Housing authority adopts policy to assist families devastated by natural disasters

October 26, 2017 GMT

The Northwest Georgia Housing Authority adopted a policy Wednesday that will allow public housing residents, or people with Section Eight housing vouchers, to move to the head of the line for local housing in the event they are displaced elsewhere by a natural disaster,

Housing authority Executive Director Sandra Hudson said the policy amendment came at the request of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the wake of hurricanes that devastated Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico this year.

The new policy stipulates that victims of major disaster declarations “will receive preference over other waiting list placeholders.”

Hudson also told the authority board of directors Wednesday that the first units in the new Joe Wright Village gated public housing community on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive will be ready for occupancy before Christmas and that an open house has been scheduled for Dec. 8.

Norman Pleger, director of technical services for the housing authority, said forms for the driveways and sidewalks at several of the units were being poured this week and that final landscaping work was also underway. Construction on three more units has already started with the initial grading of the sites.

Discussions are underway with at least two potential partners for the development of new housing in East Rome. Hudson said she has been talking with one private developer, along with the Macon Housing Authority, which played a role in the redevelopment of the historic Greystone Apartments on Second Avenue in Rome.

Hudson is planning 70 apartment-type units on the former Altoview Terrace property between Spring Creek Street and East 14th Street, along with at least 20 units in the area of Maple Street and East 12th Street where the authority used federal Neighborhood Stabilization program funds to purchase and demolish over a dozen dilapidated homes.

The Housing Authority will host a school board election forum tonight at 5 p.m. in the gymnasium off Division Street. A similar forum for city commission candidates has been scheduled for Monday, also at 5 p.m. in the gym off Division Street.