In a series of town hall meetings last week, the District of Columbia Housing Authority leadership listened to customers, as well as informed them of new initiatives.

DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett visited three different communities during the week of February 20. He had conversations with residents at Greenleaf Senior, Greenleaf Gardens, and Kenilworth Courts, filling their community rooms with people interested in sharing their ideas and issues. Garrett said he will visit each DCHA community to give everyone who wants an opportunity to share their thoughts with him that chance.

“I am being responsive and accountable to your concerns,” Garrett said at a recent town hall. “I want to hear from you not only pros and cons, but some ideas and solutions you have. You might have some things you may want me to throw out. I want you to know who I am and that my administration cares. We want to provide you with the quality of life you deserve.”

In addition to visiting each traditional public housing community in D.C., Garrett also recently started one-on-one meetings with residents to listen to ideas, concerns, and other issues

“We don’t have a lot of money. Our federal subsidy gets less every year. We are looking at what we can and cannot do and what is the most reasonable thing to do. We are creating an annual plan and we will see what we can fit in, but remember, adding something to a list doesn’t mean we will be able to get it done, but that it is on my radar.”

President Donald Trump administration’s budget proposed to cut federal funding to housing authorities by 14 percent, Garrett explained. Without that funding, he said, many services could be diminished. Federal funding for housing authorities has been on the decline, but “now it is getting drastic,” Garrett said.

“We are going to do the best we possibly can with limited resources”

In order to cut down on our work order backlog, Garrett will be introducing a six-month trial program for DCHA customers. The modified apprentice program will hire customers interested in learning various forms of building maintenance. Once trained, they will respond to outstanding maintenance requests at DCHA properties.

Garrett said that he is taking a close look at each department within DCHA to find more efficiencies and improve operations. He also is adding more training in a number of areas including maintenance and customer service, he said.

Customers asked him about public safety, new countertops, cleaning supplies, ducts, and much more. Garrett answered the questions that he could or promised to get back to the person with the correct answer if he couldn’t answer it at the time.

As Garrett makes his way to each community, customers will be notified via texts, emails, and flyers. They will have an opportunity to pre-register by calling 202-535-1000 or register on site.

At each meeting there is DCHA staff on hand to record ideas, questions, and fill out work orders as necessary. Customers will be given opportunities to follow up with more questions or ideas after the conversation.  Also, a quarterly report to track the commitments made and successful completion of tasks will be created.

The one-on-one meetings are being scheduled on a case by case basis.

“I need to hear from you on what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong,” Garrett said. “I want to be accountable and responsive. I need you to hold me to that.”

DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett speaks to Greenleaf Senior residents.
DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett listens to ideas from Greenleaf Senior residents.
DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett visits Greenleaf Gardens to chat with residents.
DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett explains an initiative to Kenilworth Courts customers.
Last modified: 2/28/2018 4:17:25 PM