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Cville Public Housing Residents Speak Against Possible Changes - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Cville Public Housing Residents Speak Against Possible Changes

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People living in Charlottesville public housing are speaking out about new regulations they say are putting the burden on fixing the housing authority's problem on them.

The battle of proposed changes to the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority manual continues. Those living in public housing gave the housing board an earful Monday night about changes they call barbaric.

The changes come after the CRHA received poor grades from the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Some changes include providing additional training for staff.

But residents are upset about some changes that aren't required by HUD. Those include an increase in late fees and the possibility of eviction after four late payments.

Those living in public housing say that will cause an epidemic in Charlottesville.

"Are you prepared to evict 125 people? If so, you're going to have a very real problem," said Brandon Collins, a member of Public Housing Association of Residents.

They say the number of homeless people will drastically increase and it will hurt the community as a whole.

Charlottesville attorney Jeffrey Fogel said, "What happens when somebody in our community is evicted? The city will then have to provide additional social services. What are the impact on children who are evicted?"

The housing authority says this change comes after HUD's criticism of current eviction policies.

"The HUD assessment says that this housing authority is currently too lenient regarding evictions," said Constance Dunn, executive director of the CRHA.

Other changes include raising the minimum rent for zero-income residents from $25 to $50 and charging a $200 pet fee - increases those in public housing say they can't afford.

"I'm not asking for a handout; I'm asking for a hand up. I hope those of you who have the final say will not take only my story but others as well to heart," said Marie Fisher, who lives in public housing.

The housing authority will have a work session on Wednesday to further discuss these possible changes. They expect to make a decision by May 15.

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