RRHA resident says she’s been waiting years for work orders to be completed

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond public housing residents held a protest Monday night near the Richmond Housing Authority office to demand answers over inadequate living conditions.

Among their concerns was a lack of heat for dozens of families in Creighton Court.

It’s a story 8News has been following for weeks.

So far, they have received no response from the RRHA, the group which oversees public housing in the city.

Gretchen Ross reached out to the organization’s CEO, T.K. Somanath. While Somanath was unable to speak with 8News, representatives from his office said that he is back to work Tuesday after vacation, but was unable to meet because of meetings.


8News is still waiting for a response, but so is Hillside Court resident Gracie Jackson who said she has been battling several issues in her apartment for years.

“The ceiling caved in from a snow storm, I believe it was 2014, the whole ceiling was out,” Jackson told 8News. “And it was particles falling out of it. It was mold. You could see the pipes.”

For over three years, Gracie Jackson says she has been asking RRHA to fix the ceiling in her children’s bedroom. She has filed work orders, including another one just yesterday.

Right now, all that’s holding the ceiling together is a nail, a piece of wood and masking tape.

This is not the only issue Jackson is dealing with.

“Mice here and there and I’ve been buying my own traps, my own mothballs and ammonia,” Jackson said. “They gave me a pamphlet telling me how to treat them because they are not licensed to treat mice.”

Since June, Jackson says she has found 15 mice running through her kitchen.

“They put wood under the cabinet and drilled a hole in it to prevent the mice from getting in my kitchen, which isn’t happening,” Jackson said.

Jackson also finds her front room heater not working, an issue dozens of residents in Creighton Court are also living with right now.

8News has tried to talk to RRHA CEO Somanath for over a week but we were told he’s been on vacation. He returned to work today, but we’re told he’s in meetings outside of the office. While we wait, so do residents like Jackson.

“How many tickets do we have to put in before something is done?” she asked. “Does my child have to be bitten before you resolve this issue?”

Jackson said she would move if she could afford to.

Coming up Wednesday, Jan. 17, the RRHA will hold its next Board Meeting. It will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the RRHA offices.

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

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