The Jackson Ward Community Plan brings Gilpin Court and Jackson Ward residents, planning experts, elected officials, and community members together to reach an informed, shared vision for the future of the neighborhood.
Upon submission to HUD at the end of 2023, Community Plan will be a living document that will be organized and designed to act as a guide for community empowerment and a road map for continued planning and action.
The final plan was submitted to HUD on Friday, November 17, 2023. We’re thankful for our engaged community. From the very first meeting to October’s final celebration, you’ve helped us reach this milestone.
On October 12, we celebrated a milestone: the planning phase for our Jackson Ward Community Plan is complete! To mark the occasion, we turned the Calhoun Recreation Area Park into the venue for a fun-filled family event.
Get involved! Join us in developing actionable strategies to improve distressed public housing and address the challenges in the surrounding neighborhood.
These confidential surveys will collect input from residents and business owners on various topics and identify ways to address those ideas in the context of the Jackson Ward Community Plan.
The Resident Assessment includes questions about income, employment, education, health and wellness, transportation, and housing. All Gilpin Court residents were encouraged to complete the online survey or a printed version; 490 (61.3% ) residents participated.
Topic-specific groups charged with developing and reviewing content for the Community Plan. Their feedback will be incorporated into the Community Plan and guided by community input which will be collected in many ways—from surveys to large group meetings, table talks, pop-ups, and block walks.
Neighborhood Working Group
People Working Group
Housing Working Group
The planning team will provide updates on the process in a large format meeting where community members will have an opportunity to ask questions, provide input during each phase of the planning process, and engage with the design and development of the final community plan.
Smaller groups of specific populations (youth, seniors, mothers, etc.) gather together to discuss issues they face in the community and would like to address through the planning process.
Small-scale activities where community members can engage with the planning team about the Community Plan and other activities happening in Jackson Ward.
Residents and community leaders will lead small groups throughout Gilpin Court and Jackson Ward focusing on specific topic areas (housing, open space, transportation, current development, business improvement areas, etc.) to discuss items of concern, identify and suggest areas of improvement, and create a framework of understanding between residents and the planning team.
Plan Design Workshops
Interactive meetings where community members work with the planning team to generate ideas, define goals and a vision for the neighborhood, discuss design alternatives, and provide feedback as the plan develops.
Create opportunities for private and public investments in Jackson Ward to offer amenities and assets that are important to the community.
Improve outcomes for those living in Gilpin Court and Jackson Ward related to areas such as income, employment, education, health, and health services.
Replace distressed public housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is responsive to the needs of residents in both Gilpin Court and the Jackson Ward neighborhood.
Reimagining Gilpin Court
This initiative involves planning around the transformation of public and HUD-assisted housing. While centered around the future redevelopment of Gilpin Court, the planning activities for neighborhood investment will extend to the greater Jackson Ward community.
These strategies will be based on community input and may include plans for:
Market-responsive mixed-income housing and new community amenities
Energy-efficient, sustainable, healthy, and accessible housing units
Infill development and re-purposing of deteriorated structures
Improved access to workforce development, education, and health services
Several commonly asked questions may come up during meetings, stakeholder interviews, and discussions around the future of Jackson Ward.
What is the Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant?
The CNP Grant provides federal money for RRHA and the City to create a plan for:
Rebuilding Gilpin Court
Providing opportunities for residents
Revitalizing the surrounding neighborhood
Why are you planning to rebuild Gilpin Court? Why not just fix units?
Gilpin Court is not comparable to communities with high-quality housing standards. Some of the property-related issues include:
Old plumbing that needs updating on a large scale
Bathrooms without basic amenities like showers and ventilation fans
A lack of design features for mobility and accessibility needs
Inadequate heating and cooling infrastructure
A rebuild also allows for including more mixed-income housing. While traditional public housing communities concentrate affordable housing, mixed-income housing creates economic, educational, transportation, and other opportunities for everyone in the community.
The CNP is a tool to generate ideas for improving Gilpin Court, then to create a plan and start enacting it. Revitalization cannot just be about housing—it must also include improvements to the whole neighborhood and programs to support its people.
What’s happening with residents?
