Richmond public housing residents will file a complaint with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development about deplorable conditions at the Hacienda development, according to a report from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
An Oakland law firm is helping residents file the complaint. Hacienda tenants accuse the Richmond Housing Authority of ignoring repeated pleas for improvements. Their concerns became public following a series of articles from CIR reporter Amy Julia Harris that accused the Richmond Housing Authority of gross mismanagement.
The housing authority will have 180 days to respond to the complaint and Richmond public housing tenants can sue if they aren’t satisfied with the response, CIR reported.
City officials acknowledged problems at Hacienda, saying the building likely needs to be torn down, but they defended their housing authority and questioned Harris’ reporting. Councilman Tom Butt argued that Harris’ articles were sensational and based upon old facts.
Even so, Harris’ reporting prompted City Manager Bill Lindsay to release a plan to address public housing issues. The plan includes the possibility of tearing down the Hacienda and moving residents to developments in the city that are slated for significant renovation.