AHA meets with tenants to explain transition in housing

Apr. 24—ANDERSON — Anderson Housing Authority officials Wednesday met with tenants of the local housing program to explain the transition to affordable housing being pushed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

"The meeting with the tenants was very positive," Mike Dauss, president of AHA, said of the meeting, which attracted 59 tenants. "It shows the residents are interested in our community."

Kim Townsend, executive director of AHA, said the agency is forming a Residents Advisory Board to help with the process.

"There is a sense of community," Dauss said. "Everyone should have a place to call home. This was a good step forward."

Townsend said the meeting with the residents was to explain the process of moving to the affordable housing program.

As a result of the anticipated changes, Townsend said, the agency has requested from HUD permission to sell 28 properties that could be completed in early 2025.

Five properties will be transferred to the non-profit Anderson Housing, Inc.

Townsend said all 33 properties have undergone an environmental review and are awaiting a final review by the state.

"We're moving to a work force housing model," Townsend previously said. "The total subsidized life can't exist anymore."

She said the agency is guiding tenants toward programs to become employed.

Kevin Sulc, chief operating officer for AHA, said the program is intended to make housing opportunities and home ownership available for the residents.

"It will take a community wide effort to mitigate the housing crisis in Anderson," he said. "AHA has a part to play."

Townsend said HUD wants the local agencies to help with the homeless population.

"We want to make sure that people can continue to be housed," she said of the assistance provided by the agency. "I see has as working to prevent homelessness."

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.