AP NEWS

Housing Authority dedicates first units at Joe Wright Village

December 10, 2017 GMT

Years of planning was culminated Friday when, in spite of horrible weather conditions, the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority honored Joe Wright, Hilda Curtis and Jim Keaten with an open house in the new Joe Wright Village public housing complex in North Rome.

“It’s no longer really public housing, it’s more affordable housing,” said Housing Authority Chairman Lee Hight. “Everyone deserves a nice place to live and we want to provide that. Projects that you might have thought about many years ago are gone.”

The gated community features a combination of two and three bedroom single family homes, along with a number of duplex units.

Hight said the authority was thrilled to name the subdivision for Joe Wright.

“These are nice homes for children to grow up in, for them to be proud of where they live.”

“This is an awesome experience for me,” said Wright, who served on the housing authority board for more than 16 years. “We had a board that made things happen.”

He grew up in public housing in Centre, Alabama, and had a large delegation of family members from Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee on hand for the open house and dedication.

Streets in the subdivision were named for Keaten and Curtis.

Keaten used to practice law in Atlanta, specializing in commercial real estate. When he retired and moved to Rome, he got involved with the South Rome Redevelopment Corporation.

“Sandra Hudson learned about my interest in affordable housing and asked if I would be willing to join the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority board,” Keaten said. “I am deeply happy that my name will be associated going forward with two wonderful members of our community, Joe Wright and Hilda Curtis.”

Curtis served the public housing community in Rome by teaching GED classes, taught self-sufficiency classes and served on the grievance committee.

“After serving on the grievance committee I was asked if I would be on the board,” Curtis said. “Progress comes through change and the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority is constantly trying to improve the community in Rome. Keep looking forward because you’re going to see better.”

Housing Authority Director Sandra Hudson said she anticipates getting certificates of occupancy for the first three units, two single family homes and a duplex, as early as next week.