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NWGHA Awarded CFCF Grant


The Official Publication of the Georgia Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities, Inc.

December November 2011 2010

L to R: HL Brantley President, Ed Jennings -HUD Regional Debra Toothman -NWGHA H.L. BrantleyGAHRA-GAHRA President, Ed Jennings -HUD Regional Director,Director, Debra Toothman -NWGHA Director of Director of Finance,Melvin Clamentine Melvin -HUD Atlanta and Akinola Popoola - NARHO President Finance, Clamentine HUD Atlanta and Akinola Popoola - NARHO President

Northwest Georgia Housing Authority (NWGHA), headquartered in Rome, GA, was awarded a 2011 Capital Fund Education and Training Community Facilities (CFCF) grant by HUD for the development of a pre-school facility, House of the Children Academy, in Rockmart, GA. NWGHA was the only PHA in Georgia to receive this grant. Pictured (center) is Ms. Debra Toothman, Director of Finance for NWGHA, accepting a check for $1,662,643 at the Georgia Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities’ annual 2011 conference held in Savannah, GA. NWGHA operates a similar pre-school adjacent to the John Graham Homes public housing apartments in Rome, GA. The House of the Children Academy operates in partnership with the Montessori School of Rome, under the Montessori school philosophy. The goal is for both House of the Children Academies to become certified Montessori schools.

President’s Message First of all I want to thank all of you and God for this opportunity to serve the 2011-2012 year as President of GAHRA. I believe that GAHRA is the greatest state organization that helps the most needy of people in our great nation and I would not be here without your support. I have been setting up committee members, Chairs and Vice-chairs for 35 committees and have been overwhelmed by all the calls, emails, and text that I have received from all of you wanting to serve on a committee. We are GAHRA, a 100% volunteer organization, and it takes us all to make it work. All the workshops, trainings, and annual conferences don’t just happen; it takes a lot of work and planning behind the scenes to bring it all together. We would always love to have more volunteers, it you feel a committee would be a good fit, please send me an e-mail: We are all working toward the same goal, to house Georgia’s low income residents, and that is a very commendable goal. Support and involvement are keys to our success, and we must join together to accomplish our goal of providing affordable housing to lower income families in our communities and continue to help revitalize our communities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank H.L. Brantley for his leadership over the past year and allowing me to “shadow “ him working with the other organizations, such as SERC and NAHRO, to represent GAHRA within these larger organizations. I would also like to thank all the Presidents that have come before President Brantley that have helped pave the way for those of us to follow. Thank you to each of you for your support, hard work and dedication to our residents and to GAHRA. From me and my family to you and yours, have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Ruth Bass President

What Home Means to Me Poster Contest After viewing 43 entries, the GAHRA Public Relations Committee announced the winners of the third annual “What Home Means to Me” poster contest. The contest is sponsored by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) each year. State housing affiliates solicit entries in three categories – elementary, middle school and high school. This year, Housing Authorities were asked to scan in their submissions for review electronically by a panel of GAHRA judges. Our 2011 GAHRA winners are as follows: K-5: Keyosha Woods, Albany Housing Authority Middle School: Shamya Hill, Columbus Housing Authority High School: Dontele Francis, Columbus Housing Authority Many thanks to all the artists from Housing Authorities from across the state and to the many staff members who oversaw promoting the contest and making sure the entries were in on time. Thank you to the judges, Shirley Smith of Dallas, Ann Dobson of Jasper, Brenda Smith of Dublin, Andre Simmons of Albany who had to review almost 50 entries and to incoming Vice President Becky Hartman who cast a tie breaker vote for one age group. To quote one judge, “We have such talented kids.” The winners of the GAHRA contest received $100 each for their winning entries and their posters have been sent to NAHRO for the national competition.

Residents Leading the Way The 11th annual GAHRA Resident Leadership Development conference was recently held in the beautiful, historical city of Savannah. The Human Services-Resident Support committee remained true to the purpose of providing opportunities for developing and enhancing leadership skills and personal development for those attending. “Taking It Back to your Neighborhood” was the key focal point for the 217 registrants, representing thirty-six housing authorities who participated this year. Resident training sessions included basic leadership, resident organizations, by-laws, fundraising and finances, working together as a team, leading through change, motivating residents, planning community programs, understanding leadership and power, and presenting a better you with effective communication skills. Information for empowerment was a special resident to resident led session. Staff in attendance were offered two special training sessions entitled, Success Planning and The Rewards of Residents Helping Themselves. This conference has been hailed as the “best ever” by those who attended.

