RICHMOND, Calif., Residents in Richmond’s Hacienda Housing Complex will soon be receiving Section 8 vouchers to move to a new home. The announcement will be made tomorrow at the 150-unit public housing complex owned and maintained by the Richmond Housing Authority (RHA).
“Officials came together from coast to coast to make this happen,” said newly elected Richmond Mayor Tom Butt who had vowed to secure housing vouchers for Hacienda residents within his first 100-days in office. “We knew this was a top priority and we all rolled up our sleeves to make sure the application and funding would be fast-tracked.”
Last March, the Richmond City Council voted to relocate Hacienda residents when complaints surfaced of the conditions at the complex, which ranged from leaky roofs to pest infestations. RHA prepared what’s called an “Inventory Removal Application,” which notifies the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of the city’s intent to revitalize the project and relocate residents. RHA submitted its draft application to HUD in May and worked closely with the agency’s Special Application Center (SAC) which provided technical assistance to the city throughout the entire review period. The final application, submitted to HUD in November, was given formal approval this January. The application for Section 8 vouchers allowing tenants to transition from Hacienda to privately owned rental units was also submitted January 16th and approved this week – a quick turnaround for a process that may have taken another four months to review.
“The residents of Hacienda were in dire need of safe and improved living conditions,” said Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11). “I am pleased to have assisted the City of Richmond in expediting the issuance of vouchers which will allow individuals and families to immediately begin finding and settling into a better housing situation. I will continue monitoring this process to ensure the timely distribution of the federal funding. On the local level, having spent four terms on the Contra Costa County Housing Authority Board, I know housing authorities can and should be always looking to improve and to innovate.”
RHA will also be helping residents living in the remaining 101 units with costs associated with packing, moving, and security deposits and has opened a relocation office to assist tenants find new places to live. “We’ll be here to help make sure the transition is successful for our residents,” said RHA Director Tim Jones.
“We couldn’t have done this without teamwork among our staff in the city, the HUD offices, Congressman DeSaulnier, and our attorneys at Holland & Knight,” said Mayor Butt.
See the full press release here.