New public housing opens

Published 11:06 am Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A new public housing facility for elderly residents is now open and already has several new tenants.

The Brookhaven Housing Authority, city administrators, chamber members, current tenants and others involved with the project gathered Tuesday morning for the ribbon cutting on the city’s new housing complex, Southview. Southview is a housing complex primarily for elderly residents, 65 and older, in need.

Director of McComb Housing Authority and Summit Housing Authority Jeff Adams said that Southview is the vision of the late Mike Proffitt who was the Executive Director of the Brookhaven Housing Authority before his death in 2014. Adams is currently serving as the Director of the Brookhaven Housing Authority as well.

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“He was one of my mentors when I was starting in the housing industry 25 years ago,” Adams said. “He was always willing to lend a helping hand.”

Southview has been built in the place of the housing complex, Carver Heights, which was built between the 30s and 50s sporting approximately 100 units. The building was torn down in 2010.

“It was really congested,” Adams said about the old housing facility on the property. “That style of housing has lived past its time.”

Adams explained that working within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s new regulations and the money the BHA could put toward the new complex, they didn’t have enough money to rebuild 100 units. He said it was through replacement housing factor funds, capital grant funds and the BHA’s operating reserves that they were able to pool the more than $2 million that was needed for Southview’s development.

“When we first started, I got more applications than we had places,” BHA Administrative Assistant Wilma “Ms. Pat” Showers said. She said they then had to go through those applications to weed out those that didn’t meet the 62-or-older age requirement.

Showers, who’s worked with the BHA for 34 years, said the new tenants of Southview like their new homes and “they’re very appreciative.”

Tomia Chism has been living in Brookhaven for 60 years, most of her adult life. She said she used to live on Chickasaw Street in a two-story house that she always felt was too big for just her. In addition to its size, Chism expressed having bad feelings about her old place causing her to apply for housing with the BHA. When her home was robbed she moved in with her daughter for a year.

“Finally, this came available and I moved in,” Chism said. She’s been living there for a month.

Venetta Vaughn was the first person to be issued a key to Southview. Vaughn moved from a small town in the Delta to be with family she has in Brookhaven. She moved a month ago to her new home in Southview.

Moses Taylor has lived in Brookhaven for 15 years and finds his new place of residence just like a home.

“The surroundings are real nice, the neighbors are quiet,” Taylor said. “I like the scenery.”

Adams said that in the future the housing authority will be looking at ways to improve housing in Brookhaven, which could include a second stage adding more units to Southview. He said they have the land; the next step would be to secure the funds.

There is one unit still available for rent. Those qualified and interested can contact the Brookhaven Housing Authority.

Adams said he’d like to recognize the five commissioners of the Housing Authority: Ralph Bryant, Mitchell Davis, Kenny Goza, James Tillman and Robert Tyler.