Chester Housing Authority and Swarthmore Co-Op Selling CHA-Grown Flowers

The Chester Housing Authority’s community farm has found a second line of business – flower sales. And it has found a partner to help market the flowers – the Swarthmore Co-Op community food market. The first harvest of Sunflowers went on sale in late June.

Chester Housing Authority and Fare & Square Cut Ribbon on Produce Partnership

Officials from the Chester Housing Authority and Fare & Square grocery store launched a partnership today by cutting the ribbon on a produce section featuring products freshly grown at CHA’s Ruth L. Bennett Homes community farm.

CHA Officers Awarded for Work with Trauma Victims

Two Chester Housing Authority police officers - William Cooper and Wesley Seitz - have been honored with awards from the Trauma Survivors Foundation in Wilmington. The honor stems from a high speed chase last year in Chester that ended at a CHA property.

CHA and Fare and Square Agree to Farm-to-Store Partnership

The Chester Housing Authority and Fare & Square, the city’s only full-service grocery store, have partnered to make fruits and vegetables grown at CHA’s community farm available to Chester. “The plan from the outset was to expand but the partnership with Fare & Square will yield revenue that will allow us to sustain the farm and to continue to offer it as an important educational resource to the community shoppers,” said CHA Executive Director Steven A. Fischer. The first products will be available this spring.

Chester Housing Authority Leader’s Contract Extended

The Chester Housing Authority Board of Commissioners has extended Executive Director Steven A. Fischer into 2021. Fischer’s contract had been scheduled to expire in March 2018.

CHA to Teach Elementary School Students Computer Coding as part of Summer Food Program

The Chester Housing Authority’s (CHA) summer food program, now in its third year, is adding a valuable educational component this year - computer coding lessons, geared especially toward elementary school children.

Former Chester Housing Authority Property Site of New School

An 11-acre parcel on Highland Avenue, once the site of a Chester Housing Authority development, will soon become home to a beautiful new K-12 public school, Chester Charter School for the Arts (CCSA). During a groundbreaking ceremony on a sun-splashed day, CHA executive Director Steven A. Fischer joined Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland and other city officials in welcoming the CCSA community to the neighborhood.

Chester Housing Authority Dedicates Memorial Rose Garden

To celebrate the Memorial Day holiday, employees of the Chester Housing Authority (CHA) dedicated a Memorial Rose Garden to former employees who passed away while working at the agency. The Rose Garden is located in a raised bed behind CHA’s administrative offices at 1111 Avenue of the States. During the dedication ceremony, CHA Housing Choice Voucher Program Director, Mary Militello explained the significance of the specific roses selected for the rose garden.

Chester Housing Authority’s Community Farm Recognized as Mayoral Point of Light

The Chester Housing Authority’s community farm has been recognized with Mayor Kirkland’s first Point of Light, an effort to highlight positive activities happening in the city. At Wednesday’s City Council session, Terrence Topping-Brown, who directs the 2-acre farm and its programming at Ruth L. Bennett Homes, delivered a presentation about all of the benefits the farm generates; environmental, personal, educational and physical.

Chester Housing Authority and Widener University students Mark MLK Day with Children’s Learning Activities

Activities linked to Dr. Martin Luther King highlighted the holiday Monday for children at the Chester Housing Authority’s Booker T. Washington Community Center. As their Day of Service, 20 students from Widener University planned and oversaw crafts and other activities for the kids and even served them lunch.

Feds Give Chester Housing Authority High Marks in Agency’s First Year of Independence from Court Oversight

In its first review of the Chester Housing Authority (CHA) since the agency emerged from 20 years of Federal court oversight at the beginning of 2014, the U. S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says CHA is operating its public housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs extremely well. In addition, the assessment notes the positive communication between CHA and the residents it serves.

Chester Housing Authority Accepting Housing Applications for First Time in Four Years

For the first time since 2011, the Chester Housing Authority (CHA) is accepting new applications for the agency’s affordable homes for rent. Low-income families, seniors and disabled citizens have until November 30 to fill out the online application to lease an available home through CHA.

Insurer Deems Chester Housing Authority Most Improved in the Nation

The Chester Housing Authority (CHA) has been cited as the most improved public housing authority in the nation, as determined by HAI Group, an organization that insures about 1,000 of the housing authorities across the country. HAI says for the most recent three-year period measured, CHA showed the greatest decline in frequency and value of claims compared to other agencies of its size, 500–2,499 homes. The CHA finished ahead of Hagerstown, Maryland and Medford, Massachusetts in that mid-sized grouping.

More Families Benefiting from Chester Housing Authority’s Summer Food Program

Following a successful roll-out last year, the Chester Housing Authority has completed its second annual Summer Food Service Program, serving more than twice as many meals as last year. In addition, the added attraction of refurbished computer labs at the three community centers where the meals are served helped children to keep their minds sharp during the summer season.

Chester Charter School for the Arts Acquiring Chester Housing Authority Property for New Campus

The Chester Charter School for the Arts (CCSA) is coming home to Chester, thanks to an agreement to purchase an 11-acre site from the Chester Housing Authority (CHA).

