This week we attended an RRHA Board of Commissioners meeting and this weekend we’ll attend the next Coliseum redevelopment commission meeting (Sat, 9am!). These two back-to-back sessions left us wondering: What does public housing demolition have to do with coliseum redevelopment? As it turns out, quite a lot.
One of Richmond’s major public housing developments, Gilpin Court, was identified by an RRHA-commissioned land value survey as high-priority for redevelopment due to its location. Following that land value assessment, our public housing authority applied for a Choice Neighborhoods Planning grant to advance planning for demolition and redevelopment.
That site sits next to the proposed TIF zone, where high-value housing has been proposed. Some of the Gilpin-area RRHA properties are within the TIF district. Some are set to be handed over to the NH Corp developers.
When it comes to redevelopment, who benefits? Who decides? Public housing tenants have a legal right to governance of their housing, but the housing authority has failed to sufficiently engage tenants in the planning process.