HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM CCHRA! From the Staff, Board, and Residents: Happy Holidays to all! In 2021, we are thrilled to welcome new CEO, Mr. Franklin Scott to lead the CCHRA after decades of experience. His wisdom and leadership is an exciting progressive step into a new era at the CCHRA. Day by day, we improve our offerings to ensure quality affordable housing. We are grateful to all the people who support our residents, including the friends of Joseph Floyd Manor, Brighton Place, and all of the volunteers who help make the season merry & bright. It takes a village!
DECEMBER, 2021: On Tuesday, December 14 the JFM Subcommittee, consisting of staff and Board of Commissioners, met to discuss next steps for an RFP for the redevelopment. Mr. Frank Scott, newly appointed CEO of the CCHRA, advised on the property condition assessment prepared in October, 2021 for to review the building and its conditions for rehab or rebuild. This 54 page assessment is in draft form and offers valuable insight for next steps, and was shared with the Board of Commissioners for initial review. The next meeting will be in January, 2022.
OCTOBER, 2021: The Staff & Board of Commissioners of the CCHRA are deeply saddened by the passing of long-time Commissioner Laura Morris. Mrs. Morris grew up in Charleston, where her father taught at The Citadel, and graduated from Rivers High School. She moved to Washington, DC, in 1977 and served on the staff of Senator Ernest F. Hollings from 1977 to 1999. She worked with all the public housing authorities in her capacity as Projects Director and continues the strong interest in all residents of SC having access to affordable, safe housing and health care. Upon retirement, she worked with a consortium of local providers to develop and write successful federal grant proposals to coordinate health care for uninsured citizens in a three-county area and a three-year grant to demonstrate the role of patient navigators in improving the status of uninsured and underinsured residents in a five-county area; she subsequently served as Project Director for the two grants. Mrs. Morris’ tenure at the CCHRA has been extensive spanning over a decade: she served as both Chair and Vice Chair, led the facilities committees, and engaged wholeheartedly in her service. Her complete obituary can be read here. We send our deepest condolences to her family, including her husband Dr. Bill Morris, children and grandchildren. Thank you for your incredible service, Laura ~ may you rest in peace.
On Tuesday, September 13, the JFM Subcommittee, consisting of staff and Board of Commissioners, met to hear a presentation from Don Cameron, President & CEO of the Charleston Housing Authority in Charleston, South Carolina. He has held this position since 1980 and prior to that was the Assistant Executive Director for five years.In his tenure at the helm of the Authority, Mr. Cameron has overseen the addition of 2,331 homes to the city’s inventory of affordable housing and over $140,000,000.00 of capital reinvested in the community. Mr. Cameron presented several ideas and experiences with the Subcommittee, and encouraged us to look at Brighton Place in a new way, as well as how to best move forward with the rehab of JFM. He suggested appointing a top-notch consultant to guide the redevelopment and that we must budget for them as long-term partners. He shared his own experiences rehabbing properties in the City’s portfolio. He then answered questions from the Subcommittee. Our sincere thanks to Mr. Cameron for an extremely informative and engaging conversation.
The August Subcommittee meeting was canceled due to our annual Audit.
July, 2021: On Tuesday, July 13 the JFM Subcommittee, consisting of staff and Board of Commissioners, met to share best practice from independent consultant Peggy Webster, who managed the RFP and redevelopment process of the housing initiative in Baltimore, MD. Ms Webster shared her rehab and build experience including their redevelopment used one legal agreement across all parties so that the scope of the work is consistent across all partners. She also offered information about the census issues we may run into, and raised awareness of some of the avenues to address the gentrification issues that development has brought to communities. Committee members noted that we should circle back with Mr. Cameron of the City of Charleston to learn if this will affect our Charleston-based initiative. Ms. Webster’s projects were RAD conversions and that aspect was discussed as well. The committee asked if she had built commercial spaces on the first floor of her projects as that will be paramount to offset the costs of retaining our public housing. Webster suggested that commercial spaces often sit vacant and a market study is critical for ensuring they are used and not vacant.
June, 2021: On Tuesday, June 8, the JFM Redevelopment Committee convened to meet with Mrs. Shaunte Evans, CEO of Spartanburg Housing Authority. This Authority is doing a re-development similar to what we are looking to do with Joseph Floyd Manor. Mrs. Evans shared best practices, the importance of a facilities review (to consider tear down versus rehab), and funding opportunities. She also discussed their forthcoming conversion to RAD and the logic for that transition (better funding streams, etc). The committee also discussed in detail securing loans, grants, and other ways to fund the re-development. Sharing best practices with other Housing Authorities is a priority of the Staff & Board, and is guiding the process for this effort. The committee asked to stay in close contact with the Spartanburg Housing Authority as they are undergoing a very similar construction with their older high-rise building that the CCHRA is also facing. The goal is to issue an RFP at the end of 2021 to begin to bring in developers to help with the redevelopment of this important site. Next steps are to undertake a study to make a building assessment, and Staff will move forward to secure the assessment to inform the RFP, and then the committee will outline a timeline and budget for the redevelopment. The meeting ended with the importance of transparency and keeping the residents and public informed of this process. These updates on the CCHRA website seek to bridge the gap and ensure the public is informed step-by-step of this process. Thank you for your interest and support!
