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Richmond Public Housing Authority Extends Eviction Freeze

Apartments with trees
The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority suspended evictions following public scrutiny of its record. (Photo by Crixell Matthews/VPM)

Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority is extending its eviction freeze until May 1. In a statement released on Friday, the agency said that, starting in February, it’ll waive all down payment requirements for tenants signing up for repayment plans to catch up on back-rent and other charges. 

“We recognize that some of RRHA’s previous debt collection efforts did not best position every RRHA family for success,” RRHA CEO Damon Duncan said. “This ‘no questions asked’ repayment option is designed to give every RRHA resident a chance to succeed, no matter what happened in the past.”

Duncan urged residents that rent and late-fees will continue to add-up during the freeze, and that any remaining debts could be subject to legal action once it’s over.

“We will use the next three months to implement many other accounting and policy changes which will help every RRHA family reach good standing and stay there,” Duncan said.

In a statement, advocates with the Virginia Housing Justice Program welcomed the extension. However, they raised concern over the length of the repayment period, and cautioned tenants to make sure their ledgers are up to date.

“We will urge RRHA to consider a period longer than three months,” the statement said. “For repayment plans to be effective, the accounting must be correct.”

The moratorium went into effect last November following increased scrutiny over the agency’s high number of eviction filings. Last fall, the housing authority filed more than 80 eviction cases against residents of Creighton and Fairfield Courts.  ​​​​

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