HUD: Creighton Court residents without heat being relocated

Posted at 2:10 PM, Jan 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-04 14:10:14-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Federal officials said some residents at Richmond's Creighton Court public housing neighborhood are being relocated to vacant units or hotels until heat can be restored to their units.

The CBS 6 Problem Solvers first brought this situation to light one week ago when we interviewed a man who said he has not had heat at Creighton Court for six years.

Bundled up in their winter coats, Sharanda Taylor and two of her three kids entered their home in Creighton Court on Wednesday.

"It's cold to touch," Taylor said. "This is no way for kids to have to live."

Sharanda Taylor shows Melissa Hipolit conditions in her RRHA apartment in Creighton Court.

Sharanda Taylor shows Melissa Hipolit conditions in her RRHA apartment in Creighton Court.

A spokesperson for the Department of Housing and Urban Development said the heat does not work in 54 units, including Taylor's home.

"It's brick cold. Could you imagine stepping on this with your bare foot?" Taylor said.

HUD said RRHA gave residents space heaters that are keeping temperatures inside the units between 66 and 72 degrees.

Yet, Taylor said she does not believe it.

Especially, with temperatures as cold as they've been recently.

"This is for me and children and it does not work. It does not kick off heat efficiently," Taylor said.

HUD said the issue stems from leaks in the iron pipes in the hot water heating system.

RRHA had to shut off the heat in the 9 impacted buildings to prevent the ceilings from collapsing as they absorbed water from leaking pipes.

RRHA said Wednesday that officials are inspecting affected units to make sure heat levels are appropriate and maintained through the current cold snap.

It's a state of disrepair that has Taylor, who cares for others as a private duty nurse, moving out at the end of the month.

"It's the projects, 'What do you expect?' I don't expect this. I don't live in Afghanistan, I live in America, and I pay bills and I pay my taxes and I'm a nurse. This is ridiculous. I get up everyday to take care of people, and I still need to be taken care of myself," Taylor said.

RRHA is working to secure bids to fix the heat and those bids are due on Jan. 12.

Contracts will be awarded shortly after and the work should be completed within 30 days, officials said.

HUD said once repair work is completed, the city will conduct inspections to make sure the buildings comply with building codes.

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