This is in response to CRHA finance committee member Jason Halbert's recent guest editorial in the Daily Progress:
December 30, 2012 guest editorial, Jason Halbert
attempted to push an aggressive agenda for public housing in Charlottesville amid a flurry of deliberate distortions, attacks on CRHA
board members, and willful ignorance of the concept of resident participation in CRHA matters.
offers some solutions to what he
sees as a lack of leadership that fit only his
vision of what redevelopment should be, who will pull it off, who should support him, and how.
presents a vision of the demolition of public housing and rebuilding along a "mixed-income" model.
It is entirely too similar to what happened to Vinegar Hill in the 1960s and PHAR
will not let this happen.
Clarifications of Mr. Halbert's
distortions can be made showing that a lack of adherence to both HUD regulation 964 and the Residents Bill of Rights by CRHA
staff, some commissioners, and even Mr. Halbert
himself as being partially to blame for the lack of accountability and action from CRHA
The answer is not current CRHA board leadership, angry residents, or PHAR
but primarily a lack of funding.
As a member of the CRHA finance committee Mr. Halbert should know that this is ultimately why no movement has been seen until recently.
says the CDC
needs to be "dusted off", but this is nothing new to anyone informed about the process.
Mr. Halbert's assertion that PHAR is blocking or not doing enough is a distortion of fact and should be ignored as should his placing of blame on commissioners Norris and Johnson, who have been doing the leg work of moving forward on redevelopment.
People such as Mr. Halbert
have worked vigorously to exclude residents from the process.
Perhaps it is not leadership that is lacking but Mr. Halbert's
leadership and agenda that he
sees as missing from the process?
correctly invokes the Residents Bills of Rights for Redevelopment, however he
does not need to tell PHAR
to "organize to achieve that vision".
In fact he
need not tell PHAR
what to do or how to do it as PHAR
is intensely focused on redevelopment.
We support the entirety of the Resident Bill of Rights for Redevelopment, not just those planks that are convenient to Halbert's vision for redevelopment.
I invite anyone interested to call or write PHAR
to find out exactly what we are doing to support the resident bill of rights, and what our vision for redevelopment is.
Amid many other distortions and misrepresentations, Halbert
offers other "solutions" to the current mismanagement of public housing.
suggests that the CRHA
Board of Commissioners be dissolved.
Conversely, behind the scenes meddling by the likes of Halbert (who is not currently serving on the CRHA board- why is he even allowed on the finance committee?) and other commissioners have seen the shepherding through and by-passing of procedure in the selection of the current executive director and the purposeful monkey wrenching of the 21 vouchers needed for the Crossings (despite a previous 6-1 vote, of which Halbert was the sole opponent), which in turn led to HUD not approving the 2012 annual plan and causing a snowball effect for comprehensive planning including for redevelopment.
has no right, as a wealthier member of our community, to meddle behind the scenes with the lives of 376 families and not expect for anger to be expressed.