Documents Show RRHA Lacks Strategic Plan to Address Infrastructure Issues

As we enter the first winter since the resignation of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s executive director,  following both calls for action and his heavily-criticized response to heating issues, documents reveal that RRHA has changed little in the way it addresses infrastructure challenges.

Using our Freedom of Information Act partner MuckRock, we filed requests for documents related to RRHA’s code violations and heating malfunctions. Given the apparently haphazard nature of tracking and addressing reports of heating issues or other maintenance problems, the hope was that some sort of strategic plan would have been drawn up between last winter and the one just arriving.

While RRHA continues to be more responsive and more forthcoming than they have in the past, the documents the agency said do not exist may reveal more.

The general counsel at  RRHA said the agency does not have any standard procedures for addressing code violations, and does not have an index of when and where they occurred. The general counsel did offer eight individual violations that had occurred in the past year, including citations for weed growth, an unsafe structure, a roach infestation, and a faulty oven gas shut off valve.

As for records related to heating issues, including any type of strategic plan, RRHA was NOT able to offer more. A press release outlined the number of residents currently experiencing issues. Additionally, the agency said it keeps a Heat Report that monitors units experiencing issues and what is being done to correct them.

The agency said that it does not have any specific plan related to heating. Instead, they offered a five-year capital needs document, a capital improvement document prepared by a consulting firm, and minutes from a property management committee meeting.

RRHA will host a public hearing on its five-year capital funds plan on January 16, 5:30 p.m. at the Calhoun Family Investment Center. More information about the meeting, and the procedure for submitting comments, is available here.

Follow the Community Justice Network’s #EconomicJustice Project at MuckRock.