In Solidarity with Creighton Court Residents

The Richmond Education Association (REA) stands in solidarity with the Creighton Court community and the struggle for housing justice in our city. It is our conviction that housing is a human right, and we believe we must fight for guaranteed dignified housing for all poor and low-income working people, not commodified, for-profit housing under the guise of “affordable housing.” Housing instability undoubtedly affects Richmond Public Schools (RPS) students and their families, which in turn affects the working and learning conditions in our schools. Homelessness, housing insecurity, and surviving the violence of eviction are all adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). These types of traumas have been demonstrated to negatively impact children’s physical health, academic success, psychological well-being, and even longevity.

Virginia Housing has denied RRHA’s application for $15 million in federal tax credits to proceed with phase two of its plan for Creighton Court. As the Legal Aid Justice Center, Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, and Virginia Poverty Law Center have previously asserted, “the RRHA’s Redevelopment Plans will exacerbate the shortage of housing units that are affordable to households making less than 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI).” The REA opposes RRHA’s plans to reduce the number of available units, and supports demands for one-to-one housing replacement. We stand in solidarity with Richmond public housing residents who are demanding answers regarding the process through which housing vouchers were issued to residents, the amount of those vouchers, and the forced relocation of tenants in the voucher process, which can lead to separation of families and communities. The RRHA is following in the historical legacy of “urban housing redevelopment” schemes, in which “redevelopment” is codeword for displacement. 

The RRHA plan leads to an unconscionable reduction in housing for poor and low-income people at a time when rents are rising and gentrification is intensifying in our city, leading to a deepening of the housing crisis. With an eviction rate of 11.44% according to Princeton University, Richmond has the second-highest eviction rate in the country. We support the struggle for housing justice, and for this reason encourage all public housing residents and renters to join grassroots community organizations such as the Richmond Tenants Union (RTU). Furthermore, it is our conviction that the RPS community, the REA, and organized labor must make a concerted effort to advocate, educate, and organize to win access to high-quality housing for all. 

Housing is a human right! 

Adopted by the September 2023 Rep Assembly of the Richmond Education Association (REA).