Ridley Place, off Ivy Avenue and 16 Street in Newport News, is a public housing apartment complex run by the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
The city and the NNHRA, recently got a $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to transform the Marshall-Ridley neighborhood and other parts of the southeast community.
Some residents said they want the city to add activities for the kids ranging from partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club and a community pool to a playground and a gated community.
Another thing residents want the the grant to go toward?
Dina Snack, 34, a 4-year Ridley resident, lives with her daughter, Xyla, 5 and her son, Zane, 9 months old. Snack said she has not had hot water or heat since late February- early March and she just lost her air conditioning, too.
“It’s [expletive] ridiculous,” Snack said, adding she has to carry hot water from her leaky bathtub.
“She doesn’t care,” Snack said of the NNHRA property manager. “None of them care. I pray to God she’s not going to kick us out.”
When asked if there was anything the city or the grant to do to help, Snack said they could fix the air conditioning, pay attention to the residents and help out with maintenance requests.
“All they got to do is care,” Sanck said. “I heard there are only four maintenance people. Either tear it down and get all new (expletive) or you’re gonna need to hire more people to fix everything. I just wish they would fix my stuff.”
Another resident, Saudia Jones, 29, has lived at Ridley for two years. All three of her kids were diagnosed with asthma, which she said is from mold in the apartment. Jones said there are roaches and rodents in her apartment, too.
“I asked to be placed on a medical emergency list,” Jones said, adding she submitted her request two years ago and has not received an update about her application since.
In regards to the recent grant, she said she does not want Ridley to be like Marshall Courts, “half done and half not”.
“I just hope the funds are handled approximately,” Jones said.
As of May 21, there are 164 applications for public housing with 23 applicants approved or eligible for housing and the remaining 141 applications are pending, said Teresa Bennett, executive assistant to Karen Wilds, the executive director for the NNHRA.
Bennett said there is no specific waiting list for Ridley Place; it’s a combined waiting list for all of the city’s public housing properties.
Ridley gets approximately 40 maintenance calls a week with an average turnaround time of three to four days, Bennett said. Emergency maintenance requests, such as issues with the toilet, water and power are resolved within 24 hours.
Air conditioning and heat does not count as an emergency maintenance request, Bennett said.