High number of unlawful detainers filed against Creighton Court residents

Updated: Oct. 25, 2019 at 5:29 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It’s no secret Richmond is in the top ten for cities with the highest eviction rate, and many people are upset after they thought 52 families in Creighton Court were being put out on the street.

“Everybody needs a safe place to stay, everyone needs a home,” Neisha Towns said.

Towns was just one of many Creighton Court residents inside a Richmond courtroom facing a judge on Tuesday. Citizens were angry at the thought that leaders with the Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority would start eviction proceedings on 52 families from just that property

“If they get evicted, they could be homeless. They could be sleeping in their car or sleeping in the hallway,” Towns said.

Several community leaders held a press conference on the issue Friday:

MASS EVICTIONS: Community leaders hold press conference following high number of unlawful detainers filed against Creighton Court residents >> https://bit.ly/2olYXRk

Posted by NBC12 on Friday, October 25, 2019

The mass evictions of residents and other issues regarding RRHA was addressed.

In a statement, CEO Damon Duncan says 52 unlawful detainers were filed against residents who have not paid rent in 90 days or more.

The court granted judgment on 35 cases. The remaining 17 have already caught up their payments.

“A lot of those are for low dollar amount. Some of them as low as $50,” attorney with Legal Aid Justice Center Victoria Horrock said.

Richmond ranked number second in 2018 for the highest eviction rates in the country.

Towns says in her case, they thought she owed over $300 but that wasn’t true. She was able to get her case cleared up.

“Somebody is trying to get people out of the way,” Towns said.

“This does fit with a pattern that they are moving people out of Creighton Court in hopes of redeveloping the property,” Horrock said.

Many people thought the recent filings had to do with trying to get many residents out of Creighton Courts for a new redevelopment project. Others say there are 91 vacant units at Creighton Court already.

Duncan with RRHA says there’s no correlation between the unlawful detainers and the redevelopment of Creighton Court.

Towns says more and more of her neighbors are being forced from their homes, she says many people just need help.

“I just feel like they have part of your life in their hands. Any given day you have this house, and any given day they can take it away from you,” Towns said.

Read the full statement from RRHA CEO Damon Duncan below:

Statement from RRHA President Damon Duncan
Statement from RRHA President Damon Duncan(NBC12)

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