NORFOLK FAIR HOUSING UPDATE
*Read below for an important update on the New Virginia Majority and St. Paul's Tenants Group lawsuit.*
CALL TO ACTION
The work we have done to protect our homes is evidence of how hardworking people were suffering before COVID-19. Now, more than ever, is the time to come together to think about building for what comes next. We need to cancel rent, not merely postpone it! If you haven't already, sign our #CancelRentVA petition here.
UPDATE: Norfolk, April 24th, 2020
As many of you know, New Virginia Majority, along with the Residents of St. Paul’s Tenant Group and individual residents filed a lawsuit against the City, the NRHA and HUD challenging as discriminatory the City of Norfolk and NRHA’s plans to redevelop the St. Paul’s Quadrant.
We believe the plans -- which force every resident out of their homes before any new housing is built and doesn’t guarantee the right of residents to come back to the redeveloped area -- is another case of gentrification at the expense of Norfolk’s Black community.
As part of that lawsuit, we asked the Court to immediately stop redevelopment until a new, fair plan could be developed. We have very good news: Our lawyers have entered into an agreement with the City, the NRHA and HUD which requires the following, as a permanent solution continues to be litigated:
- The NRHA is going to give a notice to residents of Tidewater Gardens informing them that because of the Coronavirus, there is no requirement that they look for new housing, move or work with People First for the next 180 days.
- If a resident has already been issued a voucher, the time period for exercising the voucher will be extended.
- Tidewater Gardens residents can choose to move during this period but if they do so, they will not have lost the right to return to the redeveloped area.
- No demolition or new construction will take place in the Tidewater Garden’s, Calvert Square and Young Terrace areas without the City giving 21-days’ notice to our lawyers of the City’s plans. That way, our lawyers can go into court to make sure that the rights of residents are protected and there is enough replacement housing so that all residents can come back to what the City has promised to be a new, beautiful area with better schools and economic opportunities for people who live there.
- The NRHA acknowledges its obligation to properly maintain Tidewater Gardens, Calvert Square and Young Terrace and to immediately fix issues such as open electrical boxes, exposed wiring, missing breakers or fuses, gas leaks, missing or inoperable smoke detectors, and misaligned chimney/ventilation systems for gas or oil fired HVAC or water heaters. "Immediately" means within 24 hours of being given notice. IF YOU HAVE MAINTENANCE ISSUES WITHIN YOUR APARTMENT THAT ENDANGER YOUR HEALTH AND SAFETY, PLEASE NOTIFY THE NRHA AND IF NOT PROMPTLY FIXED, PLEASE LET US KNOW SO THAT WE CAN BRING THEM TO ATTENTION OF THE NRHA AND IF NECESSARY THE COURT.
- The City, the NRHA and HUD have agreed to start discussion with our lawyers to see if we can accomplish a final resolution of this case to the benefit of all parties.
For more information reach out to Fee Byrum at [email protected]
Click HERE to join our New Virginia Majority Housing Justice - Norfolk Facebook group