Students from Chester City and West Chester Join Together for Spring Planting of Chester Housing Authority Urban Farm
High school students from Chester and West Chester joined together to plant the Chester Housing Authority’s (CHA) newly expanded urban garden at the Bennett Homes. CHA has operated a farm on less than an acre of land for the past several years, and this expansion will more than double its size. Over the longer term, CHA wants residents to convert their front lawns and back yards into growing fields.
Despite the record cold, Chester Housing Authority residents are warmer than ever in their homes this winter and at a lower cost. The reliability and energy efficiency date back to 2007 when the CHA borrowed about $3 million to modernize its heating, electrical and water systems at its three largest housing developments. CHA now uses hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy savings per year to make payments on a 15-year loan from Susquehanna Bank (The bank won a competitive bidding process to service the loan.)
In the world of partisan politics, it may seem that elected officials grab for any morsel of power or influence they can get – all in the name of “public service.” Sometimes they get it right; sometimes – oft times- they don’t. So when there are examples of government that works just fine, elected officials should be grateful to leave well enough alone and appreciate that things are running smoothly.
Delaware County Daily Times Guest Column: Courageous women stepped up to transform housing authority
The beginning of the new year brought a significant change to Chester, the end of the federal court’s direct oversight of the Housing Authority. This event should provide both a great moment of pride for the city and a time of appreciation for the people who played key roles in converting our housing authority from “the worst in the nation” to among the best. The appreciation begins with four courageous Chester women — Yvonne Carrington, Barbara Gooby-Muhammad, Ella Thompson and the late Ernestine Tilghman — who in the late 1980s challenged the status quo and filed suit in federal court over what generously could be described as deplorable living conditions in public housing.
Wilbert L. Jarrett Sr. is a 45-year-old Parkside resident employed as a mechanic’s aid for the Chester Housing Authority. He is a married father of four. He is a Navy veteran who served for eight years. And he is an ex-convict. Jarrett served 18 months in prison for a 2008 conviction of drug possession with intent, and since his release has been working for the housing authority under a program where ex-offenders are given a job and an opportunity to turn theirs lives around. He has been a model employee, according to CHA Executive Director Steve Fischer, and Jarrett said the job has given him a chance to succeed in life.