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City Council Promises Fair Treatment For Public Housing Tenants

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By Peter Granitz

Elected officials in Alexandria are pushing to assure public housing tenants will be given fair notice when they have to relocate.

Hattie Thompson lived in the James Bland housing homes for three years. Last year, the Walgreen’s employee received a 120 day warning that she would need to move out. But she says she never heard from the housing authority again, until the week she needed to move. That was just days before Christmas.

Thompson says she understands why she needed to move - the city is developing the land and improving public housing. She just wants some respect.

"Please talk to us, communicate with us. Come and talk to me. Pick up the phone: 'Hey Miss Thompson, Hey Miss Johnson this what's happening.' Talk to me, that's all I ask," says Thompson.

City Council Member Dell Pepper says as the relocations continue, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority will need to hear Thompson's concerns.

"In the next phase, a lot of things that existed now won't be existing then. And the pressure will not be the same. I think they got the message we don't like this short notice stuff," says Pepper.

The relocations will continue for years as new units are built.

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