The Board of Commissioners of PHA held its regular meeting Sept. 7, with quorum present. Several members of the public attenders to express concerns regarding conditions of PHA housing family of seven scheduled to move into before end of September.
The Gardner family of seven has been assigned to Taft temporary housing and conditions of 2-unit location include mold, water damage, uncovered electrical outlets, as well as other issues. Mrs. Gardner was present in addition to Karrie Alms, Elaine Hopkins, Lawrence Maushard, and Allison Galvan.
Community members expressed concern regarding lack of communication to Gardner family regarding when unit would be available, checklist to ensure repairs completed and perceived lack of respect from PHA staff. Comments took 30 minutes of allotted time at beginning of board meeting. Mr. Maushard called for dismissal of Chairman Carl Cannon and CEO Jackie Newman.
Ms. Alms stated she had filed complaint this date with U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as 2022 PHA plan was not available for review, in addition to lack of digital access to plan information.
Elaine Hopkins spoke on behalf of American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) and member of North Valley Neighborhood association regarding locked gates at Taft complex over past year. She cited incident where emergency responders were not able to respond to call due to access issues. She has requested documentation under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Chairman Cannon expressed appreciation for comments and told group issues would be addressed.
Consent agenda was approved without discussion. Resolutions approved to upgrade flooring in common areas at Sterling Towers and Taft Homes redevelopment final closing documents. A Rector and Reeder & Lofton representative gave presentation on FY 2020 financial audit. Positive review with comments for improvement in turnaround of units and how wait list managed. One finding related to financial reconciliation reporting, with operation improvement plan developed. Financial employees recognized for improvements in operations and cooperation during audit.
Note: WCBU reporter Hannah Alani interviewed Jackie Newman on September 16,= about Taft redevelopment: https://www.wcbu.org/local-news/2021-09-16/q-a-interim-peoria-housing-authority-director-jackie-newman-answers-questions-on-taft-redevelopment
——— Connie Romanus, Observer
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