Bulldozers arrive at Creighton Court for demolition
Demolition starts next week
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Construction crews hired by Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority will start demolishing buildings in the Creighton Court community next week. There were already fences, bulldozers and construction trucks on-site in preparation.
Demolition will happen in three phases. Crews will get to work next week to start tearing down the 32 buildings marked in the first phase.
Demolition of the first phase is expected to continue through August. The new Creighton Court community will expand from 504 housing units to 700 units to allow for more affordable housing.
The entire rebuild process is anticipated to take 10 years to finish. Phase one construction will start in November and is expected to be completed in June of 2023, with housing units being built through the spring of 2024. Buildings marked in phases two and three won’t start being demolished until next year.
“We all know how affordable housing is at a minimum right now, so it’s a great opportunity. It’s a great venture, you know, and we’re just really looking forward to seeing those new buildings go up,” explained Angela Fountain, who serves as the RRHA Director of Communications and Public Relations.
Phase one tenants have already been relocated. Relocation has not started yet for tenants in phases two and three.
Tenants have four options for where they can live while the rebuild happens. They can either get a tenant protection voucher, an off-site project-based voucher, stay in other parts of the Creighton Court community, or live in other RHHA housing.
“We will work with each family depending on what their needs are to get them to where they want to go,” Fountain said.
Phase two and three tenants will be able to stay in their homes until at least the end of the summer. They will have six months to relocate before the demolition of their buildings begins.
According to Fountain, “If within that timeframe some of the families are not ready, or they’re not where they need to be, then we’ll relocate them into other units...we’ll continue to work with them.”
While the rebuild will help revitalize and increase the number of public housing units available, law specialists from the Legal Aid Justice Center say the relocation still leaves stress and uncertainty for families.
“In some cases, they may be dealing with trying to figure out where their kids are going to go to school, you know, what happens to their stuff, what the future looks like for them,” said Legal Aid Justice Center Attorney Pat Levy-Lavelle.
While the housing market continues to decline, there’s the worry that some may struggle to find a temporary option, especially those trying to use vouchers.
“There’s a relatively new state law that says that landlords are not supposed to discriminate against voucher holders, but a lot of private landlords, for example, will require certain income requirements or deposits,” Levy-Lavelle said.
There will be an informational meeting on June 9 from 6-7 pm behind the Creighton Property Management office for second and third-phase tenants.
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