Skip to Content



Richmond Virginia’s public housing provider, the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA), has restarted evictions of its tenants for their inability to fully pay their rent, despite serious concerns of accounting errors and improper implementation of repayment plans. Even if RRHA were to be able to accurately show a person was behind in rent, is eviction the only and best option available? What happens to a person who is no longer able to keep their RRHA home?

RRHA residents who lose their public housing cannot compete for market rate units in the city of Richmond. 

Who lives at rrha?

People who live in public housing are, by definition, low-income.

In comparison, the average person living in Richmond earned much more.

The median household income in Richmond City is $58,988 according to the 2022 ACS Survey

The people who call RRHA home, and are affected by their eviction policies and practices, are overwhelmingly Black. Richmond has a long history of discriminatory housing policies that has helped create our current housing inequities.

58% Of RRHA households include children
16% Of RRHA households include someone who is disabled
21% Of RRHA residents are over 62 years old

no other options - Richmond's housing crisis

Richmond, like many cities across the country, has a serious affordable housing shortage that has only gotten worse in recent years.

According to the most recent American Community Survey (ACS) data from 2022, the median rent in Richmond was $1,192 a month. The housing website Zillow says that in May of 2024 the median rent in the city was $1,600, for a one-bedroom apartment the median rent was $1,296

This means that the average one-bedroom apartment in Richmond costs $15,552 a year. That’s 78% or more than a vast majority of RRHA household's income.

Have a large family and need a three-bedroom apartment?  That will run $2,250 per month or $27,000 a year. That’s 135% or more than a vast majority of RRHA household's income.

 Search done on 5/24/24

When RRHA evicts a family from their home it leaves them with few, if any, choices.

People who are evicted from RRHA cannot afford to live anywhere except the worst quality housing or short-term options like cheap motels, if they are able to afford anything at all. Many become unhoused.

Not only that, but RRHA makes it even harder for these families to rent an apartment due to now having an eviction on their record. Landlords regularly refuse to consider tenants with a prior eviction.

Richmond simply does not have enough housing for those struggling to get by.  

City of Richmond Strategic Plan to End Homelessness 2020-2030

RRHA’s waitlist illustrates the need for deeply affordable housing in Richmond. Currently there are more than ten thousand families hoping to access public housing, almost 85% of whom are extremely low-income.

If an RRHA tenant is unable to pay their rent, RRHA must do everything they can to keep them housed and should be creating new systems and advocating for new funding sources to enable this.  

Evictions cost money.

Evicting a tenant from their home isn't free. We estimate that this year alone RRHA has spent approximately $63,0001 on evicting 162 families (attorney's fees, court fee's and sheriff's costs) not to mention any part of the rent that would have been paid by the tenant during the process. The true cost to RRHA is likely higher.

Is this the best use of your tax dollars? RRHA is a government funded agency (through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development) and can choose to invest in rent supports for those who need them instead of removing families from their homes.

1 this calculation is made from court related eviction costs figures from HOME ( and total evictions by RRHA as documented by the Legal Servcies Corporation Civil Court Data Initiative

What should RRHA do?

  • Ensure that the rent owed by tenants is accurate though fixing faulty accounting practices, addressing failures to properly calculate resident's income, and correcting improper rental repayment agreements (ones that exceed 10% of the residents' income)
  • Spend RRHA resources to keep people housed.
  • Advocate for more eviction prevention resources.

Take Action

Tell RRHA President Stephen Nesmith to halt non-payment evictions at RRHA and to prioritize keeping people housed

PHOTO BY Taber Andrew Bain

Back to top