Rally Aims to Bring Awareness of Cville Public Housing Conditions
Dozens gathered in downtown Charlottesville for the May Day Rally Wednesday afternoon.
They marched and rallied for dignity and justice in public housing to bring awareness of the poor living conditions they say exist in the city's public housing.
"I would like for the housing authority to respect us enough to hear our voices, hear what we're saying, be involved, get our opinions," said Latita Talbert, who lives in public housing.
Advocates and those living in public housing rallied in front of the federal courthouse. Then they started marching along the downtown mall, chanting all the way to City Hall.
Those living in public housing and those who want to see change all shared their stories. They say the poor living conditions and disrespect from the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority staff need to change.
Many were there in support of a woman who was evicted last week with her six children.
"We are tired of what's going on with this housing authority. We demand to be treated with dignity and respect. My main concern is the lady's eviction; I'm tired of people losing their homes," said Deirdre Gilmore.
They also spoke out about the proposed changes to the admissions and continued occupancy policy. The housing authority decided not to follow through with some fee increases - but it is not official yet. Residents say they want to make sure they follow through with that decision.
After sharing stories, many people signed a card voicing their concerns and went inside City Hall to present it to the CRHA staff. But no one answered the door until the arrival of multiple police officers, who ended up delivering the card.
"It really is a great example of what kind of relationship residents have with the housing authority, which is they won't listen and the more we try to make them listen, the more they resist and the more they shut down," said Brandon Collins, a member of the Public Housing Association of Residents.
The demonstrators say they will continue to speak out until they are heard and changes are made.
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