According to Lee Hight, who chairs the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority board: “I don’t think this community understands that we are moving forward and trying to do so much. Look at how far we’ve come in public housing in this community. It’s amazing. We’re trying to think outside of the box.”
She is absolutely correct when looking at enhanced safety/security at those scattered complexes once routinely dubbed “the projects” but called that much less these days. Most of them have been upgraded, facelifted or even replaced to the point that they look more like modest-income housing than the usual stereotypes involving “low income.” Getting into them isn’t easy, the waiting lists are long, the tolerance level before occupants being ejected has become very low.
This has taken place slowly over the past couple of decades, as such massive and expensive changes must. At minimum, it must be conceded that such public housing is much, much better and attractive than before.
The authority’s problem in being more appreciated probably lies in a fundamental perhaps impossible to change: A lot of taxpayers in this area simply don’t support the very concept of subsidized housing — or much of anything else for that matter. In fact, a common reaction to improving/bettering public housing tends to be “why are we giving them better places to live?” That is the understanding that remains missing.