RICHMOND (KPIX 5) — Rhonda Marshall, a resident of the Hacienda Housing complex in Richmond, recently led a KPIX 5 reporter around her apartment in the dilapidated building to show just how bad conditions are.

“As you can see,” she told us “the windows are falling apart.”

Indeed, the window won’t budge and Rhonda worries about what could happen in a worst-case scenario.

“If a fire breaks out, there’s no way I can get out of this window,” she said.

That’s just the beginning. This complex, run by the Richmond Housing Authority, is in bad shape. There are holes in the ceilings, and it’s crawling with cockroaches and mice.

At a raucous City Council meeting this week — during which one councilman walked out — the remaining members voted to evacuate Rhonda and the other tenants of the Hacienda.

“That building needs to come down and we need to build a brand-new state-of-the-art building there,” declared one councilman, Corky Booze.

We wanted to know how these evacuations would happen. The director of the Housing Authority wouldn’t talk to us on-camera but said he’s working on it.

As for the city manager, he wouldn’t return our calls.

Councilman Booze told us “the city manager has put out an order that nobody in the city talks to the press. My question is, why does the city manager want to hide?”

The city manager has suggested that money might be a problem. It could cost close to half a million dollars to relocate residents here, using Section 8 vouchers.

Though some residents still have questions about the evacuations, Marshall says she’s ready to go.

“It’s time for the building to be evacuated. That’s it and that’s all.”

If that happens, the City of Richmond would likely wind up paying for those evacuations out of its general fund.


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