News in the Neighborhoods! The Housing Authority of the City of Cairo Fatherhood Initiative 2011 The Housing Authority of the City of Cairo held its 1st Annual Fathers’ Day Celebration. The event was attended by approximately 50 participants and was successful. The initiative was a means to connect fathers with their children. Also, it provided a platform to connect fathers to housing and self-sufficiency opportunity resources. A father can be a biological father, step-father, uncle, grandfather, godfather, close friend of the family, or any positive male figure in a child’s life. Resident Mary Donaldson opened the celebration with prayer and it was followed with a heartfelt musical selection from resident Eula Addison. John Marria, Executive Director, provided the purpose for the initiative. Marria stated that approximately 45% of all local public housing residents are children. There are several fathers in the homes of public housing families; however, the Authority envisions more fathers taking an active role in helping to raise their children. Accountability and responsibility starts for fatherhood when dads desire to be a part of their child’s life. It is the Housing Authority’s intent to provide a platform to connect fathers to their children. The children and youth enjoyed outdoor games, indoor video games and more. There were several door prizes given away to fathers and their families. Pictures of fathers and their children were made and will be displayed in the lobby of the administrative building. Fathers visited each of the resource stations, communicated with representatives, and enjoyed spending quality time with their children. The stations included the Georgia Fatherhood Initiative, Grady County Schools Parental Involvement, Thomas Barbershop, Aaron Rents, jointly New Generation by Faith & the Housing Authority’s Bible Study Class, Georgia Department of Labor, and Grady County Health Department. Disc Jockey Eric Montgomery provided entertainment. Willie Jones, a Housing Authority resident, provided face painting for the children and youth. Local merchants donated door prizes. They included United National Bank, Stalling Motors, Center Drugs, Wal-Mart, Harvey’s, Delicious Delight, Ameris Bank, Zaxby’s, Mr. Chick, and Stone Home Center. The planning committee is making preparations for next year’s event.

Warner Robins Housing Authority

The Warner Robins Housing Authority conducted an eight week Life Skills Class. There were 15 participants. The curriculum consisted of communication skills, anger management, conflict resolution, dress for success and credit counseling. The students who completed Life Skills set goals for getting their GED, enrolling at Middle Georgia Technical College for higher education and seeking employment. Programs and opportunities are given to every resident. The Warner Robins Housing Authority’s Mission is to develop and promote quality housing options through partnerships and through creative initiatives that support a healthy atmosphere for the city.

Hinesville Housing Authority

Hinesville, GA had its first Homeless Connection, an event that brought the entire Liberty County Community together. The Hinesville Housing Authority (HHA) was there to participate alongside its fellow brethren. The HHA handed out applications for housing, housing information, shirts and water bottles to beat the heat. It was rewarding for the HHA to be a vital component in reaching out to those in need of housing assistance.

The Albany Housing Authority (AHA) has been awarded a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant in the amount of $250,000 to create a Transformation Plan for the West Central Albany neighborhood, which includes McIntosh Homes, a public housing project. Nearly half of the neighborhood’s residents are living in poverty and they contend with a crime rate that is significantly higher than the violent crime rate for the city as a whole. McIntosh Homes is a deteriorated and physically obsolete public housing development with site deficiencies that include obsolete electrical and mechanical systems, deteriorating foundations, porch slabs and structural walls, and inadequate unit sizes for the needs of the existing residents. The AHA will be working with its partners to complete a plan for turning the neighborhoods around. Not only does the team intend to develop a plan to replace McIntosh Homes with a new market-quality, mixed-income community but they also intend to assess and build on the housing, commercial, recreational, physical and social assets of the surrounding neighborhood to create a viable and sustainable community. AHA will work closely with residents, the local college and hospital, and community organizations to collaboratively plan for the transformation of the West Central Albany neighborhood.

The Mayor’s Award of Excellence The Mayor of the City of Albany, Dr. Willie Adams, desired to recognize public housing residents who have made the extra effort to be good citizens in their public housing neighborhood and in the City of Albany. Beginning in 2006, the Albany Housing Authority has developed selection criteria for identifying the residents to be recognized, to conduct the selection process, and to coordinate a neighborhood cookout to recognize the residents for their efforts. The Albany Housing Authority has 20 different properties located throughout the City. Part 1 of the Criteria consists of identifying the top three to five properties, to be recognized as finalists, based on the percentage of residents who are employed or who regularly volunteer, the percentage of residents who pay their rent on or before the due date, the percentage of residents who have an exemplary record of being a good neighbor, the number of evictions for reasons other than non-payment of rent and the results of the most recent Physical Inspection score performed under the Public Housing Assessment System. Once the finalist properties are identified, judges perform a site visit of the properties using Part II of the Criteria and rate the properties based on the cleanliness of the property, the absence of graffiti, and the overall attractiveness, or curb appeal, of the property. The development chosen to receive the Mayor’s Award of Excellence 2011 Award was Seay Village. Mr. Michael Allen is the Property Manager for AMP # 3, which includes Seay Village, Hudson Malone Towers, Grover Cross, and Golden Age. The winning development was given a cookout sponsored by Mayor Adams, Commissioners Christopher Pike and Dorothy Hubbard were also present.

