Showing posts with label Peoria Housing Authority. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peoria Housing Authority. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What exactly is the PHA doing about crime and safety

There is a great deal of the crime happening in Peoria's housing projects (Taft Homes, RiverWest, Harrison Homes), Section 8 properties and scattered site housing areas. These are all housing types that are managed by the Peoria Housing Authority (PHA).

As we continue to hear about crime throughout the city on PHA property or involving PHA residents, I began to wonder what exactly is the PHA, as a management company, doing about crime to make the clients who do abide by the law safe. Are they going into their pockets to provide extra security? Are they updating their No Trespass List on the regular and expunging old information?

I went to the website, hoping to take a look at the minutes of the Peoria Housing Authority Board to see how they are currently addressing these issues. Unfortunately, the last minutes from a Peoria Housing Authority Board meeting published on the Internet are dated March 28, 2011. The minutes are shown at the bottom of this post, notice there is no mention of crime, security or safety, even though the following was happening at the time...

I took a look at the Trespass List after Elaine Hopkins posted about it and made the following observations: 

                         

Apparently there are names on the list of several people who are now deceased. There are names of people on the list who have children named after them - but there is no distinction as to age, or any descriptors other than M/B or F/B (black male or black female). The lack of updating of the list would seem to indicate that there is no dedicated knowledgeable security person working with the the Housing Authority.

Remember this article in the local newspaper talking about the Housing Authority buying security cameras? If they purchased security cameras, how come they aren't solving more of their own crimes? If they got the grant in October of 2010, they should have had the cameras in July of 2011 - how come they didn't have more information about exactly who had fireworks and was starting trouble?

What I did notice from the minutes of the Peoria Housing Authority Board is that there is a lot of discussion about getting money from the government and spending money (tax dollars), but there is little to no discussion about safety or quality of life of the people who reside on the properties.
Peoria Housing Authority Board Minutes

Monday, August 1, 2011

What's going on in the Taft Homes?

As the PHA directors win awards for "doing their jobs", many of the residents feel that the place has never been worse. I'm sure we all saw the recent reports of rats running rampant in Taft. They were so bad, there is no way an active management could have missed it.

From WMBD...
"Not more than ten steps into our visit at Taft Homes, we saw the evidence everywhere. A dead rat, holes under the porches, in the ground, and even in people's homes. A woman living at Taft Homes in Peoria called the WMBD newsroom looking for help. Rats were taking over her housing complex. Brenda Coleman said she had been telling management about the problem for months, but nothing happened. After our station told the Peoria Housing Authority what we saw, it got to work right away."

We also saw what has been described as "a large-scale illegal fireworks display in a housing complex adjacent to the state’s largest Fourth of July celebration" - another thing that an active management should have seen.

Did I say active management? Perhaps thats the problem, because you see, I have it from a reliable source that the PHA manager at Taft walked out earlier this summer and last week the replacement manager walked out and as of right now, there is NO ONE literally NO ONE, on the property managing it. The doors to the office were locked all last week.

After the Fourth of July debacle there was a lot of talk about increasing security in Taft Homes. Well, I guess they haven't done it yet, because I heard that Saturday night (July 30th), gun shots were being fired for about an hour straight and it was so bad, some residents wouldn't even go home. Wonder why that didn't make the pjstar.

While we are talking about guns, shooting and not making the news... I also heard that Friday night (July 29th), several guys were shooting in Harrison Homes.

SIDEBAR... whenever I see the words Harrison Homes, I think Harrison Street. Anyhow...

Funny, the last couple of days I was thinking things (i.e., shootings) seemed to have calmed down a bit (guess I was wrong). Unfortunately, I now have to rely on the "on the ground reports" from people in the hood to find out what is really going on in Peoria's housing projects.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

PHA residents report abuse to the pjstar



On Monday, August 8th, the pjstar ran an article entitled Snarky comments about Taft residents hurt. It was a good article and very revealing. The Peoria Housing Authority Director of Public Relations exposed the vulnerable side of PHA residents, when she went on record about the hurtful and often racist comments that appear on a regular basis on pjstar.com.

I thought that Peoria Pundit had already covered the issue sufficiently when he posted this: Journal Star addresses concerns that many PJStar commenters are ignorant, racist troglodytes, so I kept it moving and went on to other things.

But today, I had to do a double take... compare the comments on Monday's Snarky piece, to the comments on today's piece about the District 150 dress code. Notice anything different?

Has the pjstar decided to actually moderate hateful comments? If so, kudos to Ms. Lundeen and the PHA residents, for getting the pjstar to step up and do something they should have done a long time ago.

Friday, January 15, 2010

East Bluff Housing Service- flipping for renters


Yes, the EBHS is in the business of flipping houses for rental.

Dale Hanssen, the EBHS Treasurer, is also the owner of Principal Property Management. Mr. Hanssen, who is a volunteer, has offered the EBHS his expertise in buying, renovating and renting properties.

Mr. Hanssen is charged with choosing the properties to renovate; negotiating with the banks; deciding on the renovations to make; hiring the team (there is no bid process) to do the work; sets the schedule for getting the work done; decides who will rent the property; runs the background check on the prospective tenant via Principal Property Management; negotiate the contract with the tenant; and then oversees any maintenance on the property that the tenant may need (through Principal Property Management); at a rate decided upon by Principal Property Management.

East Bluffers are concerned that there may be a conflict of interest with Mr. Hanssen being the Treasurer of the EBHS and the owner of Principal Property Management. I wonder if there is even a contract between the EBHS and Principal Property Management? Hmmm... I would love to see the terms of that document.

In the meantime, there are longstanding homeowners who are hoping to get loans through EBHS for a roof or a porch (you know $2,000-$3,000), but EBHS won't return their calls or answer their e-mail. Not that the EBHS could help said homeowner, because the money that the EBHS has is tied up in flipping houses for renters.

All of that aside, East Bluffers know that deep in their hearts there is the fear that the EBHS is getting ready for the influx of public housing tenants that the City is relocating to the East Bluff. Could that be the real reason why the City of Peoria needs the EBHS to work out? From what I understand City staff attended the meeting heavily. Everybody from the Corporation Counsel, to the Director of Planning, to five Councilmen and even a deputy City Clerk was in attendance.

Just think - the East Bluff Housing Services a division of the Peoria Housing Authority. Is that where we are heading? I don't think any homeowner in the East Bluff would relish the thought of that. I know I don't.