Community News


Originally published in the Autumn 2022 edition of the Virginia Defender, issue 70, printed December 14. Reproduced here for accessibility and archival purposes. To find other stories in the Autumn 2022 issue or to download the full PDF, see this post. For other issues dating back to 2012, see the Full Issues page.

Staff Report

More than 40 tenants and supporters along with housing activists with the nonprofit group Virginia Organizing marched on Dec. 10 to the downtown Richmond offices of Amurcon Realty to deliver a holiday present of coal.

The company, with headquarters on East Main Street, owns Forestbrooke Apartments, a low-income complex on the city’s South Side located off Warwick Boulevard between Midlothian Turnpike and Hull Street Road.

Forestbrooke Apartments tenants and their supporters protest outside the owners’
office to demand better maintenance at the complex on Richmond’s South Side. Photo by Kat McNeal.

Tenants say the management at Forestbrooke has long been unresponsive to safety and habitability concerns.

“They treat their tenants like inmates,” said Melanie Taylor-Carden, a resident of seven years.

Kim Taylor-Carden, a Forestbrooke resident for three decades, says her family’s unit has a number of serious problems that management refuses to appropriately address, including mold, defective appliances, a large hole in the ceiling and a hole in the wall of the bathroom that allows mice to enter.

Among the tenants’ demands are that all ground-floor doors and windows be repaired so they lock, and that requests for other maintenance issues be addressed in a timely manner.

Also supporting the protest was Richmond City Council member Michael Jones (9th District), whose letter supporting the tenants was read at the demonstration.

Amurcon Realty owns more than 4,000 rental units in Virginia. According to its website, “Amurcon Realty Company markets and manages multi-family housing in Virginia, including about 4,400 units of conventional housing, tax credit properties, rental retirement communities, assisted living apartments for the elderly, subsidized rental apartments, and apartments for the disabled.”

The Defender called Amurcon Realty on Dec. 13 to ask if the company would like to comment on the protest.

The person who answered the phone said, “No comment,” and hung up

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