Some of the Wingnut went to the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) meeting on March 21st, to support members of the groups Residents of Public Housing in Richmond Against Mass Eviction (RePHRAME). http://rephrame.blogspot.com/
RePHRAME asked for support at the meeting because RRHA had recently sent public housing residents in scattered sight homes (the more effective and humane sort of public housing as opposed to creating pockets of extreme poverty) had just received letters telling them that RRHA was trying to get approval from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to sell off the homes as they were too costly to maintain. If they were able to do this, residents would have 90 days to move. RePHRAME supports residents of public housing when they are threatened with displacement.
Many supporters came to the meeting to show that RePHRAME members are not an isolated bunch. In fact, there were so many people there that board room was completely full and some folks had to stay on the outside of the building. The RRHA office at 901 Chamberlayne was using a metal detector on all visitors, which is a new policy. We tried to ask about the policy, and when it was implemented, and got a general run around about how many gun shots there had been in that area.
We took video of part of the meeting. It was Mo’s first time filming a meeting, so its clipped into a few separate parts, and is a little rough. They weren’t sure about proper manners when it comes to filming a meeting.
The speakers bring up many good points as to why they need to be allowed to stay in the homes where they’ve been paying rent for decades (you’d think they deserve to own them outright after so many years of paying rent). The basic message from all of the people who spoke is that RRHA needs to respect the residents of public housing more, needs to communicate with the residents better, and that RRHA has a long legacy of racism and problematic policies that it will have to really move away from in order to gain the trust of any residents.
Here are the videos: