Bob Dull, chief executive officer of the Griffin Housing Authority, discussed the history of Public housing and how it has evolved over the years, when he recently spoke to the Griffin Daybreak Rotary Club.
Housing authorities are state-chartered and the one in Griffin started in 1950 with the development of Meriwether Homes and Fairmont. At that time, public housing was self-sustainable and built in a time when it was meant to be temporary until people got on their feet.
In the late 1960s, HUD was formed. HUD’s program regulations have evolved over the years and have unfortunately resulted in many households choosing public housing as a permanent housing choice. Income reporting and household-reporting regulations, while well-intentioned, have resulted in static upward mobility and penalized family unity, which has in turn established a culture of generational dependency to public housing assistance programs.
Dull said this cycle can be broken by focusing on “educational prosperity” as a catalyst for changing adults’ and children’s view of their future. Dull said the Housing Authority works closely with UGA-Griffin n, Southern Crescent Technical College, Griffin-Spalding County Schools and many others through the “Educational Prosperity Initiative,” providing GED, after-school, mentoring and family self-sufficiency programs.
Griffin has received two national awards for this effort. Dull noted that Griffin has been fortunate to have been awarded over $30 million in public and private funding and grants to continue the transformation of local public housing. The future is bright for Griffin, but not without challenges, particularly as it relates to the growing senior population. The Griffin Housing Authority is meeting this challenge with the upcoming groundbreaking of the “Iris at Park Point,” a new, age “55 and older,” three-story mid-rise, and the rehabilitation of Nine Oaks Senior Housing and the redevelopment of Fairmont Homes into affordable workforce housing
GRIFFIN DAILY NEWS
July 3, 2016