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22 comments

Spacecat 04/16/2017 at 11:43 AM

Something has to change. The current mayoral administration should make this a top priority. How many more lives need to be ruined before it stops?

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Kay9 04/16/2017 at 12:15 PM

Should the administration set a timeline for demolishing all of the courts?

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Spacecat 04/16/2017 at 1:31 PM

@#2, I believe there is an effort to do just that, but in the interim, a much higher, 24 hours a day, police presence in the courts would be one step towards making a difference.

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Emily Klinedinst 04/16/2017 at 2:45 PM

Oh shit.

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J 04/16/2017 at 4:39 PM

@Kay9 Richmond does not have the money and cannot get grant money to demolish the courts! Grant money days are over. If the public housing was not demolished in the 90’s it’s not going anywhere. DC , Bmore, Chicago, Atl , New Orleans etc all there large developments are gone. Richmond and Norfolk are like the only cities in the country still with large developments

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Dubois2 04/16/2017 at 7:22 PM

My people in NYC have such mixed feelings about stop-and-frisk, but they love living without the old murder rate, and attribute the change (in part) to stop-and-frisk. On balance, worth it.

We are a way more shooty and murdery city (than NYC) right now. That is a torrent of tragedies

We are perps and victims and witnesses when we should be real people doing real things

This needs changed

RPD can frisk me anytime they like. Why would I give a ¥#%# ?

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Kay9 04/16/2017 at 9:53 PM

@5- I’m not suggesting the city spend any more money on the courts. What I believe is what has worked well in other east coast cities with similar projects- The city should not make any plans to replace this housing. Let the market take over-developers will demolish Mosby and create new neighborhoods.

The plan-
1. Notices are given to residents, for example Mosby, that the development will be completely shut down as of April 2020. Leases for even addresses will not be renewed as of April 2019- even addresses, April 2020.
2. Beginning immediately, RRHA should be tooled to provide outplacement services to the residents to find Section 8 housing throughout the entire metro region (all counties included). Let the market solve the housing inventory. Wherever there’s money to be made, housing will be made available.
3.Comprehensive plans should be presented to the existing residents showing them schools, services, transportation services, etc. for other localities in the region.
4.Aggressive action should be taking place between GRTC and the counties to get bus lines extended.

The same 3-year plan can be used in stages for all of the other courts.

The city should be out of the mass housing business- let the market take care of the issue. Section 8 vouchers are issued- plenty of landlords, everywhere, have properties that will be filled- more will be built throughout the region.

The courts have failed miserably- we should be aggressively working, like many other cities have, in getting these places eradicated quickly. Set a date- make it happen.

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miguel 04/17/2017 at 9:15 AM

@7

the counties love to talk about regional cooperation until the subject of public/ low-income housing comes up.

they won’t play nice.

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Kay9 04/17/2017 at 9:33 AM

@8 Perhaps the general assembly needs to step in regarding regional transportation and low income housing? The counties should not be allowed to just zone it out of existence.

If comprehensive, regional analysis was done to better understand where existing section 8 housing is located, capacity, and potential (vacant) properties that could be converted to low income, productive housing units. If the population of the courts was dispersed throughout the region- many problems would be immediately resolved (crime rates, school system, generational poverty, etc.)

I certainly hope that Stoney’s administration is moving along these lines opposed to a band-aid approach of stepping up policing and attending vigils. The problem needs to be addressed at the core.

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Kay9 04/17/2017 at 9:58 AM

Why not offer the existing residents of the courts a tiered financial incentive to vacate? As we move to ultimate shutdown, the sooner a tenant vacates, the greater the financial incentive. This combined with outplacement services could be very effective at closing them down.

Once a unit is vacated, it’s boarded up awaiting demolishion.

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EastEnder 04/17/2017 at 10:06 AM

Kay9’s ideas sound very reasonable.

Out of genuine curiosity, does anyone know why Richmond city officials haven’t followed the examples of some other cities and deconcentrated project housing?

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J 04/17/2017 at 10:11 AM

@Kay9 – What you dont seem to understand is eliminating public housing will not stop drug dealing and murders in Richmond. Just look at Baltimore. MATTER OF FACT most the homicides that happen on Richmonds south side are not in Hillside Courts or on Afton Avenue. Most of the homicides have shifted to the area of Uptown and Mid City (Uptown is blue ridge, broad rock, Snead road areas and Mid City is the Midlo tpk area).

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Rita Austera 04/17/2017 at 10:32 AM

Apparently Creighton Court on Nine Mile Rd. will be demolished in the not so distant future. I was out West for 6 weeks. When I returned mid March, the old high school was gone. I was amazed how quickly that came about. I have read there will be mixed residencies there: section 8 as well as regular rentals and some will be sold to homebuyers.

