RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — According to some residents and police, the man accused of shooting and killing Special Agent Michael Walter lived in Mosby Court.
Even court records show Travis Ball’s home address as one in Mosby Court. But the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA), which oversees public housing in the city, sent a statement out this weekend saying Ball — who has a lengthy criminal history — was not a resident there.
On Tuesday, 8News asked if they’re investigating whether someone was letting Ball live there illegally.
“Absolutely,” said Carol Jones-Gilbert, Chief Operating Officer with RRHA. “And if we determine that they were, then we are going to immediately begin lease termination.”
Jones-Gilbert says they have a strict screening process when determining whether someone can live in their housing. Federal regulations prevent anyone from living in public housing that has produced meth on or near public housing and anyone who has a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender.
RRHA says they have additional standards.
“We look at assault; we look at distribution or possession of drugs. We look at fraud, we look at arson,” Jones-Gilbert explained.
Those are just to name a few. They say residents are required to notify them if they allow any additional people to live in the home and that person must meet the same standards. If they aren’t notified, the tenant can be kicked out. They say they’re responsible for the people under their roof.
“A resident is responsible for any activity by any of their household members, their guests, or any person under their control,” Jones-Gilbert said.
But RRHA only does an annual inspection to determine who is living in their units. RRHA’s CEO says part of the problem has been funding and staffing.
“Unfortunately we don’t have the manpower to really knock on the door on a daily basis to see who’s living in these units,” said T.K. Somanath, CEO of RRHA.
He says they have taken steps to try and make the community safer.
RRHA says they will kick out residents who allow criminals to live in their homes. They say they’ve also worked with police to try and make the communities safer.
“We have implemented monthly community walks that our property managers conduct in addition to the Richmond Police Department,” said Jones-Gilbert.
As for the future, the housing authority says they’re hoping to develop better relationships with residents so people feel more comfortable telling them about individuals that should not be living in their community.
“Empowering the residents in these communities to really kind of take charge of their front doors and back doors and keeping an eye on the kids,” Somanath said.
RRHA also says that most of the people arrested for violence in Mosby Court recently have not been residents of that community.