The Meridian Housing Authority is being nationally recognized. For the second year in a row, HUD is designating the agency as "High Performing."
There are 55 public housing authorities in Mississippi. The Meridian Housing Authority is one of only 12 in the state to be deemed by HUD as 'High Performing.' After being evaluated in four different categories that involved finances and management, MHA scored 95 out of a possible 100 points for the distinction.
"This will give them the opportunity to apply for additional funds." says MHA Board Chairman, Wilbert Jones. "It brings us to a new level, and we're very proud of Mr. Turner and his staff for working so hard, and also the residents working together."
"We have reached this distinction while dealing with federal budget cuts, and we received huge federal budget cuts through sequestration," says MHA Executive Director, Ronald J. Turner. "Definitely, the staff was doing more work with less time."
Because of federal cuts, since May workers with the housing authority have had to take a day off without pay at least once every other week.
However, Turner says the tireless efforts of the agency's employees, tenants and partners are paying off.
"We'll receive additional capital fund dollars at 3%," says Turner. "We'll also be eligible to apply for certain grants that housing authorities are not able to apply for unless they are high performing. So, this means a lot for us as we talk about redevelopment in our city."
In all, the Meridian Housing Authority is expected to receive an additional $40,000 that will be used to do needed repairs at the agency's older facilities.
There are 3,200 public housing authorities in the U.S.; 55 of those are in Mississippi. The Meridian Housing Authority is one of 12 in the state that HUD is recognizing as "High Performing."