Back in April, a local man sent us the above photos of the 150-unit Hacienda housing complex that was recently emptied of its residents after being deemed uninhabitable.
Squatters took over the property, he warned.
“With seemingly open arms, this derelict property welcomes anyone,” he said. “It still has water and power. People come in and out all day.”
Trespassing has become such a problem that on Wednesday, May 18, at 1 p.m., law enforcement agencies are planning to remove all squatters from the building during a walk-through, according to an email by a Richmond police lieutenant forwarded by Mayor Tom Butt.
The action comes after Reveal, the investigative journalism outlet whose reporting of squalid conditions at the Hacienda led to a significant effort to relocate all of the building’s residents, reported Friday about how “almost 30 squatters” have overrun the building.
Reveal spoke with squatters, one of whom “found everything she needed: a futon, functioning appliances, electricity and running water” at the Hacienda, according to the report.
One of the residents is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who had worked as a resident manager while the Hacienda was occupied. He refuses to leave because he believes the Richmond Housing Authority owes him money and treated him unfairly, according to Reveal.
Police have reportedly made daily sweeps, and our source confirmed attempts to rid the squatters have failed. We’ll follow this story as it develops.
The top image shows two separate photos of gates at the Hacienda complex taken in April.