On January 1, 2019, RRHA began offering a newly updated version of its Dwelling Lease to all new low-income public housing (LIPH) families. RRHA will now begin offering the new Dwelling Lease to all existing LIPH families. Each existing LIPH family will be offered a new Dwelling Lease for signature at annual re-certification appointments beginning October 1, 2019.
CLICK HERE to review the revised Dwelling Lease. All changes from the previous version of the Dwelling Lease are indicated in red.
Background. On July 10, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia approved a final settlement agreement in a lawsuit called Miles, et al. v. Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (3:17-cv-00160.JAG). As part of the settlement agreement, RRHA agreed to revise its Lease to reflect certain changes concerning (i) the definition of “rent,” (ii) how excess utilities charges are assessed, and (iii) reasonable accommodations for elderly or disabled residents.
The changes to the Lease more clearly explain the utility allowance and how families may be charged for excess utilities. The definition of “Rent” is changed to distinguish rent from other charges, like maintenance fees. The revised Lease also states that families have a right to request relief from excess utilities as a reasonable accommodation if a member of the family is elderly or disabled. Finally, the revisions clarify the order in which each of a family’s payments is applied to any rent or non-rent charges.
Families may wish to seek legal counsel about how the new Dwelling Lease affects their rights as an RRHA tenant. Contact information for the Richmond office of the Legal Aid Justice Center is as follows:
Legal Aid Justice Center
123 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219