The Chester Housing Authority (CHA) website is designed to make doing business with us quicker and easier and to enhance communication within our Housing family, that is, between staff and residents of our programs. If you are visiting the CHA website, it may be that you have an interest in public and assisted housing and related issues. I plan to use this space regularly to talk about issues facing residents, and more broadly, to address issues of poverty and housing shortages here and elsewhere.
At the CHA, we have prompted a remarkable transformation over the years. Twenty years ago, most left Chester public housing for dead but four courageous women thought otherwise and the rest is history. That story has been detailed in numerous reports over the years and found elsewhere on this website.
At the end of 2014, the federal court relinquished full control of the CHA after overseeing the transformation. Declaring it a success and satisfied with the efficiency and honestly with which we serve, the authority to make future appointments to the Board of Commissioners was handed off to the Mayor of Chester. Until current appointments expire, the court is proud to leave the Authority in the able hands of Chester citizen advocates Sheila Church, Tonya Warren, Catherine Feminella, Sheridan Jones and Roderick Powell, all of whom have years of experience looking after the CHA, have undergone intensive training over the years and are professionals in the community in their own right.
Not satisfied to rest on our laurels, we always seek to find opportunities to serve residents beyond the quality homes we have developed, maintain and manage, whether by ourselves or with private sector partners. Focus on the health and wellness of folks that come through our programs has been a major theme of the past six or seven years and has grown to include many aspects from diet and exercise to gardening and farming to focus groups for both men and women and the list goes on. I will explore each of these in more detail in future writings.
We can’t easily solve the ills that plague many cities, but I do have ideas and comments that I want to exchange with you. Throughout my career that has been longer than I’d like to think, from my community organizing college days to a three-year stint in the Peace Corps (in Central Africa) and for the last three decades developing and managing public housing programs, I have been motivated by ideas and in search for ways to work with up and coming individuals and families.
Here’s to hoping the blog will spark meaningful dialogue and engagement and idea sharing over the days ahead.