Charlottesville Residents Demand Higher-Quality Public Housing

March 25, 2013

Residents of public housing in Charlottesville say some of their homes are moldy, and their kids have no safe places to play.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development accused the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority of several violations, including bad financial oversight and inconsistent rent collection.

Now a citizen group, called Public Housing Association of Residents, or PHAR, is rallying to get those violations fixed.

PHAR officials claim that CRHA is not doing enough to prevent evictions in public housing or fix bad air quality. They also claim that CRHA provides bad maintenance on the homes.

"Our houses are crumbling," said PHAR treasurer Shymora Cooper. "Our playgrounds for our kids are locked. We are not allowed to use our community center without going through a five-page application. Then you can only use it for maybe a couple hours."

The housing authority says it is working to correct the issues raised in the federal review, but residents say there is no transparency from the housing authority. They say the meeting minutes are not available online.

PHAR officials are planning to attend Monday night's meeting of the CRHA to bring attention to their concerns.

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