Richmond’s public housing authority owes millions in mismanaged money

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The agency overseeing Richmond’s public housing is under fire for mismanaging money.

A federal audit reveals that the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority double billed the federal government, charged unreasonable fees and spent more than $6 million on ineligible expenses.

The audit, conducted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, blamed the financial missteps on RRHA’s lack of oversight and controls.

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The housing authority didn’t respond to 8News reporter Kristin Smith’s request for an explanation.

However, in a letter to the feds, RRHA CEO T.K. Somanath explained the agency is in the midst of an organizational reset, and it is addressing these challenges head on. He added RRHA will reimburse the federal government more than $500,000 and account for millions more in unsupported fees.

But will paying back the government cost residents living in public housing?

rrha18News spoke with a public housing resident named Kiarra Beards and her 7-year-old daughter.

They live in Gilpin Court and worry RRHA will cut corners to compensate for all of the money they owe HUD.

“I want to know what they’re doing with the money, taxpayers money and renters’ money. What they’re doing with the money if they’re not managing it, what’s happening to the money?” Beards asked.

RRHA is due to reimburse HUD more than $6.5 million dollars and that figure could climb even higher.

“I want to know what they’re doing with the money, taxpayers money and renters’ money. What they’re doing with the money if they’re not managing it, what’s happening to the money?” — Gilpin Court resident Kiarra Beards

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This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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