CHA board meeting
The Chattanooga Housing Authority does a very good job with its training and education programs and a good job with maintenance and repair, but it doesn’t do so well with safety, communication and the general appearance of its developments, residents say.
In the five areas surveyed, the Chattanooga Housing Authority achieved the following scores:
Maintenance & Repair84.3 percent
Neighborhood appearance65.5 percent
A recent U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development survey of public housing residents showed dissatisfaction with the way housing authority officials here talk to residents, the level of safety provided and the general appearance of the developments. So the CHA board on Tuesday approved sending a plan for improvements in those areas to the department.
There is no additional money to implement the plan, but CHA officials plan to use funding from operational and capital fund budgets as it becomes available, said Betsy McCright, CHA’s interim executive director and chief operating officer.
HUD sent the survey to 922 public housing residents and received 245 responses.
The department plans to require all CHA staff members to take customer service training.
“They need it,” said Jesse Lawrence, president of the Citywide Resident Advisory Board. “A lot of them don’t know how to talk to people. They’re rude to residents.”
To save money, CHA Board Chairman Eddie Holmes said, he hopes to use personnel already employed at the housing authority to handle customer service training.
One idea for improving safety is to apply for grants to fund more youth activities and discourage gang violence, officials said. Another is to apply for grants to pay for more security cameras at housing developments, they said.
To improve the overall appearance of neighborhoods, the plan calls for removing graffiti from building walls within 48 hours rather than several days, officials said.
Yolanda Putman has been a reporter at the Times Free Press for 11 years. She covers housing and previously covered education and crime. Yolanda is a Chattanooga native who has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Alabama State University. She previously worked at the Lima (Ohio) News. She enjoys running, reading and writing and is the mother of one son, Tyreese. She has also ...