Message from the CEO
There is light at the end of the tunnel! A new year signals renewal and a fresh outlook.
Although the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) faces challenges, rest assured that we have the ability to meet and overcome them.
As we move forward into 2022, we do so with a plan, purpose, and compassion. We have resumed lease enforcement but continue to apply for rent relief funds on behalf of public housing families that remain behind.
Our Choice Grant planning partnership for the Jackson Ward community is progressing as RRHA, along with the City of Richmond and the Richmond Health District, connect with various stakeholder groups in the decision-making process.
Through our reimagining efforts, public housing families will soon be able to utilize kiosks as specialized workstations to apply for housing, request services, and complete required administrative processes such as annual recertifications. The maintenance work order process is also being streamlined to address work orders quickly and efficiently.
The implementation of these and other processes and procedures are basic to RRHA’s obligation of providing safe, decent, and affordable housing. We continue to walk toward the light. Welcome to 2022!
Stacey Daniels-Fayson, Interim CEO
Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority
We won the grant! Now the work begins!
Community Planning for Gilpin Court & Jackson Ward Neighborhood
Last November, Richmond was one of eight cities in the U.S. to receive a 2021 HUD Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) Planning Grant. The funds will be used to explore land use, housing, community engagement, and other strategies to reach an informed, shared vision for the future of Jackson Ward and the redevelopment of Gilpin Court.
Read the press release at rrha.info/cni-grant
RRHA is partnering with the City of Richmond to begin Phase 1 of this community-driven plan, bringing together Gilpin Court residents and Jackson Ward community members to debate and develop strategies that will revitalize distressed public housing and address the challenges in the surrounding neighborhood. A web page dedicated to the project will soon be published on RRHA.com with important meeting dates and information, including multiple ways for interested residents to participate in the process.
Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) is an affordable housing initiative that converts a public housing property to a project-based voucher platform. The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program provides predictable, stable rental assistance to qualified tenants while ensuring that the housing units remain permanently affordable to low-income households.
Learn more at rrha.com/housing/hcvp and hud.gov/RAD
RAD Transformations Are Underway
Restoration and revitalization of historic Richmond area apartment complexes Afton, Bainbridge, Fulton, Randolph, and Stovall kicked off last fall. These former-RRHA properties were built 40-50 years ago, with no major rehabilitation since their original construction. The planned upgrades include many amenities not previously available to residents, including central air conditioning, dishwashers, and washers and dryers. To ease the transition, relocation preparation is being conducted with the families living at these properties by J&G Workforce Development Services.
The first group of residents has already returned to their newly renovated units in Afton, Bainbridge, and Stovall! Recently renovated units in Afton include new flooring, cabinets, countertops, and appliances
RAD Success Story
Through a RAD property conversion, Thomas West, a Maintenance Specialist with RRHA, has a new title to add to his resume: homeowner!
A former resident of Whitcomb Court and Randolph Court, West worked with The Michaels Organization, RRHA’s development partner, to facilitate his move out of Randolph Court to become a first-time homeowner. Using compensation available to him through the RAD program, West purchased his first home.
In RRHA’s November 2021 Employee VIBE newsletter, West is quoted as saying, “I love the entire home but the one thing that I love and appreciate is having a place for my wife and family to be comfortable and call their own. This is something that I always wanted to provide as a husband and father.”
Job Search Assistance
J&G Workforce Development Services, in partnership with RRHA, hosted several hiring events in the fall. Nearly 300 residents attended these events, designed to assist people with finding jobs or job training. Additional hiring events for early 2022 will be scheduled as COVID restrictions ease.
Contact J&G to learn how they can assist you in your job search or training needs: 804-251-4363
Hillside Court Playground Renovation
Completed last year, the custom mural at Hillside Court was dedicated on November 20.
The basketball court is the first phase of a $600,000 renovation of the playground in Hillside Court. The second phase, to be completed in spring 2022, will include a new children’s playground, a walking trail with exercise stops, a rope tunnel, a mini-soccer field and volleyball court, an educational site, picnic tables, and other amenities. The playground renovation will create a safe place for children and families to play, learn and heal; serve as a place of respite for parents; and provide a place for overall community building.
More than 50 RRHA residents pitched in to help design and paint the mural that was created by Richmond muralist Hamilton Glass.
The mural covers the entire concrete pad of the Hillside basketball court.
Volunteers invested 50 hours to paint the custom mural that includes Hillside Court’s hawk mascot.
300 gallons of paint
The 300 gallons of paint used to create the rainbow-style design were donated by Sherwin-Williams.
Lease Enforcement Resumed: Resident Support Available
$4,500,000 in VA Rent Relief approved as of 2/1/2022
RRHA has worked to minimize the number of lease enforcement actions by reaching out to residents who are behind in their rent and offering repayment agreements, services, and resources to bring their accounts current and stay housed.
Learn more about RRHA’s efforts since November 2020 at rrha.info/lease-enforcement
RRHA continues to apply for rent relief on behalf of families who are 31 days or more behind in their rent. During March and April, volunteer groups will be assisting RRHA in helping families fill out applications to receive rent relief. Families that still require assistance are encouraged to reach out to their property management office.