Chester Housing Authority Recognized for Anti-Smoking Effort

The Chester Housing Authority has been recognized by the PA Dept. of Health for the agency’s efforts to protect the health of children and families by preventing tobacco exposure in public settings. Melissa Maier, program coordinator for Community Health Education at Crozer Keystone Health System, presented a Certificate of Recognition signed by PA Health Secretary Karen Murphy to CHA Board of Commissioners Chair Sheila Church, who joined Executive Director Steven A. Fischer, Thurman Brendlinger of the Clean Air Council and a group of youngsters for the ceremony.

CHA Summer Food Program Focuses Attention on Nutrition Education

After a very successful launch last year in which the Chester Housing Authority served 5,700 meals to local young people, the agency resumed its summer food program this week with an education component.

Chester Housing Authority Creating Blueberry Fields Forever

Beginning in July and through mid-August everything will be coming up blueberries at the Chester Housing Authority. CHA staff and residents spent part of Earth Day April 22 planting the agency’s newly expanded – and now two acre - urban farm for the 2015 harvest. In all, 85 blueberry bushes of four different varieties were planted: Elliot, Pink Lemonade, North Country and Duke.

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.

Chester Housing Authority Residents are Feeling the Heat

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.)

Federal Judge ends 20-year Receivership of Chester Housing Authority

Citing a dramatic improvement in performance in recent years, U. S. Judge Norma L. Shapiro has issued an order ending the federal court’s oversight of the Chester Housing Authority (CHA) after 20 years. CHA had been the only remaining housing authority in the nation overseen by a federal judge. CHA tenants filed suit in the late 1980’s against the deplorable conditions under which many public housing residents lived. The suit led to a takeover of the authority by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). When HUD was unsuccessful in producing needed changes, it asked Judge Shapiro to assume oversight herself in June 1994.

Ex-offender Making Most of his Second Chance with Chester Housing Authority

Wilbert Jarrett has a lot to be grateful for - a wife and four children who love him, and for the past nearly five years a job with the Chester Housing Authority. Life didn’t seem quite as rosy several years ago when the Chester High grad was convicted for drug possession and sent to prison. But while living in a halfway house after his release, he applied for an assistant mechanic position and was hired at CHA. “A guy makes a mistake; that doesn’t mean we write him off,” said CHA Executive Director Steven Fischer. “People hear the word ‘incarceration’ and they get scared. It is not fair that you make one mistake and your life is over. We have to understand that.”

Chester Housing Authority assists Feds in Major Drug Bust

When federal agents carried out a major raid on suspected heroin and cocaine dealers in Chester over the weekend, they had a helpful ally in the action, the Chester Housing Authority (CHA). Although none of the drug activity or arrests took place on CHA property, the agency allowed agents to use its buildings to get excellent vantage points to conduct surveillance. The buildings are also equipped with outdoor cameras

Chester Housing Authority Recognized for Managing Safe Properties

HAI Group, an organization that serves the public and affordable housing community with niche insurance programs and other value-added products and services, has presented CHA with its Low Loss Achievement Award; an honor recognizing the relatively small number of personal injuries that occur on CHA property.

Chester Housing Authority’s First Summer Food Program a Big Hit

We found that preparing and serving freshly made food rather than using box lunches was a big hit with the kids,” said Norman Wise, CHA Director of Housing Operations. “The team that worked in this program really took pride in making sure the food was healthy and delicious.

Chester Housing Authority Stresses Nutrition with Launch of Summer Food Program

Providing a summer food program for the kids is consistent with our philosophy of helping kids and adults eat properly throughout the year,” Fischer said. “When we learned that USDA made funds available for this kind of program we jumped at the opportunity

Chester Housing Authority Fathers Group Offering Free Dad-Child Photos to Help Promote Fatherhood Responsibility

One problem many men in our community face is they think they’re not supposed to show they have feelings,” Whittington says. “The biggest thing we offer is a place where you can talk to other fathers and say what’s on your mind. We have but one rule: leave your title at the door. We don’t care whether you’re a doctor, lawyer, sanitation worker or don’t have a job – once you cross our doorstep your title is father.

Chester Housing Authority Receives Clean Financial Audit

The citizens of Chester have learned in recent years that not only does our housing authority operate openly and honestly but efficiently delivers services that the population we serve needs and expects,” Fischer said. “Receiving a clean audit validates the integrity with which we strive to do business.

Chester Housing Authority Staff Spends part of Earth Day Preparing Community Garden for Planting

CHA has been doing its small part to foster sustainable dependence on our own land in the few available places we have,” said CHA executive Director Steven Fischer. “This is our fifth season working at the Ruth L. Bennett Homes Community Garden. It has been successful because residents, students and as you can see today many CHA staff members believe in this program.

Chester Housing Authority Hopes to Renew Successful Health and Fitness Program

Now that spring has finally sprung the Chester Housing Authority is once again encouraging residents to think more about their health and fitness. CHA executive director Steven A. Fischer wants to bring back the agency’s highly successful Anume (A New Me) program, has begun a search for businesses that will support the program and has already seen two local businesses step up.
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