Denied $30M in federal funding, east end overhaul project faces delays

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – In Richmond’s Creighton Court, residents are coming to terms with news that an overhaul of the public housing development will not happen any time soon.

Many saw the east-end redevelopment as a second chance for Creighton Court and the surrounding area, but with $30 million in federal funding falling through, the restart will have to wait.

“I started here when I was five,” said Jayne Harris, a member of Creighton Tenant Council. “I’m 60 now, so I’ve been here on and off 50-something years.”

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When she looks out at her neighborhood, she finds hope in a place that often feels hopeless.

“I want to see a better community where people enjoy where they live, people are happy; kids are outside playing like they should be.”

“I want to see a better community where people enjoy where they live, people are happy; kids are outside playing like they should be.”

Harris was pleased as plans got underway for the East End. Creighton Court would be replaced by mixed income housing, commercial space and other development. The project was aimed at de-concentrating poverty in the east end.

But late this week came the news that federal housing officials left the project off their list of finalists, dealing a massive blow to the project by taking away $30 million dollars in grants.

“I wanted it to go through because we need a change in Creighton,” Harris told 8News.

Earlier this year, the Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority projected the Creighton Court overhaul would take five years. Without the grant, it could take 10.

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In a statement, Mayor Dwight Jones said his administration is disappointed the project was passed over but will continue to move forward with the initiative.

Moving forward, Richmond city council will have to create a new approach to re-develop the area. Meanwhile, Harris and others wait for change to take root in Creighton Court.

7c23c9c8ebcc4eb89bf3db785a3f5792“It just needs to be better out here,” she said.

Despite the major setback, the overhaul of the east end will begin this year with the demolition of the former Armstrong High School on North 31st street.

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

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