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East End News

RRHA head T.K. Somanath Resigns

Many of you have written about this issue. The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority lead for the last three years has resigned effective immediately. No replacement has been named yet. This latest controversy (read: fiasco, unacceptable) with the heating issues in Creighton Court is possibly a big factor in his resignation.

From CBS 6

“Yes, there has been some lapses. I am the first one to admit we are not perfect,” Somanath said.

Somanath said RRHA site maintenance at Creighton learned roughly a year ago they would have to shut off the heat in four buildings, but senior management was not informed.
Then in October 2017, as temperatures turned colder, senior management learned those four buildings and three more had the heat turned off –with that number eventually growing to 12.

Somanath said the capital needs facing RRHA far exceed what HUD provides, and while he understands activists and residents’ concerns, he said he doesn’t believe ousting him will fix the problem.

We wonder, will the repairs to the heating really start next week and will they be enough? What’s going to happen with the redevelopment of the East Lawn Shopping Center? How long will it take to find a replacement? Will it make any changes?

Photo by Richmond Times Dispatch

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Gustavo S.Dubois2Richard RSad sad situationmary Recent comment authors

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Emory Plessinger
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Emory Plessinger

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Tanya Zebroski
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Tanya Zebroski

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Cheryl Belcher
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Cheryl Belcher

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Joshua Champagne
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Joshua Champagne

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Brian Marsh

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Seth Alexander Prestwidge Barch
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Seth Alexander Prestwidge Barch

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Sandra Lubbers
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Sandra Lubbers

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Deb'orah Colgin

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Danny Morrow

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Michael Grabow
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Michael Grabow

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Emily Klinedinst

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Martha McConnell Looney

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K
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K

Good Riddance

Will Hall
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Will Hall
SA Chaplin
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SA Chaplin

Government should not be in the housing business. Taxpayers should urge their representatives to begin the process of ending this failed experiment. The “projects” do way more harm than good.

Bill Hartsock
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Bill Hartsock

T. K. is a good man and did a tremendous job at Better Housing Coalition. RRDH is an impossible entity that cannot be tamed by any mortal. The business plan and the goals of the organization are not sustainable. We all know that the idea of housing the people in poverty in these housing units has not worked for years. I’m sorry to see that he was thrown under the bus for issues that have been festering for years. When you have housing units that date from the 1940’s and have not had proper maintenance you are going to get… Read more »

Tanya Zebroski
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Tanya Zebroski

About time

Leslie Moore
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Leslie Moore

Thank you, Bill Hartsock, for stating the housing project leadership issues more clearly. T.K. Somanath was given an impossible job. He will be very hard to replace. The City as a whole, and we as residents, need to take responsibility for seeking real solutions to this. Being asked to maintain old dwellings with insufficient funds is a thankless job, and residents of those dwellings have thus far been the only ones paying the price.

clint
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clint

Maybe the whole idea of RRHH needs to be reviewed. For the money being spent folks are really living in poor conditions. My simple math may be wrong but RRHA appears to have a budget of 65.5 million, about 4000 units under management- that is $1365 per month per unit. That is not measuring the indirect costs arising from these government run ghetto like neighborhoods. There has got to be a better way with less bureaucracy eating up the money.

mary
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mary

#4 and #7 – Right on – kudos to you both.

Sad sad situation
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Sad sad situation

I can not imagine that any competent person would be willing to step in and fill his shoes. How can we attract someone to fill this position? TK had a long successful career in affordable housing. So much so that we have buildings named in his honor. As an incredible sacrifice he came out of retirement to try and resurrect one of the least competent organizations in Richmond history. During his tenure he was berated and protested against to the point that it just wasn’t worth it anymore. How many people in public housing (who are broke) do we demand… Read more »

Richard R
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Richard R

Bill Hartsock,
Thank you for your comments about Somanath, that was some pretty succinct writing, and all done without trying to put anyone down.

Dubois2
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Dubois2

Can y’all at CHPN reprint the total expected investment in the old Armstrong development, divided by the number of units? I feel like we ought to be paying some attention to how much we are getting for what we are paying