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Investigating Richmond's neglected public housing complexes

Residents at the Hacienda Housing Complex in Richmond are finally able to relocate from the mold and rodent filled public housing units they’ve lived in for years. In a press conference held earlier this year, Richmond Mayor Tom Butts announced that the residents will receive federally funded vouchers to move into private housing while Hacienda goes through renovations. Hacienda is one of the most poorly maintained public housing complexes in a city with one of the worst housing agencies in the country. KALW’s Ben Trefny reached out to Amy Julia Harris from the Center for Investigative Reporting for an update.

AMY JULIA HARRIS: They’ve been burned so many times.' Yep we’re going to deal with all these problems, we’re going to move you out.' That was first said to them in 2009, and they said 'you’ll be out within six months.' Never happened. So I think there’s still a lot of mistrust about it, coming from a lot of the residents. Otherwise, the residents are just overjoyed or really excited to get out of there, find a new place, not have to deal with the Housing Authority anymore.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full interview.

To read more of Amy Julia Harris' reporting on Richmond's public housing,click here.

Ben was hired as Interim Executive Director of KALW in November, 2021.