Tenants continue to expose the rise of dangerous maintenance issues during one of the most historic heatwaves. As problems from mold to lack of central air conditioning arise, the Chamberlayne Tenants Council says: Enough!
Statement from Members of the Chamberlayne Tenants Council:
Richmond, VA–Amid record-breaking heat, tenants are left in sweltering conditions alongside the egregious acts of negligence by Red Oak and Ginter Park LLC. These issues have only grown more acute as the temperature rises. With obscenely high water bills, poorly ventilated units, and black mold, tenants at Red Oak are now also facing the harsh reality that Ginter Park LLC refuses to fix their central A/C units, often providing no more than leaky, derelict window units that make the proper cooling of homes impossible.
Months after city inspectors visited Red Oak buildings and weeks after management addressed code violations to comply with the city of Richmond, issues from mold to lack of proper central air have only become exacerbated in one of the hottest months in recent history. While deemed “safe” by the city’s standards, dozens of buildings owned by Ginter Park LLC continue to face neglect, and tenants remain unclear on the repairs that Management addressed.
The Chamberlayne Tenants Council organized a fan distribution to directly respond to the hazardous temperatures tenants are made to live in. Nearly 50 fans have been given through this tenant-led initiative to alleviate what tenants have been experiencing in their homes. However, other issues concerning mold, electrical problems, and spikes in water bills require tenants to keep the collective pressure on Red Oak management to provide professional maintenance.
While some Red Oak tenants have seen city inspectors frequent the property more and have seen increased activity around maintenance, these surface-level repairs and small gains have been primarily due to the collective power and pressure from tenants, the community, and the media. Until living conditions improve, tenants continue building power to protect one another from absentee landlords taking their money every month. CTC will hold a rally on Labor Day, demanding Ginter Park LLC do what tenants pay them to do: provide safe and adequate living conditions. Red Oak tenants call for community support to keep tenant conditions in the spotlight and the pressure strong until their demands are met. CTC calls for fellow workers and community members to show their support at the rally on September 4th. The outcome of this rally can set a precedent for tenant rights, combating unsafe living conditions, and the rising cost of in Richmond. Anyone who believes in the people’s right to live with dignity is encouraged to come and show their support.
The Chamberlayne Tenants Council, an affiliate of Richmond Tenants Union, is an autonomous tenant council made of tenants and neighbors in the Chamberlayne Avenue area. They work with a network of tenant councils to form the backbone of a broad front to fight for housing justice in the face of crises of debt, low wages, and high rent.
The Richmond Tenants’ Defense Council (RTDC) is an independent alliance of tenants and community partners who are building power to fight for the interests of working-class renters in our city. We are organizing all over the city to defend ourselves from the unfair business practices and appalling conditions that private property management companies and landlords expect us to simply accept. We believe that the more tenants get organized across the city and support each other, the more we can defend ourselves.