Self-sufficiency is goal of housing authority

The Northwest Georgia Housing Authority wrote off tenant accounts in the amount of $2,703.41 for the month of January during the agency board session Wednesday. Executive Director Sandra Hudson (from left) Cheryl Molock, Molly Majestic and Chairwoman Lee Hight review the write-offs during Molock’s report. / Doug Walker

Some residents of the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority public housing communities may be getting letters in the mail soon, explaining that they’ve got to show an effort toward self-sufficiency in order to stay in their homes.

NWGHA Resident Services Director Molly Majestic told members of the NWGHA board Wednesday that only four out of 50 potential participants showed up for a required life skills class.

Executive Director Sandra Hudson said residents who are not actively working on a job but are physically able to work, are required to enroll in classes to further their education, or participate in the life skills classes.

Previously, HUD rules required residents who were not working to perform so many hours of community service but that simply was not working, according to Hudson.

“We added the life skills program to assist our residents in seeking employment or going to school. We made it mandatory so it is in our lease that they have to either be in school or attend our life skills class,” Hudson said. “Molly will assist them in finding employment or if they want to go to school she will assist them in going to the school of their choice.”

The reminder letters will let residents know that if they don’t participate in the program they will have 30 days to leave their unit.

The NWGHA board approved new bond resolutions related to the conversion of the Park Homes in North Rome from public housing units to rental assistance units in the amount of $8 million. The amount was adjusted up from $7.4 million because the authority couldn’t close on the financial aspect of the project before the end of 2018. The authority has also approved $7.4 million in bond for a similar conversion at the Charles Hight Homes High Rise No. 1.

The panel also approved a resolution Wednesday paving the way for the authority to be declared its own general contractor. Attorney Stewart Duggan explained there is no intent to compete with private enterprise and the authority only intends to work on its own projects. Because the authority is exempt from sales taxes, it will save seven percent on the purchase of materials for new projects.

Modernization Assistant Lisa Massey briefed the board on construction projects. The work is progressing as the weather permits on two new replacement single-family homes on Maple Street in East Rome. Roofers are on site this week hoping to get the homes dried in to allow interior work to begin. Work on new duplexes on East 12th Street can’t start until additional soil is moved in to level the ground and Massey said that won’t happen until dirt, not mud, is available.

The authority welcomed a new resident board member from Rockmart Wednesday. Kristi Tevepaugh fills a seat that has been vacant for several months.