Since the 1990s, our organization has undergone a full transformation from futile bureaucracy to well performing agency serving Chester’s affordable housing needs with great integrity. Until last year, that gargantuan effort was overseen by Judge Norma L. Shapiro. A key aspect of the federal receivership’s mission was to develop a responsible local body of governance to succeed the court. Mission accomplished.
By December 2014, Judge Shapiro swore in five Chester Housing Commissioners that had served a combined total of 25 years conducting monthly meetings and undergoing intensive professional education. All of them Chester residents, I believe the community should know who they are, what they have brought, and will continue to bring in service to Chester. They are Sheila Church of ChesPenn Health Services, our Board Chair, Tonya D. Warren of Chester Eastside Ministries, Catherine A. Feminella of Widener University, Sheridan D. Jones, Jr., A-Plus Cleaning and Roderick T. Powell, CHA resident and retired from the Blind Center. They are a cohesive group that have come to appreciate and understand the vital role a Housing Authority can play in a city. As Ms. Church has stated, “We have a good cross-section of representation from the community on the Board.” We hope the city will support them as they have supported us over the years.