Mar 25, 2024 - News

Richmond's housing authority wants to make room on its waitlists

Illustration of a key shaped like a heart.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority is cleaning up its wait lists for the first time since 2020.

Why it matters: The goal is to get Richmonders who no longer need housing assistance off the lists and open them up for folks who do.

The big picture: RRHA is the state's largest public housing authority and oversees administration of housing assistance vouchers for Richmonders.

  • It updates its waitlist every three or four years to get locals in need of housing help into homes faster, ideally in six months or less.

Zoom in: It's a critical time for RRHA to update its waitlist. Last year, city leaders formally declared that Richmond was in a housing crisis.

  • A lack of affordable housing and the rising cost of rent at all levels are among the key drivers of the crisis.
  • HUD subsidies don't necessarily keep pace with rising rental costs, which reduces the housing options for folks who use vouchers, RRHA spokesperson Angela Fountain tells Axios.

By the numbers: Eligibility for RRHA housing is based on income and family size compared to the area's median household income, which in Richmond city is $59,000.

  • 3,513 — the number of RRHA's public housing units.
  • 4,044 — the number of vouchers RRHA has the budget to issue.
  • 16,000 — the number of people currently on 30 waitlists. (Note: There could be some duplication in that number because folks could be on multiple wait lists, RRHA tells Axios.)

What's next: Folks currently on the list have until Friday to let them know they still need housing help by registering to "save their spot" on the list.

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