PHAR joined with residents in bringing a lawsuit against the CRHA to continue the long battle to stop over charging for excess utilities! Since 2003 residents have consistently been hit with high charges for going over their allotted amount of electricity. Every month at least half of all residents receieve an excess utiltiy bill. Typically more than 75% of all residents receive notice to pay for exceeding the amount allotted for electricity.
HUD regulations state that rent plus utilities is supposed to be 30% of income! Some people are paying more in excess utility fees than they are in rent! PHAR has been working hard for two years to stop the illegal over charges. Residents have had extreme hardships due to these fees, if you don;t pay your excess electric, you can be evicted, some have had to go to payday lendersCRHA has left us no choice but to sue.
We want to see 3 things happen:
- stopping charging people illegally for excess utilities !!!
- pay back the money !!!
- make good on the $50 savings bonds for those who don't exceed the allotted amount
This is a "class action" lawsuit which means that while their are many names on the lawsuit (including PHAR) the results will affect all residents who are harmed by the over charges.
Check out these news stories about the lawsuit, and PHAR sends many thanks to Janyce Lewis for sticking her neck out in the press and for being a strong voice for public housing communities!
If you live in piblic housing in Charlottesville and want to add your name to lawsuit make sure to contact the Legal Aid Justice Center (434) 977-0553