Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Abandoned Housing on a Mass Scale

"Watch for Children Playing" says the crooked sign.

These are the North Ridge Apartments, which had subsidized rent, near Highland Park in North Richmond. I cannot find how long the 114 unit apartment complex has been closed, or for what reason. The only search result was a court case, where a tenant didn't pay rent because she was attempting to leave:

"she desired to terminate her lease . . . due to her fear of crime and because she did not feel safe in the premises." ...during the tenancy, "she became aware of drug sales and criminal activity in and around the apartment building." She said her "car was vandalized and broken into while parked on plaintiff's premises provided for tenant parking."
In addition, she testified that "[o]ther tenants were unruly and threatening, and left trash in hallways which were common areas" of the three-floor, six-apartment building. Also, she said "[d]og litter was . . . found in the hallways." She complained that "[o]ther tenants regularly propped open the [building's] security door, allowing unauthorized persons into the common hallways."

The problems of immense poverty are stark. What is the response from business and the government? Abandon more of the deperately needed, scarce low- income housing, and leave it as a wasteland in the community.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Richmond and went to VCU. I used to pass by this place all the time. It was most likely closed down to stop the drug houses.

Just to comment on the gravity of these photos - I used to feel sorry for the Northside until we bought a house there. I thought the Northside was just ignored by Richmond because it was poor and black. In the 3 years we were there I saw the real problem - the breakdown of the family and drugs. There are tons of single moms, getting pregnant with some guy who rolls by in a caddie, gives birth on drugs, and then feeds her baby Doritos and rap music. Daddies, if they even stick around, are in jail.

A sixteen year old kid was shot dead in the broad daylight a few houses from ours when we were home. Over territory. These people, who are superficial when young, drugged up when middle aged and homeless when old, reap what they sow. Therefore, the powers in Richmond will continue to ignore them, close down their housing and push them into places like Gilpin court while PM brings in jobs. As sad as it is to see the dichotomy, Richmond would be a complete dump today if it weren't for Wachovia, PM and VCU.

I've been to India, and saw true poverty, where people literally live and die on the street and are kept in squalor by the higher powers by a caste system. The people of Richmond, despite what they say, do have a choice compared to billions of people on the other side of the planet.

3:26 PM  

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