RRHA names interim CEO as residents wait for heat repairs

UPDATE: RRHA Board Chair Bob Adams confirmed to 8News that the organization has picked Orlando Artze to serve as interim CEO of the organization in the wake of T.K. Somanath’s recent resignation.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority is set to select an interim CEO at the board of commissioners meeting Tuesday night.

In the meantime, Creighton Court residents tell 8News they are still waiting on RRHA to schedule heat repairs.

“It’s been, it’s been rough,” said Creighton Court resident Tischica Mabrey.

Tischica Mabrey and her family moved to Creighton Court October 3rd.


“Two weeks after that my house just got very cold,” said Mabrey.

Mabrey’s unit wasn’t the only one. RRHA leadership tells 8 News four buildings total were in need of heat repairs in October. Another three were impacted in December. But the issue dates back to the spring of last year, with five buildings with pipe leaks.

After several calls to maintenance and work orders filed, Mabrey received a knock at her door.

“Three days before Christmas management dropped off two heaters,” said Mabrey.  “And I said what’s going on with the heat. Do you know when it will be fixed? He was basically like they just told me to drop the heaters off. They don’t know nothing.”

Mabrey now has four space heaters for her unit.

“This is one of my upstairs bedrooms,” said Mabrey.  “And the radiator is not working. It’s very cold. It hasn’t been on since we’ve been in this house.”

At the beginning of January, several families moved into Richmond Airport Hotel, free of charge. They were to be out January 20th. Residents say that date is now this Saturday.

Mabrey said she never even knew the hotel was an option.

“I won’t offered nothing,” said Mabrey. “Didn’t get a letter. I didn’t get an email. I didn’t get a phone call.”

This past Thursday Mabrey and other tenants were told at a meeting with RRHA that work would start January 22nd and wrap up February 28th.

Tuesday night, Mabrey said she is still waiting.

“Ain’t nobody knocked on my door Friday,” said Mabrey. “I ain’t seen nobody Friday.”

Dominion Energy told 8News this week crews will start to upgrade transformers that serve four buildings to make sure electrical system can keep up with the demand from the new heating system. One building in Creighton Court will need a larger transformer and taller pole to accommodate the new equipment.

At an RRHA Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday night, board members said that that the while the installation of baseboard heaters has begun, so far, they have only done work in unoccupied units. As a result, the organization does not expect to begin installing heaters in occupied apartments until Monday, Jan. 29.

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