CHA hosts open house to show off newly renovated unit
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
Odis Bryan, director of the Crockett Housing Authority, was beaming from ear to ear Thursday, April 7 as he hosted an open house at 107 Lewis Circle. Bryan and CHA employees showed city officials and community members one of the recently renovated housing units looks. First, they showed the public an example of how the unit began. It was a stark contrast. One of the “before” units had large holes in the walls and evidence of copper wiring being torn out. Another “before” unit had a deep trench in the hallway where a plumber under the previous CHA leadership reportedly had tried to dig up a pipe that actually led from the bathroom to the outside of the building in an attempt to unclog a drain. The completed unit features three bedrooms, a bathroom living/dining room area and kitchen. All are freshly painted, have new window blinds and clean windows. A new central air conditioning/heating unit sits outside. The kitchen has new cabinets and appliances. The refrigerator is equipped with a door that has side grips instead of handles that sometimes lead to problems with children. There was shiny new flooring throughout, and a small storage shed equipped with washer and dryer outlets There are about 280 housing units on Lewis Circle, and there are about 30 left to renovate, Bryan said. He estimated the cost to complete the renovation of the first “before” unit the open house visitors saw will be about $20,000. Bryan has been the CHA director for about 18 months, and he said there were 95 or 96 units vacant when he and his staff came. Now, there are only about 30 units left to be renovated. Bryan told visitors, “I’m having the time of my life. We wanted to make a nice place where people could live.” City officials heaped praise on Bryan and his crew throughout the tour. “I give praise to God for the crews and the working staff,” Bryan humbly said to one guest. Guests included CHA Board Member Wayne Tubbs, Grapeland Housing Authority Director Wanda Nichols, Crockett City Council Member Jackie Jones, Crockett City Administrator Ron Duncan and others. One of the CHA employees said, “We love the people and we love our jobs.” Lewis Circle is the oldest site in the area, officials said.