RRHA will hire Case Managers for Gilpin Court residents. The Case Managers will:
Meet with interested residents to better understand each household
Help with urgent needs
Provide warm-hand-off connections to resource partners
Work with residents to create goals and ensure households are prepared to relocate when the time comes
Is Gilpin Court getting torn down?
Yes, Gilpin Court will eventually be demolished. We do not yet know when this will happen, but it will likely be years from now. A variety of housing options will replace Gilpin Court, including Apartments, Townhomes, Single-family homes, and Senior-designated housing. We want your help to make the plan!
RRHA plans to submit a Section 18 application to HUD for the Gilpin Court community. Read the Aug. 29 memo [PDF] above for more information.
I live at Gilpin Court, and I don’t want to move. Do I have to move?
Eventually, yes, everyone will need to move. We know that moving can be frustrating, especially if you are unsure where you may be going. No one needs to move now. RRHA will provide as much notice as possible before households need to move, and we will work with you to relocate to a location that best supports your and your family’s needs.
If you move now (or before RRHA says you need to move,) you are not guaranteed a home in the new housing.
If you are moved by RRHA because of redevelopment, you are guaranteed the right to move back to the new housing if you are in good standing with your lease.
Would residents move back into a property owned by RRHA?
If residents relocate with the support of a Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant, they may choose to return if the tenant was lease-compliant at the time of departure and remained lease-compliant during the relocation period. The new housing would likely be owned by a partnership between RRHA and a private developer, and residents would qualify for housing as they had previously.
During the redevelopment process, RRHA will work with the Gilpin Tenant Council and residents of Gilpin Court to create a Tenant Bill of Rights. This document will lay out the obligations the housing authority will have to the residents of Gilpin, including the right to return and other housing options that will be made available.
Do I have other options besides moving back to Gilpin Court?
Yes. All residents will be given a variety of housing options for permanent relocation. One option will be returning to a newly redeveloped Gilpin Court. Other housing options may include:
Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPV): This voucher works like a normal Housing Choice Voucher, allowing a resident affected by redevelopment to receive a TPV to rent throughout the City of Richmond. Residents who would like to receive a TPV will go through the Housing Choice Voucher eligibility process with RRHA’s Tenant Selection Office (TSO).
Project Based Vouchers (PBV): Project Based Voucher units are available throughout the City of Richmond. These units have a voucher subsidy attached to them. Residents from Gilpin Court will have the option to permanently relocate to one of these units.
Other Public Housing: Residents of Gilpin Court may choose to permanently relocate to other public housing communities in the City of Richmond.
Does everyone at Gilpin Court all have to move at once? What about the community we have built here?
The current plan is to complete redevelopment in phases to avoid having everyone relocated at one time. We plan to have a relocation team dedicated solely to all of the components of relocation, such as finding a house, coordinating movers, completing applications, and getting moving supplies. We will do our best to take everyone’s needs into consideration when relocation begins. If you have a family that you need to be connected to, we strongly encourage you to let us know so that we can try to include your request in the relocation plans.
If I have to move while Gilpin Court is being rebuilt, what can I expect?
Tenants who live in Gilpin Court after a successful Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant application is submitted to HUD will be helped with temporary or permanent relocation.
Moving costs will be covered.
Tenants have the right to return to the new housing. They will be offered a new unit before it is rented to anyone else.
Can current tenants live at Gilpin once new housing is built?
Tenants who are in good standing with their lease at the time of relocation are eligible to return to the new housing. Good standing means:
Current on rent
No pests or hoarding conditions
All household members listed on the lease
Up to date with status changes reported to Property Management
Tenants who used to live at Gilpin or who move before relocation:
Will be able to apply for new housing once it is near completion and the applications become open to the public
Are not guaranteed a home in the new redeveloped housing
What size unit (bedroom size) will we transfer to when we are placed into other living settings?
Replacement units will be appropriately sized according to the number, gender identification, and age of household members.
How trustworthy are the organizations involved?
We have a team of very qualified individuals, many with first-hand experience in redevelopment and relocation. With multiple partners—RRHA, the City, OHA, and RCHD—there is shared accountability to uphold high standards. We will reflect, assess, and refine our efforts when issues or concerns arise.
Jackson Ward Projects
The Choice planning process for the Jackson Ward Community Plan is an opportunity to synthesize the many efforts around Jackson Ward. View the Story Map below or open in a new window.