Anthony Johnson, executive director of the Greenwich Housing Authority , said he is committed to making its residential properties as beautiful as possible. And to that end, the authority has invested more than $2 million in improvements.
"I think we have made great progress in improving the conditions for the residents and also for the community that has to live next to the buildings and see them," said Johnson. "They fit into the community versus something that is big and stands out. We want to make the community aware that the housing authority cares about their properties."
After becoming executive director in 2006, the Chicago native has been working on projects that focus on increasing the lifespan of each building and beautifying the properties. In the past year, the housing authority has invested more than $2 million into the Wilbur Peck, Armstrong Court and the Adams Garden properties.
At Wilbur Peck, "we have worked on the landscaping, putting in new lighting and will be putting in a comprehensive security system," said Johnson. "Emergency generators will be put in ... a new roof and a brand-new heating system."
Armstrong Court will also receive a $500,00 facelift. Johnson's plan is to replace most of the concrete and create a grassy common area with landscaping.
"What we're doing is coming off the building with large flowerbeds, so it will soften the look of the building," he said. "Then we will eliminate a road and make it a soft surface with community space."
The housing authority was named a "high performer" for the first time in the public housing program because it operates with a positive cash flow.
"You're dealing with human beings," he said. "Things we do affect people's lives. And the great thing that we've done is that we have given them opportunity for better education and employment that they may not get in other places."
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