@an2500 - Unfortunately, you are incorrect. AHA has nothing to do with those "de-facto housing projects" on Boulevard. Nonetheless, you are correct with your assertion that the property is an unhealthy environment for those who live there and an eye-sore for the city.
Early morning typo. My apologies. Should have been "your" not "you're."
Scott, you're story did not include some of the information you asked about, including the history of Renee Glover's employment contracts so I've listed them below:
1. July 1, 2010 – July 1, 2015 (5 years)
2. September 2, 2005 – 9/1/2010 (5 years)
3. September 1, 2000 – 9/1/2005 (5 years)
4. September 1, 1997 – August 21, 2000 (3 years)
5. September 1, 1994 – August 31, 1997 (3 years)
An important consideration for this discussion is civic engagement. In neighborhoods revitalized by AHA, more than 6,000 additional citizens have registered to vote (approximately 5,000 of these newly registered voters are African-American).
In 1994, 7,644 African-Americans were registered voters in precincts in which housing projects were revitalized into mixed-income communities (445 non-African-Americans were registered). Today, 12,590 African-American are registered (today 1,679 non-African American voters are registered).
Ineptitude caused family displacement in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Widespread incompetence helped create broad public angst, and citizens continue to feel betrayed, frustrated, and angry. An atmosphere of helplessness and vulnerability has spread across entire communities.
Local citizens are weary and frustrated over the homeless problem we face. Atlantans remain patient and empathetic with those who need transitional shelters, mental health services, and chemical dependency assistance, but they have become disturbed and impatient with irrational zealotry and unsustainable strategies. The business community and local governments are impatient with the Advocates impotent leadership and the civil disorder of poorly managed homeless shelters.
It is important to know that AHA does not receive local, state, or federal funds to deliver social or medical services and therefore cannot serve as Atlantas housing of last resort. Former prisoners, homeless persons, and persons with mental disabilities present unique sets of challenges. Serving these populations successfully requires specialized professionals and service-enriched housing facilities. AHA does not provide these services and the requisite facilities are incongruent with AHAs purpose and funding.
Thoughtful public officials and Advocates know that it is poor public policy to house families and senior citizens with habitual felons and drug dealers, all in the same community.
AHAs purpose is to provide housing subsidies to working low-income families, seniors citizens, and persons with disabilities. Astute and sophisticated leaders know that a one-size-fits-all approach to affordable housing inflicts more harm than good. Nonetheless, some Advocates are turning to AHA and asking about our role in finding a solution to the homeless issue. AHA has helped whenever it was feasible and whenever it did not compromise our commitment to the citizens we are chartered to serve. For instance, AHA has committed to Mayor Franklins Regional Commission on Homelessness to subsidize 500 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless families in Atlanta.
In our city, thousands of people want the opportunity to escape the deplorable social and physical conditions of the public housing projects. Families are seeking the opportunity to take advantage of AHAs rental vouchers (a "rent coupon" that makes market-rate rents affordable for low-income families). It is my belief they should have that opportunity.
Because citizens want to make choices about where they live, AHA has secured the opportunity for families to make this very personal choice, and no one should stand in their way. It was inappropriate in decades past when government, especially during the Jim Crow era, legislated where people may or may not live. It is intolerable today for government agencies or Advocates to second-guess a familys decision about where they desire to live.
Housing vouchers make rents affordable for low-income families and to no ones surprise the overwhelming majority of families choose to stay within the city limits. Unlike the past when the system controlled a familys housing options, housing vouchers empower families to choose where they want to live.
Although the cost of housing in the city is increasing, the voucher presents low-income families with the opportunity to stay in the city. For the first time, many low-income families have the power to determine where they will live and they are choosing locations that are best for them.
Yes, I do speak for Atlanta Housing Authority. That I provided my first and last names speaks to any assumption that Im unwilling to defend my statement. John, your feedback is instructive, nonetheless.
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