CRESTVIEW — Crestview Housing Authority staffers say they are working to challenge unfavorable opinions about affordable housing.


CRESTVIEW — Crestview Housing Authority staffers say they are working to challenge unfavorable opinions about affordable housing.



"We really want to change the public's perspective of us," CHA Executive Director Judy Adams said.



"Unfortunately, people have an idea that we are a project," CHA program analyst David Clark said.



The CHA — which manages 273 housing units with up to five bedrooms in the Lakeview Drive, Virginia Court and West Edney Drive areas — receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.



Eligibility for housing depends on a household’s financial situation and size, Clark said.



"In our area, a single-person household that makes less than $36,000 (a year) is eligible for housing," he said.



Within the past seven years, CHA maintenance staffers have upgraded units — some built as far back as the 1960s — on the outside and inside. They’ve set new driveways, walking paths and metal roofing, and have added new door locks and energy efficient windows.



In addition, CHA maintenance staffers — who regularly inspect units, replace air filters and encourage use of energy efficient water heaters, toilets and interior lighting to lower utility costs — check for potential signs of crime.



"We have done extensive drug training ... to target methamphetamines and other illegal substances (used inside each unit)," Maintenance supervisor Mike Riley said.



The goal is to make CHA’s properties safer, and for the public to see them that way.



"Now we are trying to get it up to the standards, where the tenants can now see it as a community,” Riley said.     



  Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or matthewb@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.