By Amy Julia Harris.
Residents of Richmond’s dilapidated Hacienda public housing complex have been waiting for years to move out of a building that many of them called the “Haci-hellhole.”
But with move-out dates looming, they are discovering that finding a new place in a tight rental market is its own kind of hell.
“The housing authority made it sound like they were going to help us,” said Larry Demery, a longtime Hacienda resident. “But what we found out is we’re on our own to find a new home. It’s just us.”
In February, the Richmond Housing Authority announced that it had received $1 million in federal funding to relocate about 100 elderly and disabled residents from the city’s largest and most run-down public housing complex while a nonprofit developer renovates the building.
Tim Jones, the agency’s executive director, announced that residents would be given vouchers to find housing on the private rental market and that the housing agency “would do everything it could to assist residents.”
Residents say that is not what’s happening. Jones did not respond to calls or emails seeking comment.