Relocation Newsletter November 2021
From the Desk of the Executive Director - Brenda Williams
Brenda Williams - Director of the Tallahassee Housing Authority
Years ago, I found myself as a resident of public housing. Those times were challenging. I remember the experiences I lived and the lessons I learned. Those experiences and lessons have served to strengthen my desire, commitment, and drive to assist and serve all the residents of the Tallahassee Housing Authority.
As Director and a member of the Relocation Team, it is my mission to ensure that all departments and staff members execute their duties professionally, competently, and humanely. The redevelopment of the Orange Avenue Apartment community is a great undertaking that will result in great advantages to our residents and the community at large. Each department of the Tallahassee Housing Authority has contributed to making the relocation effort a great success. My greatest pleasure is hearing how happy our residents are in their new homes.
I am personally and professionally committed to improving the quality of life for all our residents. I am here because of you and for you. I thank each and every one of you for the opportunity to serve you. Together, we move forward.
Marco Moo Young - HCV Program Director
As Director of the Housing Choice Voucher Programs (Section 8) and a member of the Relocation Team, I seek to provide the residents of the Tallahassee Housing Authority a level of customer service which is characterized by professionalism, competence, and a great deal of empathy. Above all, I maintain a keen sense of the individual lives affected by my work.
As a member of the Relocation Team, I provide training to staff so they can better assist Orange Avenue residents with a smooth transition from Orange Avenue to their new homes. I ensure that the Housing Choice Voucher department informs Orange Avenue residents as to how our program functions. I also make sure that the prospective units are inspected in a timely manner so that any anxiety and inconvenience experienced by residents is kept to a minimum.
I am privileged and honored to serve the residents of the Tallahassee Housing Authority.
Boys and Girls Club Programs
The Tallahassee Housing Authority, in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, offers our residents a number of summer and after-school programs for children of all ages. Some of our programs offer instruction in health, nutrition, fitness, and youth safety. With a keen eye to the future, the program also addresses academics as well as vocational training.
Youth at the Boys & Girls Club are being professionally trained in ballet in partnership with the Tallahassee Ballet. This partnership is sponsored by Prime Meridian Bank.
In honor of "National Coffee with a Cop Day", CEO Kacy Dennis sits down with Chief Revel, Sherriff McNeil, and Deputy Chief Smith to discuss the progress that the Boys & Girls Club has made in the community as it pertains to youth safety.
The Boys & Girls Club hosts the "Lights On" afterschool program, focusing on health, nutrition, and fitness.
Teens from the Boys & Girls Club take a tour of the Kim B. Williams Manufacturing Training Center. A member of our club was awarded a scholarship to TCC for the fall of 2022.
Orange Avenue Redevelopment
The redevelopment of Orange Avenue marks a historic turn in the direction and the future of this area. As exemplified by the pictorial renderings below, the new and updated structures will improve the safety, comfort, and quality of life for all residents.
Phase One of new construction will consist of 130 affordable units serving households, at or below 60% of the area median income. Within this phase, there will be 33 one-bedroom units, 72 two-bedroom units, and 25 three-bedroom units.
The redevelopment and relocation processes have given rise to many questions. Some of these questions are addressed below:
- Question: If I get a voucher and want to move out of town, I heard that I have to stay in Tallahassee for 12 months before I can move away.
- Answer: The housing authority is requesting Tenant Protection vouchers for Orange Avenue households. There is no requirement for you to stay in the area prior to porting out to another jurisdiction as long as there is a housing authority in that area.
- Question: If I want a bigger unit than my voucher, can I get a bigger one; or do I have to rent whatever voucher size I have?
- Answer: The housing choice voucher staff will provide you with a maximum rent for your use in finding a suitable unit for your household. If you select a unit that has more bedrooms than the voucher you are issued, but that is under the maximum rent cap, it may be possible for you to rent the larger unit.
- Question: Can I add other family members to my household?
- Answer: You will need to discuss any changes in your household size with your manager and follow whatever requirements are currently in place for public housing.
- Question: Will my voucher size be the same as my public housing unit?
- Answer: The voucher size is usually two persons per bedroom. There are a number of variables that may have you housed in a larger or smaller unit. The HCV staff will work with each household to determine their specific eligibility.
If any residents are in need of further information or have additional questions regarding the redevelopment and relocation process at Orange Avenue, we invite you to contact Ms. Dorothy Inman-Johnson of the Relocation Office at 850-284-7730.
Orange Avenue Relocation Success Stories
The redevelopment of the Orange Avenue Community has required that many residents relocate. However, through the tireless efforts of the Relocation Team, these residents have secured wonderful new homes with amenities previously unknown. Below, some of these successful relocations are featured.
Ms. Jalisa Sharp
Ms. Jalisa Sharp has lived at the Orange Avenue Apartments for two years. She lived in a very nice, quiet area of Orange Avenue. Upon relocating, Ms. Sharp was able to find a new apartment with a dishwasher, as well as a washing machine and dryer. Ms. Sharp tells us that although she will miss her former neighbors, she is greatly enjoying her new apartment and all its amenities.
Ms. Cemaun Gardner
Ms. Gardner is a public housing resident who has lived at the Orange Avenue Apartments for eight years. As the Orange Avenue Community is being redeveloped, she has been relocated to a new apartment. Ms. Gardner states that she is very happy in her new home. As an added convenience, she now has two bathrooms instead of just one. Her children are adjusting well to their new school. Although Ms. Gardner will miss the management and maintenance staff at Orange Avenue, she is enjoying her new home.
Ms. Lavasha Jones
Ms. Lavasha Jones has lived at Orange Avenue for seven years. She states that she is going to miss Orange Avenue due to the convenience of getting around to the places she needed to be. She will miss her neighbors, but she loves her new unit and is adjusting to her new apartment. After one year, she knows that she will have the opportunity to move to another apartment or house if she so desires.