It will be interesting to see how it plsys out. Hopefully will be positive.

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John M 04/17/2017 at 10:34 AM

@EastEnder – The city has been pursuing this, since the late 1990s.

Between 1999 to late 2001, RRHA demolished 440 public housing units in Blackwell. The redevelopment plan was supposed to include the relocation of the Blackwell residents and approximately 540 replacement housing units, a process which critics say was handled very poorly, and which probably sank the 2002 RRHA application for a $20 million federal grant to demolish the 106 units at Mosby South.

In 2008 RRHA tore down the Dove Court apartment complex in Northside, and the area has been redeveloped as Highland Grove.

The redevelopment of Creighton Court, one of Mayor Jones’ most crucial undertakings, has been underway for the past few years. The plan call for one-for-one replacement of the 500 existing units at Creighton, and the development of approximately 1,000 mixed-income homes (both rental and owner-occupied) at Armstrong, the current Creighton location, and along Nine Mile Road. This first phase at the 22-acre old Armstrong site will provide 256 units. The new housing will be a mix of one-story bungalows, two-story detached homes, duplexes, townhomes, stacked flats, and three-story apartment buildings for seniors.
MORE: https://chpn.net/tag/north-church-hill-choice-neighborhoods/

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EastEnder 04/17/2017 at 10:58 AM

@John M

I know about the redevelopment of Creighton Court, and have spoken to some city officials about it, and frankly, I’m dubious about the project given lack of funding, the ability to attract and retain folks who are supposed to buy in at market prices, along with some other issues.

Nonetheless, thanks for the background about other initiatives that have taken place.

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Kay9 04/17/2017 at 10:59 AM

@12 I completely understand what you’re saying. My “plan” is very simplistic at best. There are many layers that would need to be fleshed out for something like this to be successful. De-
concentrating poverty in neighborhoods riddled with bad behaviors always go a long way to reign in crime. In Baltimore, to cite your example, many public housing projects were eliminated but the residents just moved…to the countless neighborhood ghettos that exist throughout the city. Baltimore has some horrible neighborhoods where conditions are deplorable.
A comprehensive approach has to involve every department of the city. Code enforcement and property maintenance standards in Richmond must be stepped up to force owners of derelict properties to fix them, sell them or be progressively fined up to and including seizure of the property. Nobody wants the residents of the courts to be forced into substandard housing situations where the problem was simply moved.

Richmond should not make the mistake of replacing these housing units. Mixed income developments are fine. For example 20% low income intermingled with / 80% market rate units.

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Mark 04/17/2017 at 12:19 PM

Kay, I would be all in except for one thing. When the $$$’s were flush for years, educate me where that went to improve this situation. RRHA, imho has not had a very robust fiscal responsibility in the past, I think they had their chance. Ms. Goolsby ring a bell?

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Neighbor 04/18/2017 at 8:54 AM

I am not sure why we think that moving people from Creighton Court to the new development across the street at Armstrong is going to reduce the level of crime or elevate the levels of personal responsibility among the tenants? As far as the mixed income idea, who is going to get a mortgage for $250,000 to live among former tenants of Creighton Court?

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Paul Hammond 04/18/2017 at 9:47 AM

This has happened all over the country. As police face more scrutiny for aggressive policing, and have backed off. Meanwhile the thugs on the street have taken advantage of it. As police patrols go down, the murder rate has gone up. This has been the case in cities where there has been high profile prosecutions of police. They face death every day. They don’t need to face suspension and humiliation for doing their job. This is the price we pay. After so much progress, murder in our toughest neighborhoods has gone up. Even VCU has seen this affect. Sad, but true.

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J 04/18/2017 at 10:36 AM

I spoke to soon about Afton Avenue. Apparently 5 am this morning the place was like a war zone

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Kay9 04/18/2017 at 9:59 PM

@18… couldn’t agree more. The one for one replacement is a huge mistake. The goal should be to dilute this population across the Region so the concentration is broken up. Mixed income housing works but the subsidized portion has to be a small part of the overall mix otherwise, the market rates won’t work for the other properties.

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Kenneth Brown 05/06/2017 at 11:46 AM

I read these comments…… More them, dont move them, will it make a difference? Wow they way you talk these people are nothing but animals. Just break them up…. Wow …… Did you ever stay in a school system with your very best friend, that you have known all your life, spent every day with all your life… Good idea lets take one to Henrico and send the other to Hanover. Who cares

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