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RRHA Awarded Federal Grant To Help Residents

Several people stand together holding a large check to RRHA for $717,750 dollars.

Federal Housing officials were in Richmond Wednesday to announce new funding for the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. The funding is aimed at providing public housing residents with more access to job training, health and education services.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD awarded RRHA $717,750 to hire at least three coordinators who will connect residents with services that the authority says will help residents become more financially stable.

Housing authority CEO Damon Duncan said human services is a top priority of RRHA.

“We can build and do all that, but if you’re not preparing families for what life is like after public housing then we failed to do our jobs,” Duncan said.

The Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) grant was awarded to five other housing agencies in the state, but Duncan says Richmond got the largest amount.

Duncan said the money will last three years.

This is in addition to a $72,000 grant that HUD awarded RRHA in January for a similar program, called Family Self-Sufficiency.

Richmond public housing resident Charletta Byrance just graduated from that program.

“This is really big,” Byrance said. “Because for a long time there was not funds to help families. The FSS program has reassured me that I’m going to make it out.”

RRHA also received $11.5 million from HUD last month for maintenance and improvement of RRHA managed housing.

Editor's Note: This story cited RRHA's CEO as saying Richmond received the largest ROSS grant out of five other housing agencies in the country. A HUD spokesperson noted after publication that the grant was the largest dollar amount of five housing agencies in Virginia.

Whittney Evans is VPM News’ features editor.
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