendous success with over 100 individuals and families attending. 

Affordable housing development organizations and lenders provided information to attendees regarding qualifications to become a homeowner, incentives for first-time buyers, mortgage qualification, and more. Attendees also toured five (5) houses in various Richmond neighborhood communities. The houses showcased the multiple styles and amenities available to affordable housing buyers.

The event spread awareness that homeownership is attainable for families who live in public housing communities.

Youth Leadership and Employment Academy (YLEA)

YLEA 2022 provided workforce training and employment opportunities for youth and young adults aged 8-18 who live in public housing communities. After a program orientation, 153 participants started their assignments in administrative and maintenance positions within RRHA, where they earned an hourly wage, training, and valuable work experience. Program participants also learned leadership, social, and household skills.

YLEA 2022 Kickoff

Congratulations to our college-bound scholars!

At our 3rd annual Open House in the Village” event, we celebrated the accomplishments of 12 RRHA scholars. The soon-to-be freshmen were joined by their families and many of the community members who gave them mentorship and support. The event highlighted the students’ achievements, and it also gave “our village” the chance to present them with essential college supplies to help them take their next big step. RRHA wants to thank the generous sponsors and community contributors for their support.

Congratulations to the students for their hard work and inspiring accomplishments!