Park Avenue Residents Want More Input on Task Force
Residents worry the CHA task force doesn't represent or respect their priorities.
"They are talking about tearing the place down and, I mean, where are we going to go whenever they tear it down? Are they going to have a back-up plan for us to go somewhere else and live?" asked Lanetta Hill.
The task force has 17 members, but only one is a Park Avenue resident.
CHA said the task force has enough members to represent the entire community. Task force leaders said appointing more members from under-represented groups is still possible.
The task force hears resident comments at every meeting, but becoming a member of the group is more difficult for residents because there are no written rules.
"I think that would be the discretion of the chair and discussed among members of the Task Force. This is an ad-hoc task force that was set up by the Columbia Housing Authority."," said Phil Steinhaus, CHA director.
Chairman Richard Mendenhall and the rest of the task force will recommend, and the five-member CHA Board of Commissioners will decide, what to do with existing Park Avenue housing units. Three CHA commissioners sit on the task force.
Residents at the meeting said any task force member who might profit from the proposed renovation should resign from the CHA board because of a conflict of interest. Mendenhall agreed with the proposed policy and said he hoped every board member would sign it after CHA lawyers review the document.