Residents in Richmond’s public housing make over income limits

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)- Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families and persons, but CBS6 has learned there are some people living in Richmond’s public housing making more than federal income limits.

There are currently 2,747 people on the waiting list for housing through the Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority.

When people apply for public housing they have to meet certain income limits.

Those limits are based on the median household income in the region.

For example, a family of four in Richmond would need to have an income of $58,300 or less to qualify.

But, overtime, that family may start making more money as their life circumstances improve.

The vast majority of people already in housing run by RRHA have an annual income of less than $20,000 a year, but, CBS6 found examples of some residents making far more.

We found 16 examples of families and individuals in Richmond making more than the eligibility income limit.

According to income data provided to us by RRHA, there are two households with two people in them making more than $60,000 a year.

The income limit  for a two person household in Richmond during the application process is $46,650.

CBS6 even found one family of five living in RRHA housing making more than $82,000.

The income limit for a five person household in Richmond during the application process is $77,000.

TeeTee Neal used to live in public housing, but said she left as soon as she started making more money.

“Some people use it as a place to get themselves together and move on,” Neal said.

Still, Neal said she is not surprised some people do not leave when their income grows.

“I don’t think that’s the way it’s supposed to work, but that’s how it goes,” Neal said.

CBS6 asked RRHA why people are living there who make more than the eligibility income limits.

Spokeswoman Osita Iroegbu sent us this statement:

“It is my understanding that U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development rules prohibit housing authorities from denying housing to residents who previously met HUD’s income requirements.”

A spokesperson from HUD told CBS6 there is no requirement for housing authorities to evict residents once they surpass the income limit.

Instead, HUD lets individual housing authorities determine how to deal with that situation.

The HUD spokesperson said all public housing residents pay 30 percent of their income toward rent.

Therefore, the higher an income, the more a resident is paying to live there.

For that reason, he said taxpayers are not subsidizing nearly as much for higher income residents.



  • Glen Allen

    What! “For that reason, he said taxpayers are not subsidizing nearly as much for higher income residents.” – I think the HUD Spokesperson has his priorities misplaced. Once the people living there exceed the maximum income level, it is no longer about them, and all about the 2,747 people waiting to get in, that do not have a decent income, and need a place to live.

  • Jenn S.

    So a family of 4 making 40k a year pays 30% rent. That is $1000 per month. Why on earth would anyone want to live there and pay that much? We make that and rent a house for less than that.

      • kitty

        Sorry your wrong…..they pay way more and electricity… if you make more you pay more… they have reviews and orientations… and they only mentioned a few residents in this article…so whats the big deal…like this is news

  • kitty

    So…what who cares at least their working… and not sitting around getting welfare…… and they do pay more money if they make more…..and they also pay for electricity… I do have a family member living in public housing

    • Ej

      It’s people living out there driving Lexus and bmws and your trying convence people that’s it’s ok just because they work you need to wake up and smell the coffee I’m all for helping people in need but when it’s people in projects with new Jordan’s flat screens and the latest gaming system while others hardly maintain with out a government handout there’s a problem you would be foolish to say it’s not news

      • kitty

        When have you been in public housing…meaning projects i have friends and no one that resides in the pj’s has a freaking BMW ..Lexus the people they have living with them own those cars not the person or persons on the lease…so don’t tell me nothing about a myth unless you have seen it first hand or lived it….but some do have cars I guess they shouldn’t have that either…if you tell it..I knock no one…it is what it is…why don’t you go to your senate and tell them how you feel not me…I was stating my opinion not bashing.. and like I said they only mentioned a few people compared to thousands getting public housing and section 8

      • kitty

        So I guess you don’t think you can put stuff on layaway or buy used…and most that got them do work …smdh you just see one side not the big picture

    • athynz

      Because THEY have the means to get a home that is not taxpayer funded and let someone else making far less than they are to get a home.

  • Me

    It IS perfectly Correct to use and abuse Tax Payers by any and all means available to the governments.
    Richmond City Government and it departments and agencies ARE corrupt. dysfunctional, and scandal ridden.
    But, that is how they have set it up to suit and it is perfectly
    Democratic, throughout local, state, and federal operations.

  • al

    Tax payer trips to casinos, lavish Christmas parties, Incentive Gifts,
    lucrative Buy Out packages for Abusers, Promotions, and Friends &
    Family Benefit Packages are all set up to accommodate and enable Government’s debauchery of Government Scandals and Dysfunctions.
    It’s the Democratic Way. “I’ll do you, if you do me and we will all see
    the benefits.”

  • Jessica

    People will always take advantage of the system rich or poor. Am I tired of seeing people not working but getting housing food and medical care paid for by taxes, of course I am. I spent four years working in a school where free meal rate was 96%. I saw the mixed up priorities first hand, but never would I give up my hard working, tax paying life for a life of poverty and fear of the constant threat of violence. I can only be thankful for my life and hope better for theirs.

  • MLee

    As a society we CARE enough to offer alternatives to give people a bit of help and a hand up when needed, and apparently, surprise, surprise, there is no reciprocity from some of these people. Obviously they don’t CARE about taxpayer subsidies, or CARE enough about the next person or family in line who needs that spot. Thoughtless and worthless, it’s all about me me me.

  • Glen Allen

    kitty – What do you mean when you say it is the people living with them that have the fancy cars, not the people on the lease? Why does anyone there have anyone “living” with them?

  • kitty

    Well most that do live in public housing is young or older women with numerous kids they can t afford or don’t have the education or drive to become working law bidding citizens.. like us …so they end up with a thug selling drugs and buying Jordan’s..flat screen TVs…fancy cars and the older ones always have a son selling drugs and buying all this stuff most in public housing ride public transportation.. I just thank god I have the motivation to want more out of life..but its not like you can just have people homeless with kids even though we don’t like it

  • Be Nice

    Why so much focus on the least of us? Or perhaps the most needy can’t readily defend themselves making easy targets! Housing Authorities are among the few entities to proudly house the most indigent citizens of the community! They could be at your do step needing , perhaps-probably some of the same help that was given to you along your journey in life! The last thing we need is more negative about the obvious! Talk about the good people that have successfully come through the programs at the Housing Authority ! And if you don’t know any volunteer it will give you a different perspective on the families trying to make it!

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