by Jesse J. Lewis, Sr.
The Executive Director of the Birmingham Housing Authority, Mrs. Naomi Truman, was fired on Monday January 27th. Three members of the Board, Mr. Vernon Jackson, Mr. Charles Townsend, and Mr. Raymond Brooks, voted to terminate Mrs. Truman’s contract. Rev. Todd and Mrs. Ford voted against it.
The following week, February 3, there was another Board meeting and the tide turned 3-2 in favor of Mrs. Truman. Mr. Cardell Davis, new member of the Board, voted with Mrs. Ford and Rev. Todd.
Most people would agree there was no cause to terminate Mrs. Truman. Most of all, the timing was bad. Birmingham Housing Authority is moving 300-400 families from Gate City to other housing communities and also using available housing on the Section 8 program.
Mrs.Truman and her staff are working diligently to get all families moved who are interested in moving. The decision has to be made from the gas company what role they plan to play in this moving process.
It is understandable that there may be concerns from some people who have personal agendas with the Housing Authority Birmingham District (HABD). HABD has certainly set itself apart as an affordable housing leader with a full-service mission that attracts various interests.
Time, however, is best not spent looking back. The only way to be successful with all the things that require our prompt attention is to look and move forward.
HABD’s first concerns are:
• Marks Village, including the relocation of families to promote safety and maintain family continuity for relocated residents, updating the site to maintain family comfort and safety.
• Loveman Village and funding to address capital concerns for a greater than 50 year old site.
• Elyton Village and maximizing use of present funds to further modernization to address internal environmental issues.
• North Birmingham Homes and Collegeville communities relating to environmental contamination.
• Implementing Rental Assistance Demonstration/Energy performance contracting at all sites.
• Improving quality of services, apartments, and life generally at all sites.
• Building single family homes and promoting homeownership.
• Promoting a quality family support, training, recreational and sports program through established community center programs.
• Increasing overall resident participation in housing programs and activities.
• Early childhood educational partnerships with seasoned providers.
It would behoove everyone to look at Mrs. Trumen’s record and all her accomplishments since she has been the Executive Director at HABD and and compare it to the records of the last two Directors. Keep in mind there has not been any unethical scandal regarding employee wrong doing or mishandling of funds during her tenure.