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RRHA Reconsiders Plans to Demolish Creighton Court

During the past three years, Creighton Court residents have participated in workshops to help design the new community that was to replace the old units. But the projected $125 million cost to replace the 506 units in Creighton is making the RRHA reconsider the whole project and take a new approach.

The Richmond Free Press reports:

Amid rising costs of construction that have pushed the price tag for building new apartments to around $250,000 a unit, the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority is considering remodeling existing units at a fraction of that cost and keeping them in place as a major element of affordable housing for the city’s poorest residents.

RRHA is undertaking a study to determine the feasibility of renovating most, if not all, of the estimated 3,300 apartments in Fairfield Court, Gilpin Court, Hillside Court, Mosby Court and Whitcomb Court, according to Orlando C. Artze, RRHA’s interim chief executive officer.

He said there could be a mix of new construction and remodeling in some places, depending on the condition of various buildings. But he indicated that the communities that thousands of families call home are no longer demolition targets. (…)

The five years it took to develop and start the Armstrong project shows that it would take decades to get all of the public housing units replaced with new buildings.

Mr. Artze said the renovation model would allow RRHA to move much faster using a mix of bond financing, tax credits and government aid while also sharply cutting the cost. Mr. Artze suggested that modernizing the current public housing might require an investment of $50,000 to $60,000 a unit, or less than 25 percent of the cost of building new units. By shifting the focus to remodeling and improving existing units, RRHA could work on 200 units a year, he said, meaning all of the units could be modernized in 10 to 15 years.

The past and future of Creighton Court

Public Housing in the East End

RRHA’s Public Housing Transformation Programs


Mark 11/04/2018 at 1:29 PM

Good. Now make everything in the new Church Hill North subdivision market rate instead of subsidized. Subsidized housing is not a solution – only a way for investors to pocket money.

Geran Lorraine 11/04/2018 at 1:51 PM

RRHA throwing community input to the wind and doing whatever they want, oh I’m so shocked…..

Lee 11/04/2018 at 3:41 PM

@ Mark – except that the Free Press article i ambiguous on several points – there’s nothing to indicate whether the new development would still be built, or how this would effect the mix of housing.

I would think, based on the tone of your comment that, given the choice between either new subsidized housing to replace Creighton Court or new subsidized housing IN ADDITION to Creighton Court, that you would be inclined to choose the former option, as it would not substantially increase the amount of subsidized housing. It’s not clear which option RRHA is considering…

SA Chaplin 11/04/2018 at 3:46 PM

Housing projects are an utter and dismal failure. The people who live in there will continue to stagnate. The “do-gooders” who want to help people are doing more harm than good. Just drive through these places. Just look at the performance of the schools near the projects. What was once temporary housing has become multi-generational. I hope the next set of candidates for city council run on a platform of getting rid of the housing projects.

Mike 11/04/2018 at 4:58 PM

And how many years have they talked talked and talked about this same issue ? Public housing developments don’t work and it has been proved time and time again in all large cities. I’m all for public housing for people that need it but not all in one development. It’s obvious when this is done, it attracts drugs and crime. Scatter them throughout the entire city ? I’m sure there is plenty of abandoned homes and buildings that could be used. The ones that the city has taken due to non tax payments or left to rot ? Renovated those ?

Paul S 11/04/2018 at 6:11 PM

This is a terrible idea. It is as if they think the condition of the buildings is the only issue with the housing projects. So much more than the condition of the buildings need to change to improve these communities.

Elie Elis 11/04/2018 at 10:48 PM

Activities such as swim team and career training would help end public housing. The people are nice but isolated I would fix up the units including landscaping and play equipment for children. Drug dealers are blind to the way out of being poor
Neglected and abused as children. Parenting classes on computer

Bee Happy and Pray 11/05/2018 at 10:49 AM

I would like to thank you Elie ELIS for what you commented .I’am feel that I’am a nice person that lives in the hood for 35 years and it is hard to just teach people to just clean there yards,stop walking up and down the alley and sleeping on abanded porches.The people are isolated with no where to go and some don’t know how.If you don’t teach meaning the( SCHOOL’S) how can they learn,FEED the children good food and education is the key.

Dave Seibert 11/05/2018 at 3:35 PM

$250k per unit???? That’s unreal. The private sector can generate these units for 100k per unit.

Creating a legacy of concentrated poverty for years to come does not sound like an encouraging thing for our City.

k 11/05/2018 at 5:27 PM

RRHA can just suck it. Seriously

Cadeho 11/06/2018 at 1:38 AM

I don’t like their design. Why destroy one of Richmond’s old roads and the namesake of the place, Creighton Road?

I respect our old roads. We have rerouted and destroyed way too many of them. Keep Creighton Road!

I like my designs better…

I hope the links work.

Cadeho 11/06/2018 at 1:45 AM

Now, I was reacting to the map… but really RRHA? These are cinder block cells… not exactly cozy for remodeling. This city is attached to its projects. I still look forward to bringing back the original grid of the “Town of Woodville” neighborhood.

Jason Bhattacharya 11/06/2018 at 12:46 PM

60k to renovate a 800sqft unit? 250k per unit? Where the hell did they get these numbers? What type of finishes are they using???


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