RESIDENT MEETING UPDATE
June, 2021: The JFM Resident meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 16 @ 3pm in the Community Room onsite (3rd Wednesday of every month). The Brighton Place Resident meeting will take place on Monday, June 14 @ 2pm in the Community Room onsite (second Monday of every month).
IMPORTANT UPDATE ON SPACE HEATERS:
On Friday, April 2, a CCHRA staff member received a call after 11pm that the heat at Joseph Floyd Manor was out. The contractor was unable to service the building immediately that evening, but was onsite early Saturday morning (April 3) and the heat was restored by 10:00 AM.
On Saturday, without the knowledge of CCHRA, a campaign to solicit space heaters was created by a local group. While this effort was intended to be helpful, space heaters are the number one cause of fires in elderly communities.
Because of this important fire safety hazard, CCHRA’s maintenance staff purchases brand new space heaters each year to distribute to our residents in cases of emergencies. When we have rectified the emergency, maintenance retrieves the space heaters from the resident’s units and stores it back in our inventory. These space heaters are inspected and replaced yearly. Following protocols and allowing staff to address emergencies according to safety and hazards processes is instrumental to the well-being of our community.
February, 2021: The JFM Redevelopment Committee convened for the second time for our regular monthly meeting (2nd Tuesday of every month). Led by CCHRA CEO & Subcommittee Co-Chair Erica Bryant, the meeting focused on the various funding models for the JFM redevelopment, reviewing common tools for finance development, including Low-Income Tax Credits, Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), Capital Fund Financing Program, Choice Neighborhood Program, Federal Housing Administration, Federal Home Loan Banks, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Operating Fund Financing Program, and Conventional Debt Instruments. The subcommittee expressed special interest in the Choice Neighborhood Program, and will be delving deeper into this program to understand if this is a good direction for the Joseph Floyd Manor and the Upper Peninsula.
Discussion continued around what type of development the CCHRA would be seeking — conventional, turnkey, acquisition, force account labor, or mixed-finance development. At this moment, the committee leans towards conventional and/or turnkey development with a commitment to keep an open mind as opportunities unfold. The co-chairs opened the meeting for questions and discussion, and the desire for stronger relationships and greater support from the Charleston County Council was discussed by CCHRA Board Chair Sandino Moses & Vice-Chair Patrick King.
For the March meeting, speakers with expertise on developing in Housing Authorities will attend to share best practice and answer questions. The subcommittee has completed the major redevelopment “LEAD THE WAY” training as agreed upon in the January meeting. The next meeting is Tuesday, March 9, 2021.
January, 2021: The Board of Commissioners of the CCHRA is excited to announce the formation of a subcommittee (informally called the JFM Redevelopment Committee) that began in January, 2021. Committee Chair Patrick King and Co-Chair Erica Bryant, Interim CEO of CCHRA, co-lead the committee of eight members, made up of Board of Commissioners and Staff members. The first meeting reviewed the HUD Training Manual “Lead The Way” key points to undergo a major redevelopment. The committee has been tasked to complete the development section of this HUD training before the February 2021 meeting.
The subcommittee meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month, and expects this to be a 3-5 year process. The initial meetings will invite experts across multiple disciplines to speak to the subcommittee as a foundation for the development. The goal is for the project to open to Request for Proposals by the end of 2021. We hold the mission of CCHRA – to provide quality affordable housing to assist in improving economic opportunities for the low-income citizens of Charleston County – as the foundation of this groundbreaking project. We will post monthly updates at https://cchra.net/news/ so please stay connected!
December, 2020: Friends of Joseph Floyd Manor is a group of community members who support the wellbeing of the residents of Joseph Floyd Manor. The group was created in March 2020 in an effort to provide additional support and connect residents, staff & board to supplemental resources & innovative solutions.
Community Partners include Enough Pie, BoomTownROI, Charleston Promise Neighborhood, & concerned neighbors who each have a history of collaborating with the residents on various projects in the past, & with the City of Charleston, SC Government Mayor’s Office on Aging & the Trident Area Agency on Aging, we pursue short and long term solutions to best address residents’ livability concerns together. If you are interested in joiningFriends of Joseph Floyd Manor, or joining volunteer resident support projects (food delivery & donations, supply drives, garden care, resource communication assistance among others) please contact: [email protected]