The following message was delivered to the CRHA office at the end of our May Day March and Rally for Justice and Dignity in Public Housing on May 1st, 2013
Enough is Enough!
We can no longer tolerate the state of public housing in Charlottesville the way it exists.
We are tired of the disrespect shown to residents by the CRHA staff.
We are tired of suffering through the indignities of interaction with the housing authority.
We are tired of being told that we are less than human beings because we live in public housing.
We are tired of going to court, and watching our neighbors being evicted.
We are tired of asking for eviction prevention strategies for months with no result.
We are tired of attending public meetings where our voices are ignored.
We are tired of attending meetings to defend our neighborhoods from gentrification and privatization over and over again.
We are tired of the barrage of city plans for dispersing our communities and privatizing our homes.
We are tired of locked community centers.
We are tired of the lack of job opportunities for low-income people.
We are tired of not accessing the Earned Income Disallowance.
We are tired of rent miscalculations and overcharging.
We are tired of broken stoves, ripped carpets, broken windows, broken and moldy cabinets, broken elevators, cracked tiles, and mold in our homes.
We are tired of poor air circulation.
We are tired of asking for a mold assessment and abatement plan and not receiving it.
We are tired of being told that there is no money to renovate our homes.
We are tired of being targeted by property managers, the executive director, and the police.
We are tired of incompetent, rude, and untrained CRHA staff.
We are tired of being treated like criminals in our own homes.
We are tired of the grievance process being ignored.
We are tired of being adversaries rather than partners with the housing authority.
We are tired of not being at the table.
We are not so tired that we will lie down and continue as things are.
We demand meaningful, dignified, creative and immediate change in public housing. We cannot tolerate the situation as it is, and we will no longer relegate ourselves to begging for scraps and fighting to be at the table to discuss policy changes that are ignored.
We want the whole table, not just a seat, and we want justice now.
We march for own dignity, and we demand justice from decision makers.
Our core demands:
– Justice, fairness, and respect from CRHA staff
– Change in executive leadership of the CRHA
– Eviction Prevention Policy based on avoiding eviction at all cost, and a moratorium on evictions until such a policy is crafted.
– Immediate survey of all maintenance needs, and a full accounting made to residents for how the needs will be met
– Immediate assessment of air quality of all public housing units and a full accounting made to residents on how this issue is to be addressed
– Renovation and Rehab of our homes without dismantling our communities
– Strict adherence to the Residents Bill of Rights for Redevelopment
– A working, fair, and honest grievance procedure
– Joint training of CRHA staff and residents on all CRHA and HUD policies
– Assessment of any and all rent overcharges in public housing and Section 8 and repayment made to residents
– An end to vague 21/30 notices regarding housekeeping inspections.
– Job opportunities for residents.
– Community Center policy that keeps our centers open for use by residents.
– An end to property managers and the executive director applying policies inconsistently, playing favorites with residents, and attempts to divide and conquer.
– A stop to all attempts to bypass, avoid, dismantle, or attack resident organizing.
– A stop to all attempts to intimidate residents into staying silent.
Sincerely, the residents of public housing and community supporters of the
May Day March and Rally for Justice and Dignity.