RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — For some Richmond families, the frigid temperatures outside are also a challenge inside.
More than fifty families living in Creighton Court are without heat tonight.
Now, an area congressman is coming down hard on the agency that’s responsible.
Their furnaces need repairs, and that might not happen until February.
Congressman Donald McEachin wants to know how the agency that manages the property let this happen.
Brittny Hatcher and her kids rely on space heaters and a gas stove to keep their three bedrooms home warm. Hatcher said she hasn’t had heat since they moved in.
“It’s ridiculous,” Hatcher said. “If I pay my rent every month or whatever, I should have functioning heat, functioning everything,” Hatcher said.
The boiler pipes for her unit and 53 others need to be repaired. It’s a problem that Congressman Donald McEachin maintains should have been fixed months ago.
That’s why he questions the agency responsible for managing Creighton Court, the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
“It’s unconscionable to me that you would do something like this,” McEachin said. “You’re giving people space heaters and we all know that space heaters are dangerous.”
Since 8News brought the dire situation to the congressman’s attention, he has been asking questions. The most obvious among these is how did this happen.
“Why did you wait so long? You knew months ago this was going to be a problem,” McEachin said. “Every Richmonder knows that come November and December it’s going to be cold and yet you let this persist and I don’t have an answer to that and I think they need to give us an answer.”
Mayor Levar Stoney took to Twitter Wednesday to make comment about the heating conditions.
“It is shameful and unacceptable that some residents in Creighton Court lack access to properly heated buildings,” Mayor Stoney said. “The city will do whatever it can to assist RRHA as it addresses the current situation and works toward ensuring this does not happen again.”
Late this afternoon, 8News learned that the RRHA is trying to expedite repairs.
Originally the agency said it would take 30 days to make the repairs. Now it insists the work can be done in ten days.
But first RRHA has to get bids from contractors. Those are due on Jan. 12.
So residents are still looking at weeks before they have heat.
In the meantime, the agency is also inspecting affected units to check the temperature and ensure they have working smoke detectors.
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