Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The ARHA Files #3: Who Lives in Public Housing?

At one of the very first Braddock East Advisory Group meetings, Acting ARHA CEO Roy Priest stated that there were no Hispanics in public housing in the Braddock Road area. Yes ,there were Hispanics in Arlandria public housing, but not here. It was a comment that caused more than a few heads, including the Growler's, to snap around.

Yet in a July 17, 2007 memo on "Housing Operations Update" that discussed the disposition of public housing units at Jefferson Village as it moved to Section 8, Mr. Priest wrote "ARHA had a public meeting and explained the disposition process and follow up steps that will be needed in English and Spanish."

Now why would ARHA need to conduct a meeting with tenants in Spanish if no Latinos were occupying units here?

The Cranky One and others have seen Hispanic families living in Jefferson Village and Andrew Adkins, while neighbors near Bland have commented on the number of Hispanics that seem to be moving into the project nowadays. In fact, while mentioning a family at Ramsay Homes that had a particularly fine display of flowers, the Growler was told by City staff that it was an Asian tenant family which was responsible for the lovely garden.

So there is a disconnect. Why is ARHA denying that there is diversity in public housing in this neighborhood?

The Growler will attempt to explain why tomorrow, but readers can safely assume the answer is based on politics rather than reality.