Residents of Swanson Homes in Portsmouth ask for board members of housing authority to resign

Posted at 3:50 PM, Oct 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-26 23:13:18-04

PORTSMOUTH , Va. - For nearly three weeks families in Swanson Homes have been without hot water and heat. 

According to residents, the housing community started having problems right after Hurricane Matthew hit. Since then, they have been forced to heat up water by boiling it first.

At Tuesday's Portsmouth City Council meeting, speakers brought up the situation at the housing community and called for board members of the Portsmouth Redevelopment Housing Authority to be fired for not acting quickly enough.

"I believe every board member including the interim director all need to be relieved of their duties," said mayoral candidate Barry Randall. "The PRHA board did not do anything to ensure the safety of those citizens, which is paramount."

Residents echo those thoughts.

"Take them all off the chair everyone one of them got to go," said Romeeka Murphy, one of the people still without hot water and heat.

The PRHA Board of Commissioners had a specially called meeting on Wednesday night.

They were in closed session almost the entire time. When they went back into open session, they almost immediately adjourned.

Commssioners refused to talk to News 3, but interim Executive Director Donnell Brown did talk about HUD's on site review scheduled for December.

She says she does not expect them to find anything seriously wrong.

"I know I've only been here three months but I know there's not any mismanagement of money," she says. "I don't know what they're going to find because honestly, you've got to remember, we are human, we make mistakes, but I don't think there's anything to the level of removing the board."

Brown says they have moved residents still without hot water in Swanson Homes into hotel rooms until they are fixed.