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The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority will begin negotiations with a Boston firm on plans to redevelop Creighton and Whitcomb courts, a major step on the path to overhauling two of the city’s largest public-housing communities.
City officials have pointed to Broad Creek, which replaced more than 760 public housing units, as an example of the kind of mixed-income neighborhood transformation that Mayor Dwight C. Jones wants to implement to break up Richmond’s highly concentrated pockets of poverty, including nearly 2,000 public-housing units clustered inside a 2 1/2-mile radius in the East End and Eastview neighborhoods.
Ware noted that across from the subsidized housing in Norfolk that The Community Builders started nearly 10 years ago, new homes are selling for half a million dollars.
Though the city has committed to a “one-for-one” replacement of units, that doesn’t mean that everyone who lived in Creighton and Whitcomb will be guaranteed a spot in the new developments. Many will be moved to other public housing or receive vouchers to find their own accommodations.
The construction of Creighton Court was started in 1952; Whitcomb Court followed in 1958. The two together have almost 1,000 apartments. The last of the large scale public housing developments in Richmond was Blackwell in 1970, which was demolished in 1999.