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Public Housing Tenants Push For Forced-Move Reimbursements

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By Peter Granitz

Some public housing residents in Alexandria who were forced to move say the city owes them money for the cost of relocating.

Sharlene Walker lived alone at the James Bland homes in a two-bedroom apartment. Because she had extra space, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority pegged her as one of the tenants who should down size, or right size as the authority calls it. Walker says she thought she was going to be part of one of the later groups being relocated. She assumed she had at least two years left in her space.

In November, she learned she'd have just four days to relocate to another housing project. She didn't have the $3.00 it cost her to move.

"I had to borrow the money to get the truck to get the stuff out of there in the time in the time frame I was given. And then go back and clean up," says Walker.

The housing authority classifies Walker's move as a transfer. Residents who transfer are not eligible for reimbursements. But those who are relocated for improvements to the housing complex can apply for a reimbursement.

Walker is pushing the Alexandria city council to assure all displaced tenants qualify for reimbursements.

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