The memorandum below has 12 co-authors. It was read at last evening's "show meeting" of the NAHA's board.
Monday Night Massacre: Deaf Gahan again absent from his own power grab as Joshua, Duggins seize NAHA and appoint Coffey to new post as "Luxury Trumps Poverty" czar.
It should be noted yet again that irrespective of party affiliation, New Albany's ruling class fell into line with Deaf Gahan's public housing putsch. As Bluegill points out ...
Despite his much deserved receipt of so much derision via the bilge pump attached to his neck, it's actually pretty difficult to differentiate Coffey's voting record from those of his fellow Democrats, including a formally trained sociologist. Let that sink in for a second.
Feeling good about your mayor, Democrats?
We are deeply distressed by the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of New Albany (CONA) and the New Albany Housing Authority (NAHA). Specifically, we have the following concerns:
- 1. The proposal to eliminate public housing in CONA contains no details of steps that will be taken to ensure that NAHA residents' lives will not be disrupted.
- 2. The proposal contains no details of steps that will be taken to ensure that the supply of affordable (lower-income) housing in New Albany will not be diminished.
- 3. While the MOU proposes that vouchers could be used to relocate current NAHA residents, the document provides no evidence that an adequate supply of vouchers exists, or that there is an adequate supply of market rental housing units in New Albany that will accept such vouchers.
- 4. It is unclear whether CONA and NAHA are, in fact, working collegially despite a claim of collaboration in CONA’s strategic plan.
- 5. In its present composition, the NAHA Board does not include any resident representatives.
The rental vacancy rate in CONA is 3.4%. This rate was calculated prior to the recent loss of 100 rental units in the Breakwater fire, which presumably lowered the above vacancy rate. Furthermore, this rate is based on availability of rental housing at all price points; the vacancy rate for affordable (lower-income) units is, in fact, much lower.
Currently, 28% of the 73 HUD Housing Choice vouchers (formerly known as Section 8 vouchers) issued through NAHA have expired because their holders could not find a rental unit where they could use the voucher. Given the low rental vacancy rate and the shortage of affordable rental units, the suggestion that current public housing residents could move to private market housing (as proposed in the MOU) is unrealistic.
Notwithstanding the fact that some public housing units are in deteriorated condition and geographically concentrated, proposing to eliminate public housing without a data-informed plan for offsetting the loss of these affordable housing units is deeply concerning. The risks of exacerbating the problem of homelessness in our community, disrupting the lives of vulnerable citizens, and violating these citizens’ fair housing rights are real and troubling.
Collectively, we have decades of experience in housing, homelessness, public affairs and public advocacy. As advocates for our vulnerable neighbors, we will continue to hold CONA and the NAHA Board accountable. We are ready and willing to work with CONA administrators and the NAHA Board to create a plan to address the above concerns while also improving community housing conditions and public housing residents’ well being. We have a wealth of experience to bring to the table, and we would welcome being part of a truly collaborative, people-centered effort.