Albany Housing Authority

Jeanette Henderson, Dep. Dir. Housing Services, Deborah Roberts, Resident Board Member, Frank Wilson, Board Chair, Ed Jennings, Jr., HUD Office, Kenneth Cutts, Rep. Congressman, Mayor Willie Adams, and Roger Marrietta, City of Albany Commissioner accepts check for $250,000.

AMP #2 Celebrates National Night Out 2011 This year marked the 28th anniversary of the annual, nation wide National Night Out event. National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. Communities are encouraged to celebrate National Night Out with a variety of events and activities. This year AMP 2 hosted a “Back to School Campaign” in conjunction with the National Night Out event in the courtyard of Holley Homes. The Dougherty County School System Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfee was the “special guest” for this event. He spoke to the residents about the importance of attending school each and everyday. He explained how important it is for the residents to participate in events at their child’s school and be involved in their child’s educational journey. To heighten the importance of a good education, a bright, yellow school bus was used as the background prop as Dr. Murfee spoke. Also present was Mr. Rambau, the president for Ward III Neighborhood Watch and the Do. Co. School Police officers. The residents received free school supplies donated by the International Masons and Order of Eastern Stars. Haircuts were done at no charge to the residents by volunteers. Children also enjoyed a bouncer, a clown, face painting, bingo, free food/drinks, volleyball, water sprinklers, door prizes and a DJ. There were approximately 250 people that participated in this event.


Certificate of Service awards are awarded to staff members and/or commissioners who have provided 25 years of service to their Housing Authority or a combination of Housing Authorities totaling 25 years or more of service. Service awards are given in 5-year increments after 25 years. 25 years Ann Webb Flint Area HA 25 years Paula Tucker Ocilla HA 25 years Barbara Johnson Greensboro HA 25 years Patricia Kegler Lawrenceville HA and Norwalk in Connecticut 25 years George F. Edge HA City of Americus 25 years Terry Mewborn HA City of Buford 28 years Keith Griffin Ocilla HA 28 years Gregory Battle Ocilla HA 29 years L. W. Kent, Jr. Glennwood HA 30 years Heidi D. Smith HA City of Bremen and Bowdon 35 years Robert H. Floyd Summerville HA 45 years Mary Ann Smith Elberton HA


The Collaborative Partnership Award is presented to Housing Authorities who partner with other agencies or entities to develop programs for the betterment of customers we serve. 1st Place: Barnesville HA 2nd Place: Greensboro HA


The Resident Leadership Award is presented to residents who have made a substantial contribution of time and energy to their Housing Authority’s community. The Resident Leader is active in the community and encourages others to do the same. Winner: Shanna Ward, Bowdon HA


Newsletters will be judged on appearance, clarity, format, content and structure. Winners will automatically qualify for the SERC newsletter of the year award. Winner Small Category: Bowdon HA Winner Medium Category Waycross/Blackshear HA Winner Large Category: HA City of Americus

H.L. Brantley & George Edge, Americus

H.L. Brantley & Ann Bachelor, Bowdon

H.L. Brantley &Robert Motley, Greensboro H.L. Brantley & Shanna Ward, Bowdon


2012 Schedule GAHRA

Spring Workshop May 20-22, Macon, GA Youth Leadership Conference July 20-22, St. Simons Island, GA Annual Conference September 16-19, Savannah, GA Resident Leadership Conference October 26-28, Augusta, GA

SERC – NAHRO Annual Conference June 24-26, New Orleans, LA Fall Workshop November 4-6, Savannah, GA

NAHRO Legislative Conference March 25-28 Washington, DC Summer Conference July 29-31 San Francisco, CA National Conference: October 28-30, Nashville, TN

PHADA Commissioners’ Conference January 8 – 11, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Annual Convention and Exhibition May 6 – 9, Seattle, WA Legislative Forum September 9 – 11, Washington, DC


Winter Spring Summer Fall

December 1 March 1 June 1 September 1

Submit Articles to: GAHRA Gazette Augusta Housing Authority 1435 Walton Way Augusta, GA 30901

GAHRA Gazette Fall 2011  

GAHRA Gazette Fall 2011

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