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Transparency and a new approach to running the housing authority were the main points of a recent town hall at Langston Terrace.

District of Columbia Housing Authority Executive Director Tyrone Garrett has been steadily visiting each and every DCHA community and holding a series of town halls to hear ideas and issues from the residents themselves.

“I want to make sure there is as much transparency in where we are and what we do. That is why I’m hearing and speaking with you,” Garrett said. “We uncovered some things that need to be changed and some things that need to be fixed. I have a different approach in how to run a housing authority and how to respond to customers. I listen and deal with the issue. I don’t want anyone to be ignored.”

After listening to customers at these town halls and in one-on-one meetings, Garrett said he has started several programs to deal with issues that were brought up repeatedly.

One of the biggest new initiatives is the 3Cs campaign – Courteous, Complete, and Clean, which was originally intended for the property management staff, but has since been expanded throughout the agency, he said. DCHA employees will be courteous to customers and fully complete all of their tasks. Maintenance workers will leave areas they have been working in clean and clearly explain to customers if it is complete or if they need to return to do more work.

Another portfolio-wide initiative is the environmental review, Garrett said. Inspectors are visiting each community to identify issues, such as vermin and air quality. Once the issues have been identified, Garrett said, he will come up with an improvement plan to address them.

“Rehabilitation isn’t always the answer. We have to figure out a way to deal with each issue,” he said.

He reported to the community that he has already hired new maintenance staff and created the Modified Apprenticeship Training Program to address basic maintenance issues in DCHA’s portfolio by employing residents as interns, giving them valuable experience which will assist them in finding permanent jobs . He also said that the agency is working with Cornell University on Integrated Pest Management a pilot program focused on eliminating pests that he hopes will be successful so it can expand.

“There is a new face at the agency and a new pep in our step,” Garrett said. “The game is being played a different way now and my team is getting with it.”

Following his updates, residents had the opportunity to ask Garrett questions. Topics ranged from litter, to security and cameras, to cabinetry, and gate repair. DCHA staff was on hand to record each idea and concern, and if necessary, submit a maintenance request on the spot for customers. 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.

Garrett has visited nearly two dozen communities and met one-on-one with customers more than 60 times in order to learn what is happening in DCHA neighborhoods directly from the customers. 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.

 

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Last modified: 10/17/2018 3:02:37 PM