Housing Authority Gets New Director

Rhonda Richardson has been named the new Florence Housing Authority director

Rhonda Richardson has been named the new Florence Housing Authority director.

She replaces Shaler Roberts, who retired June 30 after 29 years as the agency's director.

Richardson, a 21-year employee of the housing authority, has worked in all areas including procurement and contracts, human resource development, advanced accounting, financial reporting, and the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

The past four years she worked closely with Roberts.

"He involved me in many projects, and was a huge mentor to me," she said.

Richardson said she's confident in her new position because of her vast array of experiences, but also "because we're all here to serve families."

In her new role, Richardson said she'll continue to make connections in the community, an important aspect of her job.

"We have so many wonderful community agencies in the Shoals and they work so well together, and that means everything to the families we serve," she said.

Richardson is currently working to finish converting the city's public housing into multifamily housing, a process Roberts began more than three years ago.

The change involves different regulations through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"The new regulations give us more options for our properties," Richardson said. "The housing authority is operating now as a business as opposed to a government entity. It allow us more control of our money, and we've been able to do some extensive and much-needed renovations on our properties with some really good tax credits."

A $13 million renovation of Magnolia Gardens is now complete. The Carver Heights housing area is now Cypress Point, and Handy Homes is W.C. Handy Place.

"We've changed the appearance of the properties, and with all the changes came fresh names because these aren't public housing any more," she said. "Cherry Hill Homes will convert this month."

Richardson said she is looking forward to the changes in governance, and the possibility of acquiring more properties.

"Everyone deserves a home, whether it is subsidized or owned," Richardson said. "It's just about serving families."

By Lisa Singleton-Rickman, TimesDaily

View original article here on the TimesDaily website.